MAIN STORY: Spring is here. One can notice the beginning of this beautiful season as trees, which were once barren and drab, are now enveloped with a layer of hopeful green. And with spring come other changes, particularly in the fashion industry.
People start shedding the layers of clothes and opt for lighter, breezier materials that give a much fresher look. The fashion scene is already changing. The group that best show the signs of change is the young urbanites, who are more in tune with changing fashion.
Standing under the fading sunlight on the Norzin Lam is Karma Pema Lhendup, 20, who looks like a model out the fresh runway. Wearing a hoodie over a leather jacket and a plaid collar, grey stretch pants and comfortable sneakers, Karma looks effortlessly dapper. He carries his style with easy demeanor and confidence.
With the weather becoming warmer by the day, Karma said he has opted for a much cooler look. “I don’t want to wear thick jackets anymore but still want the feeling of winter to linger through hoodie and leather jacket.” Although Karma is not a fashion fanatic, he keeps up with trend among the youngsters in Thimphu.
“For me, fashion is not simply about the clothes one wear but also about how one portrays to the other person through these clothes,” he said. “How one dresses up and carries themselves says a lot about a person.”
For Sonam Dorji, 18, keeping up with the fashion trends is important and he makes sure to visit shops every now and then to check what new things are in. Wearing a Jordan’s black t-shirt with his signature number, 23, over a black pant, black sneakers and black windbreaker, Sonam is pulling off this trendy yet chic look.
Black shapes his look. Most of the young boys seem to go for black.
“For me, black is sexy and there’s no other colours more expressive for me than black. The colour goes with every season and fashion trends,” Sonam said.
For his everyday look, international hip-hop and rap artists like Chris Brown and Machine Gun Kelly are the inspirations. The look can be noticed in the way Sonam pulls off a harem trousers or a bomber jacket.
“Today, we have so many other means such as social media that helps us keep up to date with what others are wearing. Fashion has become an important part of our lives today. Gone are days when one used to wear pajamas in town,” Sonam said.
The same rings true for fashion bloggers who blog about their daily outfits, reaching out to many fashion enthusiasts. One such bloggers who has inspired a lot of young girls is Lhaki Yoezer, also known as Satin Diaries.
Fashion has gained momentum and is becoming increasingly important to let one’s style be an extension of one’s personality, the fashion blogger said. “Feels like it was ages ago when we were quite hesitant to wear clothes of our choice just because we didn’t want to look odd. Now we have boys and girls making fashion a personal statement and the fashion scene is amazing.”
Lhaki said that she hopes this doesn’t come at the cost of losing Bhutanese culture, heritage and traditions. She tries to balance things out.
“Fashion is a cycle; it keeps changing. We can see it when one channels the 70s and 80s look today. The 90s look of wearing chokers and classic shoes like Converse and Vans are in,” she said.
Athleisure, a type of an effortless style where one looks comfortable yet chic is in, which can be seen among many young urbanites, Lhaki added. Some of the clothes that go with this particular style are jogger pants, jumpers, sweatshirts, tshirt and sneakers.
“Looking good has never been this easier and it’s one of my favourite styles,” she said. “There isn’t really a style for spring, but I’d suggest one to incorporate floral and pastels into their Athleisure clothes.”
Chyunid, a fashion blogger who runs a page called MaStYl3, said certain fashion trends are dependent on the taste of particular groups of people or cliques, and are usually associated with social status or other preferences like the type of music a person likes.
“For many youth in Thimphu, fashion is a high priority at certain point. It’s important for them to wear only the latest fashions and styles. For others, though, keeping up with the trends isn’t that important,” she said.
Chyunid offers few tips to keep up with the spring feel. “I would suggest one to try wearing cotton poplins or floral satins if not dyed abstract prints in one’s look. Off cold shoulders and net laces dresses or tops are going to be a thing this spring.”