Most visitors who are traveling to Bhutan are aware of what to buy or have an idea about the ordinary souvenirs like wood-carved masks, the traditional Mandala paintings, the prayer flags or the handmade papers. But Bhutan offers more than just the ordinary souvenirs especially for those who love fashion and those who love to look a little more than the ordinary. Bhutan does not fall short of creative and innovative talents who love to cater to those fashionistas who are always looking for new inspirations to make the streets into a runway. Each and every piece narrating a story, stories from traditional handlooms to a stylish clutch. You will not only be buying a chic purse but buying those stories along with it. From repurposed textiles to cool accessories inspired by ethnicity and tradition. Here are our lists of top fashion designers and fashion bloggers in Bhutan to help you acquire an idea about Bhutanese fashion while traveling to Bhutan.
Bhutanese National Attire
The national Attire is an integral part of the Bhutanese culture. It was first conceptualized in the 17th century by the unifier of Bhutan; Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.
The national attire for men is called Gho. The Gho is a long robe-like clothe that is worn like a wrap-dress that is pulled up till the knee length hence forming a huge pouch above the waist. The pouch acts as a huge pocket to store personal things. Women wear a long skirt that goes around in two folds like a wrap-dress that go all the way till the ankle. The Wonju is worn around a blouse like thin long sleeved cloth. And lastly Toego is a long sleeved blazer-coat that is worn on top of the Kira and the sleeves of the Wonju and toego are folded into a sleeve. The national dress is worn by every Bhutanese regardless of occasion or place though it is mandatory to wear them during formal gatherings, during visits to sacred monasteries and Dzongs, and to all official places. Students wear the national dress as their school uniform. Bhutanese people wear their national attire with pride.
Bhutan Street Fashion (Fashion blogger)
Bhutan street fashion is a picture based fashion blog in Bhutan. Its creators find inspiration on the streets of Bhutan and portray an unadulterated sense of modernization. They believe in drawing motivation from the way of life of simple Bhutanese people. They aim to showcase traditional values and its evolution through their pictures via their social media pages on Instagram and Facebook, bringing Bhutan a step closer to the world. The blog serves as an encouragement to many Bhutanese youngsters to fall in love with their traditional costumes and realize its significance. The blog first came into existence in 2010 and is still going strong with ever so more growing followers around the world.
CDK is a Bhutanese contemporary casual clothing line based in the capital. The brand name CDK is a derivative of the promoter’s name, Chandrika. The clothing line was launched in fall, 2016. Her collection includes Bhutanese textiles silk and raw silk dyed in natural dyes and she aims to be an eco-friendly clothing line challenging the fact that fashion business is the world’s largest polluters. The brand also aspires to cater to its buyer’s traditionally inspired apparel which is meant for everyday use with a classy hint and not just for the runway. Their other products include accessories like bags, hand clutches, belts, and stoles. These make excellent souvenirs for someone who loves to look stylish and classy even while traveling. The store is based in the capital and located just above the craft bazaar.
CDK Facebook page
You can also get in touch the designer at firstname.lastname@example.org
She Bhutan (Designer)
She Bhutan was established in 2013 as a clothing line brand that aims to provide comfortable and attractive apparels to the common women in general. They create and design contemporary pieces with a fusion of Bhutanese textile with traditional patterns. They believe that women are an essential element of the society and all the roles that women take upon are the most important be it a daughter, a mother, a sister, a wife or simply just a friend. Therefore they strongly believe that all these vibrant roles deserve to look the best version of themselves and feel special at all times. At She Bhutan they celebrate women from all walks of life and women of all shapes and sizes. Their stylish variety of cuts and silhouettes makes a brilliant choice of souvenirs for yourself and for those special women in your life. While traveling to Bhutan, check out their store at Zomlha building near the clock tower square in the capital.
She Bhutan Facebook page
CHIMMI House of Design (Designer)
CHD, short for CHIMMI House of Design was founded in 2014 by a self-taught designer, Chimmi Choden. CHIMMI House of Design is also Bhutan’s first internationally recognized fashion house which is a tremendous achievement to have grown from a small home-based business. At CHD they strive to live up to the cause of being a conscious brand that supports sustainable growth of local textile by creating employment opportunities to weavers, tailors, and artisans from all corners of the country. They not only strive to preserve the unique art and craft culture but also ensure the continuity of the evolution of art. Their designs are inspired by traditional methods but at the same time innovating new patterns and experimenting with new fabrics and natural dye colors. Keeping ancient values in mind and at the same time working towards modernization and fusing the two to redefine Bhutanese textile is what CHD stands for. Their collections make great souvenirs for classy women. When traveling to Bhutan, do not forget to check out their showroom at Namgay Heritage Hotel in Thimphu.