Bishkek Fashion Week

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, even Kyrgyzstan has a Fashion Week. In fact, more than 150 Fashion Weeks a year are organized all around the world. Still, having never attended any sort of fashion show myself, I was curious to see what sort of fashion I’d get to see here in Bishkek (a city not exactly known worldwide for its style).

I will admit that I only went for a few of the earlier days, so maybe I didn’t get the full-fledged fashion experience than if I had gone to the later days (when more professional and well-known designers showed their collections). But overall, it wasn’t bad. Some collections were not that good, but they were solid attempts for mostly student designers. There was nothing hilariously tragic. Some collections really surprised me, like the kid’s collection of bright colored, b-boy/b-girl clothes where the models wore headphones and carried boom boxes and CD players. Or, my favorite, a collection of dresses made out of 35mm film and modeled by a man (and some fierce ladies).

Some other highlights of attending Bishkek Fashion Week were getting my very first press pass (whaaaaat?) and getting to see one of my two favorite models in Kyrgyzstan, Adelina! (Sadly, I wasn’t around when Aikol was strutting her stuff, but I saw photographic evidence that she worked the runway.)

Child models who have better cell phones than me.

If no photographers were around to take their pictures, most of the models were equipped with their own cameras to document any sudden urge to pose.

As sneaky as I tried to be, most models were expertly trained to strike a fierce expression whenever they sensed a camera pointed at them.

For this collection, some of these kids successfully volleyed tennis balls back and forth to each other on the runway. Perhaps it was a distraction from their “exsellent” shirts.

This model took full advantage of her time in the spotlight, taking a full 30 seconds to twirl and pose at the end of the runway.

Adelina seemed to have overbooked herself one night, having to change clothes in record time before immediately walking back out on stage on more than a few occasions.

One of the most unconventional collections was this one, with looks using film negatives and empty film cartridges.

The designer’s most controversial decision may have been to use a male model to present one of his dresses.

It seemed that many audience members needed a closer look once the male model strutted past them, while one person in the audience seemed to have seen enough.

3 replies on “Bishkek Fashion Week”

  1. Love these photos! I also just found out your blog!
    I’m very new to Kyrgyzstan culture and have a question for you. I work in the fashion industry and in my company they might be transferring a few of us to Bishkek for a couple of months and I’m a little hesitant to take the job or not due to me being a transgender woman(I pass fully and can change my documentation to state that I am fully female) However I know everyone is different and has different views but what does the majority of the culture think of lgbt issues?
    I don’t plain on being out and just keeping to myself however I’m not sure if it would be safe for me if something were to happen.

    Thanks again! I look foreword to talking with you soon!

    1. Hi Vivien! I’ll send you an email with my thoughts and some contacts, but I think you should definitely come out here!

  2. HI,

    This is sheeraz Riaz from Karachi, Pakistan, I have an event management company, we have done fashion shows, corporate event etc, I am very much interested to get some models from Kyrgyzstan to introduce in Pakistan and I want to arrange a fashion show in Bishkek with Pakistan fashion designers and models.

    I been in bishkek 3 times but I need a help to get in contact with fashion industry in Bishkek.

    Thank You

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