The Fall Winter 2022 collection is the tale of two places: where I am and where I’m from. Where I live and where I long for. It is my New York love song to Nepal. In both places, I have found and formed an infallible family. Family is the one we’re born into, the one we choose, and the one we never expected. It’s our friends and communities; it is a mother’s hug and a colleague’s deep laugh. In both places and embraces, I have also found inspiration, especially in the form of women. Both landscapes are defined by feminine strength, matriarchal power, the grace of millions of mothers. The meshing of my most treasured memories on both edges of the world, the women from both sides that have defined it, has formed the sweet sacred reverie that is this collection.
It has been a few years––long years––since I’ve last been to Nepal, a pandemic absent of voyage. The longing for my motherland is like an insatiable craving, but I still visit her in my daydreams, childhood memories, and treasured photo albums. The beauty of my motherland is often glossed over, and with it, her women overlooked. So here I seek to tell the visual tale of the radiant, celestial, and glorious women that define the nation.
Telling the story of Nepal is also telling the story of mother earth: her landscapes and cliffs, her vast flora and fauna, her high peaks and low valleys. Like life, she ebbs and flows, has her ups and downs. Her peak, like our most joyous moments is symbolized by the psychedelic florals of the Nepali rhododendron printed on charmeuse and hand-draped sarongs. Her lows mirror our inner reflections, the moments in which we understand the impermanence of our lives and realities, nothing more than fleeting dreams to wish upon and be grateful for.
She, like the leopard, embodies femininity with a bite, her tale celebrated through abstract animal print and tiger imbued sequins. Nepali village women are re-envisioned in a cosmopolitan New York setting full of impossible dreamers. The cutout details of their traditional blouses are translated into sensual, teasing glimpses of skin utilizing soft and fluid fabrics, creating sleeveless choli gowns and cowl neck dresses. The colors are informed by their jewelry choices, an exterior display of their interior magnetism, a gemstone palette of emerald and amethyst expressed on silk matelassé and lamé chiffon. As this collection is inspired by the everyday Nepali woman, its couture details are expressed in wearable ways, gold dome button details on unpretentious silhouettes.
The impermanence of our reality leaves us no choice but to dream, to believe in ourselves like we would believe in a lover, to be inherently optimistic about everything that we seek. That inspiration comes from a woman. It’s the woman who raised me and lady liberty who welcomed me. It’s the leader who births an industry-defining company and the woman who brings a new family. It’s the Olympian who wins gold medals and the girl on the street who defies all odds just by existing. It’s the woman who loves and the woman who leads us into the future. She’s where we came from, she’s with us now, she’s where we’re going. She’s you. She always has been. It’s you. It always has been.