Tag Archives: India

“Being the first Prabal Gurung”

The lasted issue of on TNM Magazine featured Prabal Gurung on the cover with his story.

Prabal-Gurung-TNM-Magazine

Prabal Gurung had his inspirations, but it was never his purpose in life to follow anyone’s footsteps. Everyone is born different, but many of us tend to focus on molding ourselves into someone we admire, or someone the society deems a “success”. He very well could have been as big as his inspirations, but that was not what he was aiming for. Prabal was different and he knew it better than anyone else. Regardless, he wasn’t meant to be the next big thing. He was destined to become someone much greater, he was destined to become Prabal Gurung.

Considering the fact that his dream of becoming a fashion designer completely contradicted the norm that benchmarked doctors and engineers as the ultimate occupation, Prabal was headed for a lot of skepticism. He was bullied for being different, and his inclination towards arts and design was never taken well by the all-boys crowd at St. Xavier’s School. But on a positive note, this just might have prepared him well to power through all the adversities of life. No wonder, today he sits high in the global fashion industry as the darling of the sensational New York fashion scene, rubbing shoulders with the A-listers of Hollywood. It is safe to say that right now there aren’t many Nepalese people who can boast of such achievements.

 ” Today he sits high in the global fashion industry as the darling of the sensational New York fashion scene, rubbing shoulders with the A-listers of Hollywood. It is safe to say that right now there aren’t many Nepalese people who can boast of such achievements “

Born in Singapore, Prabal was brought up in Kathmandu but he began his professional design career in India where he spent eight years. He then moved to New York to continue his studies at Parsons The New School for Design. After graduating, Prabal spent two years with Cynthia Rowley’s design and production teams. Soon after, he was appointed design director at the iconic Bill Blass. For many pursuant in the fashion field, this would have been considered an apex point in their careers. No one would have thought any less of him if he had decided to ride it out till his retirement. Prabal however, had bigger plans. He resigned the post he held for five years and launched his own collection – prabal gurung.

After that there was no looking back and it’s been a continuous ride uphill. It is no small achievement when your brand is the choice of a variety of powerful women from the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Rachel Weisz, Anne Hathaway, Demi Moore, Jennifer Lawrence and Sarah Jessica Parker to Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge. Needless to say, Prabal Gurung’s career has already reached dizzying heights of success. Although he remains firmly rooted to his Nepali ancestry, there is no denying that India and more so New York has had a huge role in his accomplishments.

“Being a global citizen, I have my roots in Nepal. However, I don’t want to take away the contributions that India has on me. I know the hidden nuances in our culture about that aspect. When I started designing in Nepal, everybody was laughing as they termed design as a “bored housewives’ hobby”. I grew up watching Hindi movies and listening to Hindi music as much as I listen to Nepali music. It has shaped my aesthetics and my love for music and it allowed me to dream. It was in India that I found out that there is a legitimate career to be made and when I launched my collection, India was the first to embrace me, so I don’t want to take away that from me. And finally you can say that I found myself in New York. America gave me an opportunity to be myself, live my dream and in complete honesty, a story like mine wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else in the world. I’ve lived in America for 14 years and accepting the citizenship has been emotional, natural progression in terms of business and profession.”

” Although he remains firmly rooted to his Nepali ancestry, there is no denying that India and more so New York has had a huge role in his accomplishments “

Family plays an important role in every child’s development and it was no different in Prabal’s case. Prabal highly credits his mother to be his guiding source of inspiration. Considering the conservative mentality of the time period and society he grew up in, the career path he chose wasn’t going to be easy to follow. Almost everyone wanted him to conform to the basics and be normal. But his mother encouraged him through every step, and rather embraced him by convincing him he was perfect just the way he was. With the support of his mother and the rest of his family, there wasn’t much the world could do to stop his ascent. Prabal did not have everything handed to him; he had to work harder than the rest. Had he quit sketching, concentrated more on improving his grades like his teachers encouraged him to, his initials would have probably never acknowledged a second glance. 

With over a decade of hard work in the profession, he is now in a position where he excels at what he does and is a prominent figure in the fashion industry. Now a major source of pride for the entire country, Prabal has been doing his part to give back to the country as well. Utilizing the platform he has achieved, he along with his sister, brother and like-minded friends founded the “Sikshya Foundation Nepal” to give back to the society and education.

“I realized that the platform I had and the attention that I was getting, it wasn’t fair to keep it to myself. I wanted to turn that to something I always was avid about. The satisfaction I get out of this is amazing. It’s been such a gratifying, fulfilling, positive and spiritual feeling. I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to do this.”

” Utilizing the platform he has achieved, he along with his sister, brother and like-minded friends founded the “Sikshya Foundation Nepal” to give back to the society and education “

There is no doubt that his resilience, passion and personality played a huge role in his success. There are only a handful of Nepalese people who we can look up to as having highly succeeded by following their passion and Prabal Gurung simply personifies the agenda. Not being the one to let herd mentality stir his thoughts, Prabal never let his humble origins restrain his boundless dreams. 

“I’ve never felt less than. We should remember that we have a rich culture and heritage and we are no less than the rest of the world. The fact that I am from Nepal gave me the identity and great advantage as the first designer in New York from Nepal. We have to change our mindset. Its not a question of bigger or lesser but its just people are different. We need to embrace our different qualities and that’s when we realize our strengths and that will take us places.”

We love reveling whenever our fellow countrymen succeed in putting Nepal on the global map, and Prabal is currently the epitome of that success on a global scale. He has also opened doors to people who dare to think out of the box, and he now serves as a fine inspiration to succeed by following one’s passion. A firm believer of hard work and determination, this basically sums up his attitude towards success.

” I wish we could simply be supportive of each other and enjoy everyone’s success by following our dreams and encouraging and complementing each other. The minute you start thinking and be truly happy for someone’s success, success finds you! ”

“I feel honored that I am able to inspire so many young passionate people. You need to believe that there’s enough room for everyone and you need to define your own success. Always aspire to become the next YOU, not someone else. I firmly believe that necessity is the mother of all inventions. It is time for us to figure out who we are and what we stand for. We need to get out of the typical Nepali mentality and stop pitying ourselves that we’re born in a country that has been on the receiving end for grants from other countries. We should strive to be able to compete with the rest of the world. I wish we could simply be supportive of each other and enjoy everyone’s success by following our dreams and encouraging and complementing each other. The minute you start thinking and be truly happy for someone’s success, success finds you!”

                                                                 Some quick Q&A’s

Best place to eat in Nepal?

– My mom’s kitchen

Which is the first album you remember buying?

– Umm… I’m pretty sure it was ‘Like a Virgin’ by Madonna

What do you drive?

– I don’t drive.

Which is your favorite workout?

– I would say a cardio and weight circuit.

Your favorite drink?

– Vodka, soda with lots of lemon and a dash of lime.

What do you always tend to lose?

– Bad memories.

Something you don’t leave home without.

– My phone.

Sweet or Savory?

– Savory.

What is your favorite rude word?

– I don’t know, I guess you have to ask other people.

What’s the most illegal thing you’ve ever done?

– I was caught cheating in school.

Do you have any phobias?

– I’m terrified of heights.

Any celebrities that you’ve met and couldn’t believe that you were actually meeting them?

– Oprah Winfrey at the start of my career. She’s been a source of inspiration for me. I was asked to make something for her from my first collection for the cover of O magazine (Oprah Winfrey Magazine), which she was sharing with Ellen DeGeneres. She loved it and it was an incredible moment for me. And also the first lady, Michelle Obama- who’s been a great supporter of new American designers and has put American fashion on a global map. I’ve had the chance to thank her for wearing my design on behalf of the entire nation.

When would you start designing clothes for men? Which men clothing line do you like the most?

– Menswear is definitely in the works. I like A.P.C, Junya Watanabe, Comme des Garçons, and Dior Homme.

How would you define your personal style?

– Non-fussy, timeless, easy, effortless, comfortable.

Where have you travelled recently? 

– Being a beach person I travelled to Anguilla recently and I can safely say it has the perfect beach. London was incredible experience as well since I hadn’t been there in 12 years.

Are you a believer of luck?

– I’ve never been a believer of luck. To me luck is when ‘Preparation meets opportunity’. Things just don’t happen. You need to prepare for things, that’s when you’ll meet up with an opportunity.

Have you ever felt that you wanted to pursue something else rather than being a fashion designer?

– I didn’t. This is all I’ve ever wanted to do. Life is a journey and I want to enjoy it and the process. Since I wasn’t good in studies, I was more inclined towards arts, music and creative side of things.

What’s been your source of inspiration for the designs that you do every season? 

– It comes from everywhere – music, art, books, artists, places I’ve visited but the one thing that remains constant is the girl that I’m designing for.

Any fond memories of Kathmandu?

– I remember night-outs in Thamel with my brother and sister- whom I’ve always been very close, hanging out with cousins, eating ice-cream at Nirulas in Durbarmarg, listening to Madonna and going for long drives to Budhanilkantha. Kathmandu was, is and always will be an amazing place.

P.S : Only 1 weeks left to vote for your favourite blog.

Make sure your blog and the blogs you read are nominated so they can win the title.

Good luck everyone!!!

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2013

Movie time

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

If you are up for some laugh, watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was the movie that wasn’t in my to-watch list but I am so glad that I decided to watch it.

An adaptation of Deborah Moggach’s 2004 novel, These Foolish Things, the narrative is centered on a group of older people. The story is of British retirees who travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. But when they arrive in India, they are shocked that the resort they were expecting is nowhere near what they saw on the internet instead there stands a dubious, run- down hotel in Jaipur, India.

And the story just gets better form there.

Evelyn (Dame Judi Dench) is a newly widowed housewife, looking to rebuild her life. Douglas and his wife Jean (Bill Nighy and Penelope Winton) are unable to afford a more conventional retirement. Muriel (Dame Maggie Smith) is in India to have a hip replaced. While Graham (Tom Wilkinson) is a retired high courts judge: looking to reconnect with his youth. All the while, Sonny (Dev Patel) is looking to maintain the survival of the hotel and his relationship with Sunaina (Tena Desae). It is during this experience late in life, that these individuals rediscover themselves.

It’s good to watch a film that doesn’t treat retirement aged people as idiots. I respect the older generation and it is nice to watch a movie which does value the wisdom and experience of older people.

Both me and my husband loved the story and laughed so much during the movie

Let me know if you like it 🙂

Loopers

I really want to salute the one who made the trailer of this movie. I am not saying it is a bad movie but the trailer is better than the real movie.

I hadn’t been to the cinema lately but when I saw the trailer for Looper for the first time on TV, I decided that would be the next movie I would watch. Normally I am not a big of Sci-Fi but this one seemed different so I was sucked in by the trailer.

So here is the Synopsis:

In 2044, the United States has suffered economic collapse, causing severe social decay and growth in organized crime. In addition, a strange mutation has occurred in 10% of the population, giving them minor telekinetic powers, manifested by their ability to float small objects. They are referred to as TKs. Thirty years into the future in 2074, time travel is invented, but is immediately outlawed. However, because by that point tracking technology has rendered it nearly impossible to dispose of bodies secretly, crime bosses turn to time travel to send their targets to the past to be killed using “loopers”: hired guns paid in silver to kill whoever is sent to them. The victims have bags over their heads, and silver bars strapped to their backs. When crime bosses want to end a looper’s contract, they send his older version back to be killed by his younger self, referred to as “closing the loop”.

Except when looper Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) stares down the barrel at a version of himself that is thirty years older, Old Joe (Bruce Willis) outsmarts him and so begins a cat and mouse chase where there are multiples of each species and most of them aren’t called Joe.

I know it is a bit confusing but when you watch the movie, you will get the idea.

For me the movie was good but at times it was really slow. It is definitely not an action movie but if you are into sci-fi I think you will love it.

My husband loved it and I liked it so now you tell me your verdict.

2011 SAFF Championship

2011 South Asian Football Federation Cup is underway right now in New Delhi, India. It is so nice to see so many of my friends following the game even though they are not in Nepal. My Facebook wall is flooded with game updates right now and I am happy to see so much enthusiasm. Nepal has always had lots of soccer fans and now I can see how passionate they are as well.

After the game, most of my friends had status that said :” Proud of Nepali soccer team. Semi finals now”. Also when I updated my status about the game, there were lots of likes and comments.

There are eight teams in this championship, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

They are divided into two groups as below.

Nepal is doing well so far. One of the best goal from Nepal was by Sagar Thapa against Bangladesh . 

 

 That goal was the winning goal for Nepal which helped Nepal reach Semi final now after the  match with Pakistan was a draw yesterday.

So far the tally looks like below.  

So for Semi final game, Nepal will play the winner of Group A on 9th December. I will be watching and supporting them. Most likely they will be playing against India, a very strong team so wishing Nepali team all the luck. Hope they can pass this point and get into the Final.

  Go Nepal!!!! 

My love for shoes

After we got engaged, and AS was coming here, he went to see my parents. One of the things my mum warned him about was how many pairs of shoes I have. I know it’s funny, out of all the things my mum could have said to him; she remembered to mention my shoes.

Every time my parents visit me here in Sydney, I try to clean up my wardrobe and the shoe racks. So my mum hasn’t actually seen all my shoes but she still thinks I have too many of them.

I might be highly inspired by character like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City or Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic but I know I live in the real world. I don’t have 100s of pairs of Jimmy Choos or Manolo-Blahniks. Neither will I buy the latest issue of Vogue instead of buying dinner, max out my credit card while shopping or become a shoe lady .But I just love shoes.

I think I started buying lots of shoes when I started wearing dresses. I thought it would be cool to have matching shoes and handbag like in the movies. So every time I go shopping I buy a pair or two. Thus started my shoe collection.

Once I started going on holidays overseas, my collection boomed. When I went to the US, I saw that all the shoes we buy here were 50% or even cheaper in the US so I had to buy as much as I could carry. And it was the same with my holidays to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India and Nepal.

I love going through the shoe sections of a magaine and checking out what is on this season. The best part is to see a shoe similar to mine in the magazine.

I had never counted the number of shoes in my collection. When we were moving the last time, AS was really curious as to how many pair of shoes I owned so he stared counting them but he stopped when it reached 100. He said “I give up now!”. So now I know that I own more than 100 pairs of shoes.

I own all types of shoes: High Heels, Ballet Flats, Wedges, Ankle Boots, Tall Boots , Open Toe Dress Heels, Low Heel Pumps, Summer Sandals, Evening Shoes, T-straps, Ankle-Straps, Sneakers and even Sports Shoes for workouts. I have shoes in every color of the rainbow and even shades in between.

It really feels good when I open my shoe rack and find the shoes that goes perfectly with my outfit. That always makes me smile.

I think I will never stop buying shoes as there will always be new models and new styles on the market but I have slowed down a bit after my wedding.

If you have watched the movie Sex and the City and remember the scene where Mr Big takes Carrie to their new penthouse and shows her the new walk-in wardrobe, that’s the moment my heart nearly stopped because that is exactly what I want. To have a walk-in wardrobe with one whole wall just for my shoes.

 I hope one day my dream will come true.

Till then – “If the shoe fits… buy it in every color.”