Young Fashion Designers Bring Tradition up to Date

TURKESTAN – Students of the Design and Fine Arts department of International Hodja Akhmet Yassavi Kazakh-Turkish University are engaged in designing stylish 21st century clothes that reflect national traditions.


Young kazakh designers presented their view on ethnic clothes.

“Against the background of faceless dresses, which are sold in great quantities in our shops, an ethnic style captivates with its uniqueness and individuality,” said Professor Dinara Esenalieva. “Many Kazakh designers come back in their collections to the history of national costumes of Turkic peoples, combining ethnic motifs and colours. Kazakh clothing should enter into every home and be widely used in daily life. It should become an indispensable attribute of festivals and celebrations.”

Teachers at the university try to inspire their students, increase their interest in the ethnic roots of their ancestors, and encourage them to bring, along with the national dress, a piece of the “Kazakh soul” into every home. In the Tengri student club, which has existed under the auspices of the university for three years, students are fully involved in the world of fashion. Here, under the tutelage of experienced masters, they create Turkic peoples’ costumes. Specialists from Turkey Professor Denise Bekir and Ebru Temurleng help the young designers in the decoration of the national clothes.

1366805328Celebrating state and religious holidays in the national Kazakh dress has become a tradition in many families in Kazakhstan, but it’s not easy to find or buy a unique, colourful and beautiful national outfit. That may soon change as these young designers begin to practice professionally. In theses and diploma papers, students develop new projects based on national costumes, including traditional wedding dresses, outerwear, hats or the suits of Kazakh khans and warriors. They use a variety of materials, including felt.

Each year, students take part in various competitions, displaying their collections. They have won numerous awards and certificates from prestigious competitions, including from contests held in Moscow and Turkey. The young designers boldly experiment with different fabrics and finishes, including wood beads, soutache, silk and metallic thread. The design techniques of the novice stylists are full of colour and expression.

Graduate Nurgali Ospanov has now become a popular expert in ethic design. He has participated in international exhibitions of ethnic clothes in Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkey and India, every time winning the hearts of the juries with his accessories for national costumes. Details that show his touch include “kapsyrma” (flat inlaid or embossed silver clasps), “beldіk” (belts), “syrga” (earrings), “bilezik” (bracelets), “shashbau” (ribbons with ornaments), all of which add charm and originality to traditional designs.

Students past and present of this Design and Fine Arts department are building a rich collection of unique modern clothes with traditional influences.

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