Traditional Clothing Spikes in Popularity in Kazakhstan and Abroad

ASTANA – People are increasingly emphasizing their individual style through clothing, introducing elements of national flavor in casual outfits in Kazakhstan, according to Khabar TV channel.

Photo credit: Khabar TV video screenshot.

Local designers are creating modern chapans (a traditional gown), trendy camisoles (a traditional styled jacket), and national embroidered takiya (skullcap hat) that have become popular among girls and women. These clothes have become a practical and fashionable wardrobe item that look great and can be worn in everyday life.

Kazakh traditional patterns on clothes are even gaining popularity abroad. According to media manager Arman Davletyarov, today “it is fashionable to be a Kazakh.”

“There are so many different models of the chapan today. First and foremost, it is Kazakh culture and heritage. This is a manifestation of patriotism, love for our roots and nationality and it is just beautiful and stylish,” Davletyarov wrote on his Instagram page on April 2, launching a flash mob to promote Kazakh culture.

Just a few years ago, national clothes were considered as a good gift option for authoritative people and celebrities. Kazakh chapans were presented to famous personalities, such as American actor and film producer Nicolas Cage and football player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mazhilis Deputy Daulet Mukayev. Photo credit:

For Daulet Mukayev, a member of the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh parliament, a traditional Kazakh tubeteika (skullcap hat) has become an integral part of his style. By wearing the national headgear people are showing respect for their nationality, traditions and customs, he said.

Chapan collection by Aida Kaumenova. Photo credit: Aida Kaumenova Instagram page.

“National clothes should be worn not only on holidays like the Nauryz celebrations or religious events, but also in everyday life, so that people get used to it,” Mukayev suggested.

Kazakhstan’s young fashion designer Dias Chapai creates beautiful chapans in a minimalist style at affordable prices. According to him, famous designers offer headgears and clothes with national motifs at high prices, which are not affordable for the average buyer.

“They are beautiful and high-quality, but one cannot wear them everyday. There are also cheap clothing options, they cost a penny, but they are not of very high quality,” Chapai said.

Kazakh designer Aida Kaumenova has been promoting national style and cultural identity in her luxurious collections for more than 20 years. Velour and velvet, used to create national costumes, are considered noble and rich fabrics worldwide, explained Kaumenova.

Kazakh style shopping bags designed by Assel Tanirbergen. Photo credit: Khabar TV video screenshot.

Today, Kazakh fashion designers are trying new things and introducing modern elements in clothing collections. Aspiring designer Assel Tanirbergen created a unique print for a chapan using new technologies.

“Now we can use digital technology and it is not necessary to sew manually and use some primitive methods,” she said.

The creation of national clothes is not only an elegant mix of different textures such as gold threads, precious jewelry, and high-quality accessories, but also painstaking manual labor. Ethnographers emphasize that designers should not forget about the semantic meaning of the dress, ornamentation, fabric or fur, preserving deep symbolic meaning of Kazakh patterns and decoration, which in ancient times indicated social status, wealth and power.

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