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Evolving with the times

Mishu Shrestha started her label MISHUS in 2012 and has come a long way since. She pays great attention to detail which is clearly reflected in her collections. She is known to combine artistic motifs on high-quality fabrics. She specialises in cashmere and evening wear. Recently she made quite a buzz by showcasing her collection at Seven Continents of Fashion Show Cannes 2018. Here’s what she has to say about fashion.

What made you venture into fashion designing?
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family environment I got the opportunity to see and learn how to establish successful businesses from scratch. This exposure definitely gave me the confidence to pursue my dream to get engaged in the fashion industry. It was not an easy feat to start with. This was only possible after I completed my course in Fashion and Textile Design from Milan Fashion Campus in 2012.

How do you think your design as well as your personal style has evolved over the years?
The fashion industry is constantly evolving with change of lifestyle, tastes and attitude of people. As designers we need to be ready to constantly evolve and keep up with trends as a result of which even my personal style has evolved over time.

What do you think makes your designs stand out?
During my fashion designing career, I have developed a few signature designs such as handprints, Swarovski and bead embellishments, which make me stand out.

What is your opinion about the current fashion scenario?
Fashion in Nepal is still young, but we are growing and moving in the right direction. We still have a long way to go despite which we have been very active in the last few years. This demonstrates our commitment towards the growing fashion industry that definitely has a bright future ahead.

What do you think is missing?
Honestly speaking I don’t see any originality in Nepal’s fashion as such. The market is completely influenced by Indian attires, as there’s a big demand from consumers. I have nothing against it as I myself wear Indian attires at social functions. But, Nepal’s fashion industry needs more exposure. Also, we lack resources; even small items must be imported. Furthermore there is a lack of support from our government to help find solutions to boost the fashion industry. 

What do you feel about the trend of designers giving outfits to models and celebrities for free use?
Since the market in Nepal is small, the trend of designers giving outfits to models and celebrities for free is certainly a good way of promoting one’s brand, however, I am not certain how much benefit or return there is in such form of publicity. 

Also, the key etiquette celebrities/models need to bear in mind are that they should always take good care of borrowed outfits. They should always respect and realise how much time and effort has gone into creates such work by designers. 

How did Seven Continents of Fashion Show Cannes 2018 happen?
I was approached by Seven Continents of Fashion at the end of January 2018 to showcase in Cannes at the Cannes Film Festival. As I have always dreamt of taking my brand global; this was the perfect opportunity and proudest moment for me to put Nepal on the Global Fashion Map: #Nepalmorethanmountains. 

What was your experience of the event?
It was the first step to launch MISHUS internationally in the beautiful Intercontinental Carlton Hotel, Cannes. As a matter of fact, to have a fashion show in this incredible place was truly a once in a lifetime experience and in some ways overwhelming in a positive way. 

What was the biggest inspiration behind your latest collection?
My latest collection was inspired by Mithila artwork, prayer flags, our own Dhaka fabric and eight auspicious Tibetan symbols.

How much of your personal style is reflected in your collection?
My designs reflect my creativity and uniqueness, however when clients come with a request I make custom designed clothes that reflect my brand.

What is sexy for you?
Sexy doesn’t mean showing skin; sexy means you are confident and loving yourself.

How would you define glamour and elegance?
To me, glamour means looking fabulous, sophisticated and being comfortable. Elegance is simplicity and beauty of style.

A current trend that you are obsessed with…
I am obsessed with sparkles as it has been a major trend on the runways in recent seasons.

Your favourite designers…
Valentino, ETRO and Stella McCartney.

TOP TIPS

The ideal outfit for…
Office wear: Black, navy blue and grey pencil dress with a bright colour trench coat or long coat, and tailored suit either with pants or skirts.
Casual wear: Fitted jeans, black or beige structured blazer, fine cashmere stole/wrap and stilettoes.
Friday night out: One can never go wrong with an all-black look, either a jumpsuit or wrap dress.

Three must-haves in a woman’s wardrobe
Black blazer, a pair of jeans, high heel shoes.

A fashion trend that makes you cringe…
Sagging pants and ripped or distressed jeans look utterly ridiculous.

An accessory that you can’t live without…
Brooch and scarves.