Dashain, Nepal’s biggest festival is still three months away. But tailors and cloth store owners in the country are already smiling their ways to the bank. And it’s the Daura Suruwal, the Himalayan nation’s national dress, that’s the reason behind this sudden burst of early festivity.
Come July 17 — beginning of the new fiscal year — civil servants in all offices would be seen wearing a new dress code as per a recent government decision to bring about uniformity. Henceforth there would be no difference among senior bureaucrats and peons — at least in their attires.
The topmost official may alight from his Pajero and the one carrying his files reach office on a bicycle, but once inside the government buildings it would be difficult to tell them apart from what’s on their persons. And here’s what one could expect to see them attired in.
Male civil servants would wear the national dress with a cap or dark blue suit accompanied by a white shirt and tie (it’s not a must) and black shoes. And their women colleagues would be seen in shirt and trousers, sari and blouse or kurta-salwar of dark blue hue and a deep violet shawl.
There would be variations considering Nepal’s diverse topography. The coat would not be compulsory for men in the warm Terai plains and civil servants of both sexes working in the cold hilly regions can wear jackets.
But the decision to make uniform mandatory for all 78,000 government employees would not come cheap. An annual dress allowance of NRs 7500 per employee would cost the cash-strapped exchequer NRs 0.5 billion every year.
The uniform code has given a fresh lease of life to the Daura Suruwal, a centuries old dress that gained popularity after Prime Minister Jung Bahadur Rana wore it during his successful trip to Britain and France in 1850.
It became the national dress in 1961 and was made compulsory for senior government officials. But with time Daura Suruwal’s popularity started waning and it remained in vogue only during official functions. The old breed of politicians however continued patronizing the dress.
Now with the government’s dress code in place, it’s set to make a visible comeback. There has been no complain against the move yet and business is booming for Rastriya Daura Suruwal, a tailoring establishment in Kathmandu specialising in the national dress.
Tailoring centers go online
KATHMANDU, Aug 21:
Despite downturn in business, tailoring centers in the Valley are taking initiative to tap international market by offering custom made apparels online.
Two tailoring centers – Rastriya Daura Suruwal Tailors and Anil Emporium – have already started online service through mucha.com, while B K Shrestha Tailoring Center is in the process of launching its online service.
Rastriya Daura Suruwal Tailors, which is in business for the past five decades, has already started receiving orders through its daurasuruwal.com.
“We´ve launched online service not only to promote our business but also to make people aware of the history and importance of daura suruwal – the national dress of Nepal,” said Hera Bahadur Shakya proprietor of Rastriya Daura Suruwal Tailors.
Shrestha, however, said high delivery charge is hindering the growth of their online service. “The delivery charge is almost twice the cost of the daura suruwal,” Shakya said, adding, “It is because of high delivery charge that people residing abroad order daura suruwal and ask their near and dear ones to send it to them with people going abroad.”
By visiting daurasuruwal.com, interested people can give measurements and select designs, fabrics and color for their daura surwal.
Rastriya Daura Suruwal Tailors is not the only tailoring center making custom-made apparels available online. Anil Emporium at Bishal Bazaar has been catering to people living abroad since a year ago through mucha.com. “We´ve been selling shirting, suiting and other accessories for the past year. But orders for custom-made apparels is less than one percent of the total orders that we receive,” said Prashant Gurung, system manager at muncha.com. He, however, added that they receive more orders during festive occasions.
Similarly, B K Shrestha Tailoring Center (STC) is also planning to sell apparels online. “We are launching online shopping portal by the end of this year. Not just shirting and suiting, we will make our entire product range available online,” said Binod Shrestha, proprietor of B K Shrestha Tailoring Center.
Besides shirting and suiting, B K Shrestha Tailoring Center also deals with readymade garment, formal wears and accessories.
As Published on 2011-08-21 21:02:02 in REPUBLICA DAILY
BORED with regular outfits and looking for something different for your wardrobe? You may want to check out the handmade garment collection at Rewas Nepali Handloom Collection in Kupondole, Lalitpur. The half-shirts, T-shirts, pants, trousers, tops, ethnic wear and other products at the store make an impressive line-up. All the clothes at Rewas are made of cotton. Besides fashion appeal, these outfits have varied advantages.
According to Sumina Pokhrel of Rewas, the material used to make them absorb sweat and so they are comfortable during the summer. These outfits are also lighter in weight. Pokhrel said that the designs they create by dyeing and knitting are exclusive. All the products at the store have been made by their own staff, a majority of whom are women. As the clothes at Rewas are handmade, they are comparatively more expensive than mass-produced factory products. According to Pokhrel, most of the customers at Rewas are foreigners. “Of the total customers, 70 percent are tourists,” said Pokhrel. “However, locals who have tried our products are also coming back regularly.” Lack of awareness about handmade garments, according to Pokhrel, has kept away domestic customers. The store also entertains individual and institutional orders. “We offer almost all kinds of handmade outfits in various sizes and also offer customised service,” added Pokhrel.
The half and full shirts at Rewas are priced from Rs 400 to Rs 600. The trousers cost Rs 350 to Rs 600. Besides garments, Rewas stocks a wide variety of handicraft products like bags, mats, key rings, decoratives and napkins, among others. In today’s edition of Bazaar, The Kathmandu Post features some of the handmade summer outfits available at Rewas Nepali Handloom Collection.