“Whenever you see dhaka fabric, it is visible, it is very Nepali,” says Shrestha, adding that she wants to bridge the disconnect between urban youth and the classic fabric by developing her own patterns and colours to customise dhaka according to the latest trends for items like evening gowns.
Designer Erina Shrestha, founder of Lakhey Nepal (pictured above), focuses more on the fabric itself rather than experimenting with patterns, melding traditional dhaka with her minimalist clothing designs for a nostalgic effect.
“To me, the dhaka fabric is very unusual because of the widely used colour choices. The greens, blues, red and oranges do not go with the aesthetic I want for my brand,” she says, which is why her use of dhaka is limited to the fabric itself, choosing solid colours instead of multi-colour patterns.
Currently, Shrestha is simplifying dhaka with pastel patterns that she plans to use in designing full-length overcoats, preserving the fabric’s simple woven foundation without the distracting colours.
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