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World Nomads Fashion festival mixes ancient and modern

Drawing on Kyrgyzstan’s millennia-old nomadic culture, the World Nomads Fashion festival, now in its third year, mixes the ancient with modern and features designers and fashion-industry figures from around 20 countries.



July 25, 2022
25 July 2022

On the shore of one of the world’s deepest lakes, high up in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, models strutted and sashayed in outfits mixing the ancient and modern at the World Nomads Fashion festival.

The event, now in its third year, drew designers and fashion-industry figures from around 20 countries to shimmering Lake Issyk-Kul to admire outfits drawing on Kyrgyzstan’s millennia-old nomadic culture.

The stiletto heels worn by some models wouldn’t be suitable for a proper nomad, but some of their elaborate headdresses that seemed to mimic the horns of cattle were takes on traditional nomad costume. Swirling, voluminous skirts featured in many of the outfits, either elaborately patterned or in blocks of vivid colour.

Along with the couture, the show offered visitors the chance to see an array of yurts – the wood-framed tents of skin or felt characteristic of nomads – and brightly coloured carpets.

An outfit from Indonesian designer Akeyla Naraya. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Kyrgyz women wearing elechecks, the traditional Kyrgyz headdress for married women, show how to wrap them during the Ak-Moor Fest Ethno-festival in Ornok. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Kyrgyz women wrap up elechecks. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
A Kyrgyz woman lays out carpets in front of yurt houses. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Models display outfits from a collection during the World Nomads Fashion festival on July 23. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Model wears Kyrgyzstan designer Nazira Talaibekovan. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Models prepare themselves backstage. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
A Kyrgyz woman prays inside a a traditional Kyrgyz yurt. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Members of a Kyrgyz folk group perform. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
A Kyrgyz woman decorates a carpet. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Members of the Russian Folk Dance Ensemble of Adygea perform. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Folk Dance Ensemble of Adygea perform. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
A model wears Kyrgyzstan designer Irina Unsapann. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
A member of the Russian Folk Dance Ensemble of Adygea performs. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
Models wait to take to the runway. (Vladimir Voronin/AP)
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