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 about 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 taken on traditional nomad costumes.
Swirling, voluminous skirts featured in many of the outfits, either elaborately patterned or in blocks of vivid color.
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-colored carpets.
There were participants from distant countries such as Indonesia, Morocco and France.
During a three-day program about 40 designers showcased their work.
“The World Nomad Fashion Festival is the first and only project in Central Asia and some European countries that glorifies the civilization of nomads,” the event’s founder, Nazira Begim, said.
“It was created in 2019. This idea belongs to me. The project is one of my old dreams.
“When I organized it for the first time, without knowing anyone personally, I invited designers from 17 countries and held it also on the shores of Issyk-Kul lake.”
Ms Begim is keen to spotlight Kyrgyzstan’s fashion industry.