Maria Lama - The "art-a-porter"

My passion for textiles....

... began in Kathmandu in 1989 as my newari girlfriend gave me as a gift a couples of old indian "Saris" the traditional indian / nepali handloom fabric which is used as women`s dress in a wrapped shape.

One day while I was looking at the Saris, I got an inspiration: I decided to cut off the pieces of the bottom which would be used as the shwal, which was beautifully hand-wowen and embroidered. So I brought this sari to a star nepalese designer to have the tailoring work done and ordered to make an extraordinary black Kurta Sarawal a typical indian / nepali dress with pants.

The middle part on the frontside of the kurta was supposed to show up this magnificient shwal part of the sari joined with some black handwoven cotton fabric, but unfortunately the tailor did not advice me, that it want be suitable to make such a tied kurta while the shwal part of the sari I used for was a thin fabric. Later as I was walking down the street, the middle part of the kurta broke off, and than I understood myself, that the tailor had to put a lining in order to safeguard the kurta. I was so sad and frustrated about that fact, that I did react heavenly and opened my own designer work - shop and show-room in Boudha, Nepal. So I started designing myself by learning through pure intuition, impulsiveness and artistic mind requesting all the best tailors to join me. Many of my customers who purchased my designs teached me how to improve my techniques.

That's how I created the perfect Kishung Caftan that is unique, one size and unisex.  The length of the sleeves of the Kishung Caftan depends on the originality of the Kira, the women´s traditional  dress of Bhutan. I produced in Nepal and sold worldwide hundreds of Kishung Caftans made by antique rawsilk or cotton.

I have stopped collecting antique Kiras in the beginning of 2000 and nowadays those antique textiles from Bhutan are not longer available or only in rare cases and are most expensive.

My vision is to re-produce my own Kishung Caftan in the coming years made of plain hemp yarn, or with the buddhist sacred patterns and embroideries. Why hemp yarn? Because it is the only natural fabric in this planet which protects us against uv radiation.

Now in 2020, 20 years later, my dream ist to become true. The Kishung Caftan Wellness is in production and will go to a testing period first. I hope to lounch it online very soon.

The Kishung Caftan Wellness will be made in Nepal with hemp yarn / mixed cotton. All yarns are made in Nepal or India. No yarns from China are beeing used. The Kishung Caftan Wellness will be plain and in natural colour with matching Facemask as accessory.

Thanks goes to my international customers, especially to the people of Oklahoma, New York, California, New Mexico, Germany, France, Italy and Japan.

Your Swissmantra 

Maria Lama






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