Thursday Jul 7, 2022
Thursday Jul 7, 2022

The highs and Lows of Fashion Education in Nepal

In conversation with the students and faculty of IEC, Nepal's leading Fashion school, we hear of the ups and downs of being a fashion student in Nepal

2022 Mar 03, 16:36,
Internal fashion show in IEC college. Photo: IEC College

The Fashion Industry of Nepal only remains afloat because of the passion of designers for their work. They are breaking stereotypes and gaining more popularity in recent days. Today in order to better understand this wave of fashion in the nation, we converse with IEC, the first college to introduce fashion and interior design courses in Nepal in 2009.

This college is affiliated to Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Malaysia and duly approved by the Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal and is also recognized by the Tribhuwan University. Shailaja Adhikary, the CEO of IEC college informs, “We started IEC first with IEC school in 1997, an institution where we provide a 15 months diploma course for fashion and interior design.”

Shailaja Adhikary, CEO of IEC College. 
Photo: Instagram
Shailaja Adhikary, CEO of IEC College. Photo: Instagram

“We try to make our students all-rounders. We not only focus on making them a designer but teach them how to be an entrepreneur and marketing expert. We teach them how to approach and present themselves before an organization ”, she adds. Those who want to do business in Nepal, the college even teaches them about the textile, fabric, fashion scenario and business of Nepal.

Mehek Agrawal.
Photo: Instagram
Mehek Agrawal. Photo: Instagram

Speaking to Mehek Agrawal, one of the students of IEC, she said that, “I was highly inspired by my mother, ever since my childhood. I have seen her creating different artistic things, and that’s what led me to choose this field.” Adding more, “As I grew up and got to know about fashion a little more, I really got motivated by a Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen”.

Agrawal says, fashion designing is a platform to showcase their creativity, as it helps them to communicate with their thoughts through their design. “I can’t say exactly what sparked my interest in fashion, but I know that creativity comes from all over the things we see and even from our fantasies that we have created”, she adds.

Photo: IEC College
Photo: IEC College

The students of IEC get an assignment based on the subject they are learning. The college provides them with a foundation which then becomes a base for their exploration. “A few days back, we had our jewelry designing assignment. And we are marked according to our presentation and the submission”, she explains.

According to Agrawal, studying fashion designing requires a blend of being quite studious and fun at the same time. There’s a misconception when someone hears the word ‘fashion designing’, they automatically think that it is only about ramp or drawing. But it’s more than that, it’s an art.

Anupama Shrestha.
Photo: Instagram
Anupama Shrestha. Photo: Instagram

Similarly, Anupama Shrestha, another student at IEC says, “My adolescence days went by playing with paper dolls and making dresses for them with my friends. Gradually, I spent most of my time cutting clothes for my mom and myself, trying to turn them into something interesting.”

“Bollywood movies used to inspire me a great deal. And maybe that's why I used to take my mother's shawl and drape it like a saree, according to my mom. So, these are the reasons why I joined IEC as a fashion student”, she adds.

According to Shrestha, being all-rounder, at first it was hard for her to decide her degree. But deep down she always knew that she wanted to be a part of the glamor field, as makeup, styling and dressing up from head to toe used to make her happy.

Photo: IEC College
Photo: IEC College

“As a fashion designer student, you never know when inspiration will strike. Honestly, I don’t have any one particular inspiration but I do look upto many designers and brands like Zendaya, Manish Rai, Komal Pandey, Masaba Gupta, Dior, Jacquemus, Sabyasachi and so on”, she said.

At IEC, they not only learn how to create illustrations but also learn how to create 3D form of the illustration as in sewing the designs. From makeup classes to accessory designing classes and digital illustration to pattern making, sketching, rendering, styling projects, creative development, surface ornamentation, textile, construction, and event management there's a whole package which needs a lot of dedication and hard work.

Photo: IEC College
Photo: IEC College

There are days when the students have sleepless nights and rush hours, but in the end it's all worth it when they get to showcase their hard work through their design. Getting to design, sew and wear their own creations, they feel really proud of themselves. One needs a lot of dedication, patience and passion to pursue and accomplish these lofty dreams.


Fashion Industry of Nepal Designers breaking stereotypes fashion interior design IEC college textile fabric fashion scenario jewelry designing assignment ramp drawing sketching
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