Monday, January 8, 2018

Ladies of Kathmandu (Nepal 2017-03)

Hanging around at Asan Chowk, Kathmandu. Photograph with Leica IIIC on Tmax 400 film.
At the Asan Chowk, October 2017.
Dear readers, I have examined (so to speak) the ladies of Kathmandu before. But I could not resist another survey in case they had changed since my 2011 trip.
Taking in the view at Asan Chowk, Kathmandu
The ladies in question are almost exclusively European (or Western). Many of them have poofy hair, as if they stepped in from the 1970s. Well, some parts of Kathmandu do look like the 1970s, although the rapid rebuilding after the terrible 2015 earthquakes is changing the city rapidly. I concluded that for Kathmandu's lovelies, color photography really is more effective.

It is strange how lovely lingerie
Can affect a gal's false modesty
If she's wearing silk and satin,
Satin and silk.

Though she knows that boys are evil imps
Yet she yearns to give those boys a glimpse
If she's wearing silk and satin,
Satin and silk.

You cannot expect a lady to exert that certain pull
If she's wearing cotton stockings
And her bloomers are made of wool,
But a woman's woes are at an end
And she's all prepared to make a friend
If she's wearing silk and satin,
She's for pettin' and for pattin'
If she's wearing silk and satin, satin and silk.

It is strange what undergarments do
To convert a maiden's point of view
If she's wearing silk and satin,
Satin and silk.
She will never say her pride was hurt
Should a breeze blow by and lift her skirt
If she's wearing silk and satin,
Satin and silk.

"Satin and Silk" from Silk Stockings, Music: Cole Porter; Lyrics: Cole Porter; Premiere: Thursday, February 24, 1955
The roads near Chhetrapata and around Indra Chowk (square or intersection) are full of fabric and tailoring shops. This clustering of small industries is similar to what you see in many cities, like Athens. And to my untrained eye, the fashions look much alike, so I wonder how a customer chooses one shop over another?
To prove that I am an unbiased reviewer of fashions, here are the gentlemen of Kathmandu, all decked out in their latest dress. "Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man," (Hamlet, William Shakespeare). In the top picture, I am not sure what the little kids are wearing; clothes for a party or wedding, perhaps?
Cloth vendor, near Chettrapati, Kathmandu (from Nexus 4 phone)
The two black and white photographs are from Kodak Tmax 400 film, exposed with a Leica IIIC camera with 50mm f/2.0 Summitar lens. The color frames are from Kodak Ektar 100 film, from a Yashica Electro 35CC compact rangefinder camera.

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