beads: more than just a marriage statement

For a long time I have been meaning to post about one of my favorite places in Nepal: the Kathmandu Bead Market.

What’s a better time than now, on the day that I wrote an article about the very same thing for my Himalayan Times column, Style Watch.  Check out an excerpt from that article:

One of my favorite places in Kathmandu as of late is the bead market in Indra Chowk.

I realize that traditionally women flock to this market (and other bead sellers) to purchase marriage beads.  So as an unmarried foreigner it might seem strange that this is on my list of favorite places.

I have been making frequent visits there recently for my fashion research and development—both work related and personal (I can’t resist a few new pieces of jewelry every once and a while).  I have found this market to be incredibly inspirational with the colorful array of beads, the hustle and bustle of the customers and stall owners, and the wide variety of pre-made jewelry that is laid out before me.  To say the very least, these things have been working their way into my designing.

The jewelry and beads that are available are incredibly stylish and are a great way to add to any jewelry collection…whether you are married or not.  Plus, in certain situations, it can be highly convenient to give the impression that you are.  Girls, you know what I’m talking about!

One of the (many) great things about the bead market is that there are endless possibilities.  If you are a quick shopper, you can look through the pre-made jewelry; with the beautiful options that are available you know you will find something great.  If customizing and designing is more your thing, then you have every color and quality of bead to choose from.  The best part is that they will make it for you while you wait, and you know the craftsmanship will be impeccable.

Catch a glimpse of what the market is like:

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style watch: a new blog!

Make sure to check out the new Style Watch blog.  I’ll be spending some time over the coming weeks archiving my past articles (the texts and photos of the actual article) from my Himalayan Times TGIF: Style Watch column and will continue to post future articles once they hit the newsstands.

You’ll be able to access this blog at any time with the link on the right hand side of this blog.

get off your layers in style

I know what you’re thinking…but really, this was a title of one of my newspaper articles…  When I first saw it in the paper, I was like OH NO!  People are going to read that and think i’m telling people how to strip in style.  And that is SO not ok for this country!

In all reality, it was just Nepali English and most people reading it, probably did not think it was strange at all.  Let’s just say, that now I try to send in article title ideas.

In any case, this particular article was all about what to do with your layers when you go from the frigid morning into the warm afternoon.  Where do they go?  How do you do it while still being at least somewhat fashionable?  You don’t want to ditch the layers, because you are going to need them when it gets cold again.  This is a major problem here in Kathmandu and definitely is in San Francisco as well (though in SF it’s more, what do I do with the layer when I turn onto a different street…).  I had several readers write in and ask me about this very thing, so I decided to write an article about it.

Basically, the gist of the article without going into a long 500 word article about it, is that shawls are the way to go.  In San Francisco, I always had a scarf, but after coming here, I realize that when it really gets cold, that shawls are the way to go.  Almost every woman, and many men here have them.  You can wrap yourself in them and stay incredibly warm, while remaining fashionable.  There are 8 million colors and motifs to choose from.  The best part, is that even with a medium sized bag, you have a place that is big enough to store it when you aren’t wearing it.  Even when it is 35 degrees (F) a light jacket and a shawl are enough to keep me warm.  It’s pretty great!

Here are some photos from the shawl market in Kathmandu (these are just a few, but there are SO many shawls to choose from) and some of people wearing shawls (even my friend Simon wearing my shawl).

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photos (c) Bethany Meuleners

sparkly sweater vests

Yes…sparkly sweater vests…  When I first saw a guy wearing one of these, I had to look twice.  It’s not just a little sparkle.  It’s full on lurex infused sweater knits.  On men.  I thought that it might just be a fluke, but then I started noticing more and more men, of all ages, wearing them.  That’s when I realized, that this really is a trend/style here.

Here’s a picture of a coconut street vendor sporting the look:

Don't know what to put on in the morning? OF COURSE! The sparkly sweater vest.

This Christmas, rather than an ugly sweater party, I’ll just have a sparkly sweater vest party.  Though, curiously enough, they don’t seem to make them for women?

From this strange trend phenomena stemmed my most recent Himalayan Times article.

I’ve been having a great time with writing the column, which is a part of the Friday lifestyle section of the paper.  I’ve just submitted my 6th article for publication.  In last week’s article I introduced an e-mail for readers to e-mail in and ask questions or give comments.  I’ve already started receiving some and I am starting to incorporate the questions into my articles 🙂

The site finally has it so that I can put links to individual articles on here (you couldn’t even search for them on the site before!).

To fill you in on past articles though, here are some photographs (don’t have a scanner here) of my first 5 articles:

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