A stylist prepares a model for Kyrgyzstan's ProFashion television show. (All photos: David Trilling)
On a recent morning in Bishkek’s 12th “microdistrict,” a neighborhood of Soviet-era housing blocks a little past their prime, a small beauty salon was overflowing with chiseled young men sporting carefully cultivated stubble and statuesque women in short shorts.
It may seem an unlikely place for haute couture, but these fashion models are being fitted, and filmed, for Kyrgyzstan’s first reality TV show—devoted to just that. The creators of the program, called, “ProFashion,” believe that Kyrgyzstan, with a blossoming textile industry and a biannual Fashion Week well established in its capital, is ready for a televised fashion competition that will show a new face of Kyrgyz design—neither the “ethno-wear” available to tourists nor the pragmatic garments exported to neighboring Kazakhstan and Russia.
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David Trilling is EurasiaNet's Central Asia editor.
Kyrgyzstan: Reality Fashion Show Spotlights Homegrown Talent