CDK’s Chandrika Tamang discusses 'Heavenly Emissary'
Like so many artists and designers featured in our pages, Bhutanese designer Chandrika Tamang took the picturesque route to finding her feet in fashion. Starting out as a banker, for whom designing was more of a hobby, she spent six years doing the 9 to 5 before she realized that her heart lay in design. In 2014, she took a leap of faith to quit her stable career and dive full-time into creating beautiful, hand stitched clothing.
Her painstaking research told her that there was an opportunity here to fill the void in the Bhutanese fashion industry by promoting local textile crafts and contributing to the country’s economy. And thus CDK was born – a brand specializing in sustainable fashion.
Working with natural fabrics and dyes, as well as recycling and upcycling fabric scraps, she is continually trying to find ways to make her designs more sustainable and community oriented. As a brand, she wants to give meaning to fashion. Working primary with rich Bhutanese Eri silk and azo-free dye, her signature style involves clean lines, and vibrant organic colours. ‘I think the consumer must be more aware of what they are buying – what fabrics are used, and how the products are made. They need to understand what fast fashion has done, in order to realise that we can have clean fashion’
Tamang’s first visit to Dhaka happened last month, for the Bangladesh Fashion Week 2020. ‘This was the third time I got the opportunity to attend BFW. I wasn’t able to attend the previous iterations due to scheduling issues, but I always wanted to make it happy one time and 2020 was meant to be’ she tells us. And how. Tamang revealed her special capsule collection titled “Heavenly Emissary”. "The inspiration is from a bird known as black necked crane that drops in from Tibet to visit the remote village of Phubjikha from November to February," she explains, adding "the collection is called 'heavenly emissary' since the crane" comes just for few months creating heaven for the villagers. Most of the villagers sustain with tourism because of the crane.’ Her BFW showcase also marked her menswear debut.