Throughout our time in Luang Prabang, we kept seeing signs advertising a fashion show. I thought it sounded cool, but I didn’t think Matt would be too interested in attending something like that. However, one day while having breakfast in a cute cafe we met the owner, an American expat who owned several business in Luang Prabang–including Hive Bar & Restaurant, where the Ethnik Fashion Show takes place. She explained to us that the show is not your run of the mill fashion show. Here’s the owners description of the show from TripAdvisor:
More than 49 different ethnic groups can be found living in Laos. Most of these groups continue to dress in traditional costumes passed down by their ancestors.To showcase these colorful creations, Kopnoi, Made in Laos, is presenting a live Ethnic Fashion Show in Luang Prabang. Twenty Lao models parade down the catwalk over 95 different outfits with intricate designs including traditional jewelry, headwear, and ceremonial outfits, basketry and baby carriers used by the different ethnicities.
Even Matt agreed that this sounded awesome! Plus, we were craving some non-Asian food at this point–so pizza and cocktails at a bar was just what we needed.
The show takes place outside on a windy stage that wraps halfway around the seating area. You can eat and drink and continue to place orders during the show, and it’s fine to take pictures. The show itself is a fun hybrid of culture, modernity and antiquity–the models parade around in traditional costumes to modern, fun music. All of the models are students, and despite the fact that their shifts are only a few hours, they’re all paid for a full day so they can afford to continue their educations. We loved that this project was investing in Laotian young people’s futures–sending girls and boys from rural villages to school is reason enough to attend the show. Plus, it makes for a pretty fun date night!
The Hive Bar & Restaurant is located at the bottom of Phousi Hill in Luang Prabang, and the Ethnik Fashion Show is every Tuesday through Saturday night at 7 p.m. If you find yourself in Luang Prabang, check it out!