Urban Style Challenge: Bishkek vs Vancouver

This is the first post of a new series called Urban Style Challenge. Every week, we will compare the fashion trends of two cities in a playful manner. Join me, Ana, on this fascinating journey around the world of street fashion and style that will put a smile on your face and get you ready to face the week ahead.

Our contributors Nargiza and Kelly kicked it off by writing about Bishkek City (Kyrgyzstan) and Vancouver (Canada), respectively.

What are the most popular fashion trends in your city?

Vancouver Bishkek City
Makeup Makeup is very common. During the day it is all about looking natural. At night it is fun, bold eyes. Light, very modest during the day, very distinctive in the evening. Almost all women wear makeup.
Hair Often long and straightened. Bangs/fringe seem to be making a comeback. Long, short, dyed, teased, etc. Hairdos vary greatly: longer hair for younger women, and shorter for older ones, dyed usually in natural colours (black, brown). Some dye it blond, looks interesting with Asian features.
Fashion trends With fitness a major trend throughout the city, it is not uncommon to see women in yoga pants (The local Lululemon brand) whether or not they are hitting the gym that day. Otherwise, it is skinny jeans and leggings with leather boots. A slim sweater dress finishes the look. Long boots, fur coats, classic coats, UGGs, designer bags, skinny jeans, leggings, and tunics are the hits of the season, flats during the day, heels for going outs, fancy dresses. For older women variety of dresses, midi or maxi, for younger women, shorter versions of tunic-dresses. Younger girls pick up fashion trends very quickly; older ones are more conservative and traditional in their clothing.
Nails Manicures and pedicures are a common treat, but finger nails are often low-key. Toe nails get bright colours and flowers painted on for tropical vacations. Are worn both long and short. The key word is neat.

Artificial nails are popular.

Colours Fashionable colours start to seep into the stores until it seems like everything is in that one colour and we need to escape the trend to avoid all looking the same. Usually a boldly coloured piece is matched with neutrals. Classic colors, such as white, black, grey , beige are popular, however bright colors are also often met, such as blue, green, pink, acid yellows , etc, especially for boots and for

Purses.

Footwear Fall through to the Spring, boots are worn. Typically leather, mid-calf length boots are worn, but the practical rubber rain boots are taking the city by storm. These now come in many colours and patterns to add personality to the dreary weather. When the rain stops, flats are worn. Flip flops in summer, UGGs and boots in winter, tennis shoes and batilones in fall and spring
Jewellery Necklaces, earrings, rings are worn to be noticed. They are chunky and colours accent the outfit. Other necessary accessories are large sunglasses and large purses. Jewellery is worn a lot from small delicate to large, hanging ethnic style jewellery is prevailing this season, because of its bright colors and exclusive designs.

Check back next Tuesday for the next Urban Style Challenge: Almere in The Netherlands vs Melbourne, Australia.

Read more:
Street fashion on five continents
The chitenge – a Zambian fashion essential
Winter driving in Canada

About the author

Ana Astri-O'Reilly
Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.
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5 Comments

  • I have enjoyed this post a lot and I would have loved to see some pictures :) . Best regards,
    Marta (not very fashionable lady, ha, ha)

  • Well I’m not very fashionble either but I really enjoyed this. Congratulations Ana, Kelly and Nargiza! Maybe I should move to Vancouver – I like the sound of going around in yoga pants.

    Look forward to reading the next posts in the series.

  • Bishkek City sounds a lot like Melbourne!?!
    Great post :)

  • @Marta, I would have loved to post photos too but it’s tricky to post photos of people unless you get their permission, etc. I’ll see what I can do for the next post. Maybe model the clothes myself? :)

    @Lucy, it was fun to put together.

  • Love it.. I live in Bishkek and everything you said are very true about our girls :)