It is fascinating to watch how Tibetan women in and around Amdo have updated their dress to changing times. The chuba, Tibetan men and women principal dress element is usually oversized, allowing a multitude of draping options which can vary from region to region; high or low, adjusting length and folds with the belt and swinging the sleeves over the shoulder. Sixty years ago, the chuba was self-made sheepskin, bordered in felt or fur. Gradually, as new materials and items of clothing were introduced through trading, innovative elements and accessories were added; American style cowboy hats, polyester shirts with sequins and platform shoes. Cloth summer chubas layered with down jackets or vests became quite the trend. Traditional headdress of great weight became the objects of special occasions, replaced with lighter versions, or shunned out of existence.
Each generation is loyal to its own style; the slow and dignified grandmothers in their more compact style, young nomads in their layered elegance and brisk moving younger women in their tight-fitting tops and platform shoes. At Norlha we follow and watch the trends, accessorizing the chuba or emulating its draping and layering styles.