Tibetan American realises his ‘wildest dreams’, helps dress US First Lady at inauguration

DHARAMSALA, 22  Jan: While what politicians wear can sometimes speak more than their speeches, people have been watching the first lady and what she wears since Martha Washington,” says Lisa Kathleen Graddy, the curator of  Smithsonian’s hugely popular First Ladies Collection at the National Museum of American History.

The first lady is also considered the first lady of American society and as she goes out, she represents us across the country and around the world, the Vogue quoted Graddy, the museum’s first-ladies curator and a specialist in political history as saying as she explains the hype surrounding the inaugural dress of the first lady.

“Since 1789, the fabric, construction, origin, and symbolism behind the clothes worn by presidents’ wives on Inauguration Day have been read like a press release on their intentions for the four years ahead,” she said in the report.

The US’ new  First Lady Dr Jill Biden wore matching coat and dress set in an ocean blue wool tweed with a matching silk face mask designed by Markarian, an up-and-coming fashion label that started in 2017.

Tenzin Shamphel, a Tibetan American who works as a production manager at the New York City-based luxury womenswear label by designer Alexandra O’Neill said that “I literally screamed in joy as I watched with my cousins.”

“It’s a feeling that I’ll never forget. Even when I got on the phone with Amala, I was so happy I just started crying, If my Pala was here today, I know he would be superrrrr proud,” the young production manager told Tibet Express.

Back when I first started out in the industry he would always see me. Work late nights etc.”

“I think the 9-year-old version of me would be super proud and my Pala too!”

Shamphel who immigrated to the US in 2001 when he was just a 9-years old boy became the toast of the Tibetan community as applauds and congratulatory messages flooded online over his feat credits his parents for his success.

“This is for my Aamala and Pala! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I’d be a part of helping dress the First Lady of the United States. My parents brought us here for opportunity and to live the American Dream! This has to be it! Still in disbelief. Here’s to a better, brighter future,” he said.

The young production manager revealed that their project to dress the First Lady at the inauguration started back in December 2020. And that his task was to help bring Alexandra O’Neill, the head designer of the label’s vision to life.

“We are a small team of 4 people but we get our work done quite efficiently. It’s also super important to have a team that works well together and I feel truly blessed!” he said proudly.

On the project, he says that “sourcing the right fabrics, bringing it up to the garment district to our seamstress getting the buttons made etc. It was an intense three weeks but nothing will beat the feeling of seeing Dr Biden walkout in our work on TV broadcasted to the whole world.”

Shamphel who has been working in the fashion industry in NY for over a decade now acknowledges the important role his parents played in always pushing him to work hard. “Amala and Pala would always push me to work harder and without them, I don’t think I would be working in the fashion industry here in NY.

Describing his experience of working in the industry so far, he says ” It’s really been quite an amazing experience learning a lot of different things from my colleagues to friends. “

On his future goals, he adds that ”my goal would be to stay with Markarian and help our team grow. Our head designer is super amazing to work with, you could say we’re like a little family. We all feel super honoured and humbled at the moment! This is literally a part of history.”

According to a report on BBC, DC-based fashion consultant Lauren Rothman has stated that Dr Bidens’s outfit signalled responsibility and modesty.

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