Kazakh designer creates national costumes in miniature

Camisoles, saukele and kimesheks. Gulnara Khamza, a resident of Almaty city, sews unique Kazakh national costumes encrusted with beads and semi-precious stones. She creates these amazing outfits for souvenir dolls. According to the designer, she could find her niche, since her works are popular among foreign Italian, German, American, Chinese and Australian collectors. Visitors from Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Russia and Syria purchase the dolls in Kazakh national costumes with great pleasure.

“I had to study the fundamentals. And I always have a variety of ideas, some images from movies and theatrical productions. When I see actors performing on the stage, it looks so beautiful. Since I create doll images, they are mostly theatrical. I try to get inspiration from these stage costumes, support the national roots, traditions and traditional classical costumes. My dolls are popular across the world, and I would like them to reveal the peculiarity of our national costume,” said Gulnara Khamza, a designer.

The interest of foreign tourists is quite clear, opines Gulnara Khamza. Since the traditional costumes reflect the centuries-long history and culture of the Great Steppe. Moreover, these costumes are completely hand-made, every single detail is fulfilled carefully by the designer. Besides, she creates national jewelry. According to the designer, it takes her up to 10 days to create intricate costumes. Now Gulnara dreams of opening her own small workshop. And in the future, she wants to create souvenirs that will demonstrate Kazakh national costumes for men.

“I will probably open a workshop. But since these are piece goods, it is very difficult to find like-minded people, young craftswomen who will work meticulously on details. The lifestyle is so intense now and it will be of great difficulty to find so diligent people with such painstaking skills,” added the designer.

Now, Gulnara Khamza is creating eight more souvenirs. When the design is fully completed, they will be taken abroad to present our Kazakh traditions.


Translation by Zhanna Smagulova

Editing by Saule Mukhamejanova