In March of 2014 while researching and making plans for a January 2015 trip to Laos, I came upon "Ethnik" "The Living Museum Fashion Show" at the Hive Bar and Restaurant in Luang Prabang. It seemed that they allowed people to photograph freely during the performance, but I was interested in something private behind the scenes. I contacted one of the Canadian owners Cristofre Martin (Cris) to obtain more information and to my surprise he responded quickly,and favourably to my requests. While in Luang Prabang I emailed Cris and he told me that he was currently away but that his partner Troy Matusow had been informed of our agreement. Troy went out of his way to extend his hospitality and make the arrangements to allow my photographic requests. Above the bar on the second floor is an area for the girls to change into the various costumes required for the fast paced "Ethnik" Fashion Show. There is a large floor mirror where a majority of the the photographs were taken due to the small space and lighting. There are smaller wall mirrors that the girls use to check their costumes as well as apply makeup. It can become very crowded and chaotic during the costume changes. The one hundred plus costumes representing more than twenty Laotian ethnic groups are arranged in group numbers and hang on racks around the room. Update: January 20 - 2016 - "The Living Museum Fashion Show" gave its last performance.
©Kieron Nelson "Vanishing Cultures Photography" All rights reserved