Kathmandu Street Style / by Samuel Allison

At the foothills of the Himalayas, Kathmandu is a global crossroads of fashion trends. Styles from New York to Bombay to Lhasa debut on a stage that’s been bustling for centuries. Breakdancers, biker gangs & hipsters intermingle with monks, wandering mendicants & dreadlocked yogis. The backdrop couldn’t be more spectacular – a panoply of pagodas, monasteries, prayer flags & palaces. Above it all, the gods & guardian demons stand in naked stone. They oversee the pageantry of samsara as they always have, unmoved by anything but the eternal.

I photographed this series during a visit to Kathmandu in 2012. It was a homecoming of sorts, as I’d lived there as a teenager to learn thangka painting & do my first photo reportage work with a busted up Canon AE1. The series took on a new poignancy after the earthquake this past year that leveled some of the temples & statues you see in these shots.