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Mongolian 'deel' wins over dedicated followers of fashion

Young people see unique identity in modernized traditional garb

KADR owner and designer Enkhbaatar Bat-Ulzii said that many Asian traditional outfits bear some semblance to the Mongolian deel due to the influence of the Mongol empire. (Photo by Anand Tumurtogoo)

ULAANBAATAR -- Mongolia's national costume, once largely discarded as a relic of the country's rustic past, is making a comeback among fashion lovers who see it as a symbol of national pride, prosperity and urban chic.

The Mongolian deel (pronounced "dale") is a long tunic made from thick cotton material with narrow sleeves, a wide belt and a high stiff collar. Its design reflects the nomadic way of life on the harsh Mongolian steppes, where the need to keep warm has to be balanced against the practicality required for riding horses, herding animals and milking cows.

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