What are you wearing this Fall ?
Sumaiya Ahsan Bushra
Photos: Yamin Tauseef Jahangir
Over the last few years, students (both girls and boys) have grown to be more fashion conscious. Be it a geek from any top-notch university, a style maniac or a trend-setter, students these days have become more aware of what they wear and whether it's fashionable and in sync with the season. Evolving out of the traditional mindset of wearing saris, female students these days, particularly during the fall season, are found in markets like Chandi Chowk, Gausia and New Market, literally struggling to hunt for shalwar kameez fabrics. Alongside that, they are also found buzzing in jewellery stores all over Dhanmondi, shopping for accessories to match their pretty outfits. The same is the case with their male counterparts who are busy sporting the latest denims, sneakers, tee shirts and trendy accessories to match. Having observed this interesting phenomenon, we here at Star Campus decided to delve deeper into the matter and unravel the fashion trends (of both teachers and students) in different universities in Bangladesh. For my part, I limited my delving to two different education institutes - Bangladesh Institute of Engineering Technology (BUET) and Dhaka University.
My first visit was to the Bangladesh Institute of Engineering Technology (BUET) campus where I witnessed a collage of all types of fabrics in all sorts of colours. Students from this esteemed institution are either too pre-occupied in running from one classroom to another or burying their heads in engineering books to achieve scholastic excellence that they seldom get time to involve themselves in shopping - let alone hunting for clothes! But this does not keep them away from being aware of what's new this season!
In conversation with some of the girls from BUET, I got to know that they often end up buying clothes from places like Deshi Dosh or Aarong and if they do get the scope to make dresses (shalwar kameez), they opt for light coloured cotton materials, like sky blue, pink, light green or plain white. Some also expressed their preference towards wearing dark colour shalwars paired with light coloured kameezes. To accessorise themselves, most girls wear small ear-tops and bangles. For footwear, a majority of these female students prefer wearing flat sandals, like flip-flops, for convenience and comfort. Most of them avoid wearing stilettos with a small minority being the exception.
Few of the girls also wear fatuas and jeans but they often match it up with richly coloured silk or cotton scarves with a wide assortment of patterning done delicately with sequences and laces. Occasionally some of the female students also wear saris. For the fall season, they prefer wearing bright coloured cotton saris. Some also like wearing Italian crepe, silk and georgette.
Although, women in general, like wearing make-up, students of BUET, spoke about this issue quiet differently. Most of them believe in using “No Makeup” at all. But some do use moisturiser and face powder. At times they also use mascara and eye liner.
The men of BUET, however, do not by any means define “the 21st century metro-sexual man”. Be it fall, summer or winter, their preference in clothing and styling is more or less the same all round the year. Most of them prefer black, blue and dark colour tee shirts made by local Bangladeshi brands. To compliment this, they wear jeans or khaki pants coupled with slippers or flip flops and at times sandals, popularly known as sandal shoes.
Speaking of fall fashion, teachers are not lagging behind either. “I like wearing bright and sober colours -- they suit me fine for this season!” explained Dr. Charisma Choudhury, Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, BUET. Even though, Dr. Charisma is not into fashion that much, yet, she practises fashion in its most simple and subtle form. She explains that she likes to wear bright colours particularly, green and blue saris. Also, since this is the time right before pooja, she wears a lot of red and white.
After BUET, my next and final stop in my university fashion trend research was Charukola Institute of Arts at the Dhaka University. This legendary institute has been the hub of unique clothing since time immemorial. Students of Charukola have always been known to be the fashion icons of our country. In fact, our fashion industry itself has its seedlings grounded in the soil of Charukola Institute as many of our booming fashion houses are owned by the very students of Charukola Institute.
Upon interviewing the teachers and students at Charukola I got some interesting fashion feedbacks. “Glittery jewelleries, stone sets are not my thing! I love pearls! I am also fond of Bangladeshi taat saris and hand-embroidered cotton saris” opined Ms. Chinmaye Sikder, Faculty member from the Dept. of Ceramics, Charukola Institute of Arts. “Shades of blue are my favourite-I like blue in all its form. When it comes to fabric, I prefer cotton since, in my line of work, wearing all kinds of materials is not feasible!” mentioned Mehnaz from the Dept. of Ceramics, Charukola Institute of Arts. While Fouzia Abedin Tani, a senior from the same department said, “In this weather, it's so hot, that I would definitely go for something that is soothing and sober but at the same time is eye-catching!”
Sazzad, from the Dept. of Print Making, Charukola Institute of Arts, says, “I want to be noticed in the midst of people, so I always go for bright colours like white, red and blue.” In such a volatile weather - fall, Sazzad plans on wearing soft colour shirts matched elegantly with a pair of jeans from Levi's. On the other hand Bikash from the Dept. of Ceramics, likes being a little too ordinary. He thinks that fashion is more about availability and good fitting, so usually he wears a lot of grey and black tee-shirts with a pair of jeans or gabardine pants during the fall season.
New and refreshing styles always tend to brighten up people's days. In a country where everything seems to be stuck and non-existent traffic jams, no electricity and no water plenty of colours and youth seem to mark the streets and the many campuses around. Let's see what the youngsters have to bring about next semester, along with winter and spring, with a blend of dark and the sunny.
Yamin Tauseef Jahangir
The blazing summer sun finds its way in the fall or the autumn season, while allowing a bit of the rain to come in as a breather once in a while. Students on the other hand are too busy blending in with the transitions of the season. Fashion statements are most talked about on campus. Be it a funky red pair of snickers or checked trousers and shirts or even a colourful short kameez, students carry themselves in unique styles.
This time of the year showcases plenty of 'cool' tee shirts and colourful fatuas. Flip-flops have also made a mark amongst the young. A wide range of styles is seen amongst students on campus. “I like to wear tee shirts with pictures of metal music bands and of famous musicians,” says Amid, a student of BRAC University. “Apart from this I also like to wear different coloured shoes which I believe makes me unique. Regardless of any season I am always comfortable in jeans and I can boast about a good collections of brands,” he smiles. According to Amid, fashion trends do change and he agreed on the fact that season has a role to play in it. “This fall semester, freshmen seem to be comfortable in a lot of bright colours.” When asked about how he would carry himself for the winter, he says, “'Hoodies' are my favourite,” referring to light jackets and pull overs with hoods attached. “I feel good about the jacket and would like to wear it with nice funky tee shirts!”
Tasneea, a student of North South University (NSU) says new students are more on the trendy side. The styles of the 70s and 80s are back and the youth are more attracted to it. People now wear checks and even hats to campus, which seems interesting and new. “Fashion for me is wearing a kameez and representing the culture, but at the same time being comfy and stylish. I carry myself more into kameezws as people say I look good in it and it complements my personality.” For Taseea, shawls and sweatshirts are the favourites in winter. “For this semester I am thinking of carrying colourful and big bags as I have a fascination for them.” According to Tasneea, there are still some who prefer to be completely traditional and not bring about any changes. “I believe that you can create your own fashion statement, but that too has to be appreciated. Otherwise you will make yourself a laughing-stock!” she says. Labeeb, a student of Business Administration says, "I like wearing shorts and snickers, but in most occasions I opt for flip-flops." He says that fashion depends upon what would suit you the best and it does not mean that you would have to be tacky all the time. "I like wearing 'text tees' and that is the in thing nowadays," he adds. Text tees are a new form of tee shirts, which showcase funny messages which people can text to their friends on their cell phones.
Sadia, a student of BRAC University, is more comfortable in cotton during summer and shawls are her favourite in the winter. Styles and fashion on her campus is in a total blend where one gets to see a mix. “I wear trousers and kameezes. It is more comfortable that way. I like wearing jackets during winter and since the fall session has started I am looking forward to the season change.” Sadia says people are still going with the deshi blend and the new brands in the market are doing a great job in uplifting the culture more to the youth. To her, these brands come up with bright and loud colours, which attract the new generation, and she likes it. She emphasises on fashion sense going haywire at times for both the genders. “I am thinking of wearing long coats this time in winter,” she adds. “I have seen people looking trendy in long coats in India when I went there a while ago and I would love to give it a try!” she exclaims, beaming with exuberance.
Nowadays teachers are also very much into trendy clothes and believe in making fashion statements as well. While many wear colourful sarees in cotton, some wear kurtas, fatuas with scarves. The male teachers have also come a long way from regular formal wear to a good pair of jeans and collared tee shirts. “I like seeing my teachers in different out fits as they radiate the positive energy and students feel more comfortable in communicating with the them,” says Anita, another student of NSU. She thinks students open up more to the faculties who they find to be 'cool' and their casual approach speaks for themselves.
As much has been talked about the fall fashion and how the students see it coming, it all depends upon you at the end of the day and how you want to be seen by others. There will be differences in views and opinions but hey, we all share the common ground where we may say that we like to set our own uniqueness. So let it be that particular fatua or punjabi or even shorts and converse, it really doesn't matter as long as you get your votes for good!
Sarah Z H
Autumn or fall to me is all about pop-corns and cotton-candies in the sky," a startling yet adorable remark by Maimuna an undergrad student in North South University can open up new visions for the world. With a confident smile fleeting her face she reveals a secret mix to her fall fashion. She explains, "Fall in our country upholds its sincerity through the clouds in the sky. Light, fluffy and pleasant; the shades of fall are very much a matter of the clouds in the sky." Likewise the colours chosen by many young people in the season of falling leaves are subtle and eye soothing. Earthy tones like browns; tans, greys, greens, oranges, whites and even reds contrasted against Prussian blue or turquoise have been the reigning colour palette of the season. All these colours are muted and flat in an emulation of the natural colours found in soil moss, trees and rocks.
Fall clothes hugely appear in hues like olive, chocolate and stone. But often jewel tones like deep purple, emerald green and ruby red are also marked as favourites by the young crowd who attend different universities. For boys, says Salman of the same university, "Black and navy are always dependable but don't be afraid to add shots of hot colours like red or fuchsia and even sometimes pastels."
The concept of fall fashion among students in this city still remains oblivious but if inspected carefully their choices are jammed with clothes that sort through the trends and classics. Unlike western nations, fall in Bangladesh is nothing about layering and with the recent changes in weather people love to stick to light day wear as they let the sun bake them through out the day. Most students vote for 'comfort' in their list of priorities when it comes to choosing a material for this season. Natural fibres like cotton, which breathe, better is a top choice for both men and women. Light weight silk in the case of the ladies are also very popular as they blend in well with the tropical climate. Pinstripes or horizontal stripes in shirts and t-shirts for boys can be considered as the maximum style. Checks however appeals to both the gender and the classic combination of checks and casual-style jeans impart a lot of mode.
Young women are particularly picky about their accessories, for instance, bags. "We stay in class all day, so we need a serious bag that is good looking,'' says Adiba from BRAC University in Dhaka. Suede and leather naturally comes to their mind when that 'serious bag' that can also be good looking has to be chosen. The shades for the bags are everything from earthy browns to warm reds. For some students it is important that they lean towards logos and brands and fall for them might as well be the season to show some status. Large bags are a fashion statement and the carrier's frame really doesn't have to match the size of the bag.
Hair is an essential part of styling. Fall trends endorse lengths like below the shoulders and occasionally above the neck. Voluminous styles are always welcome paired with a neat make up. Naturally styled straight hair, mermaid curls and in the case of a few, short bobs work equally as success. Somehow men are moving towards fringes these days. The best style for many is to let it grow long on the sides. Deliberately messy hairstyles among young men give out the impression of rakish youthfulness.
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