Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 16, Tuesday October 12, 2004







Fashion tips for the Eid festivities

We have a plethora of beautiful fabrics, born here in our very own Bangladesh. Most of us are unaware of just how many different kinds of fabrics are available to us at our fingertips, if we only took time out to explore. Boutiques and select interior design houses around the city offer us some nice collections, but these can be limited in terms of range and selection, and may not even cater to everyone's individual tastes. On top of it all, things could get very expensive! So, let your creative streak take over. Innovate, and dress yourself and your domicile up with some of our priceless fabrics.

The beauty of Benarashi Hand-loom: The home is a reflection of your Self. It must not only appear warm and inviting to your guests, but should also be aesthetically pleasing. Blow away the minds of your friends and relatives by adding a touch of elegance and exoticism to your living room with Benarashi handloom fabrics. These include Brocade, Organza, Satin, Tissue and Mirpur Jamdani. Embelish your living space with matte brocade, Satin, even Jamdani cushions and throws for your couches. You can further wrap your Brocade, Satin, and Jamdani cushion covers with matte gold, silver, or two-tone tissue. If you are game for purchasing these fabrics, just wisk yourselves off to Mirpur, arguably the heart of Benarashi Hand-loom production. Stores are in abundance, and the items displayed there are produced using mainly 100% pure silk yarn, golden Zari thread with combinations of rayon. Jacquard patterned sarees can also be found. If you have your hearts set out to buy a Kataan saree, either for wear or decor, make sure you do not fall for the tacky, shiny gold kind, which are unfortunately flooding the stores. To a careful eye, old Kataan can still be found. Old Kataans generally have larger motifs, are finer in quality, and have the matte finish. New Kataan with small motifs are tasteful as well, and a maximum of them have Zari work done on them. The more popular colours nowerdays appear to be sober, cooler shades. Two-tone tissue is in vogue as well. If you don't want to spend money on buying these fabrics for decor, then simply look inside your closet. You just might find that old Kataan, Jamdani or Tissue saree you didn't have the heart to throw away! Going back to the subject of decorating your living space, try Organza with sequin work for lampshades, or plain Organza, Satin or two-tone tissue for curtains. You can even make your own Batuas out of Kataan silk, or add a touch of glamour by cutting up a small piece of Kataan and using it as a table cover on your dressing table.

Sophisticated Silk: If you are a big fan of silk, make something out of it this Eid, whether it is a dress, a shalwaar kameez you had a design in mind for, or perhaps quilts or bed-sheets for your bedroom. There are a wide variety of Rajshahi silk available in the market. "Mollah Silk" in Dhanmondi has a competent range you can choose from, and which you can get in yards. The kinds of silk you may find are as follows: Dupion silk is rough, shiny and somewhat thick, and usually used to make sherwani, but one can innovate and make something for house dé
cor. Motka silk is much the same, though perhaps not as thick. Muslin silk is comfortable and soft; the texture is netlike and transparent, and ideal for wear. Try making a gorgeous shalwaar kameez, or a kurti out of Muslin silk by doing embroidery work over it, and pair it up with churidaar or even thick khadi bell bottom pants. Muslin is perfect for the Western look too. Make it into a trendy looking shirt or blouse, wear it like a scarf on your neck, or just sling it around your waist and use as a belt with your jeans. You can use Muslin on your accessories as well, for instance, change the appearance of your tote bag by covering it with two-tone or plain Muslin (given that your tote bag is made of cloth, not leather or plastic). Bolaka Silk is more opaque, soft and shiny smooth. ND silk has a natural striped weaving style. ND and Bolaka silk are perfect for wear as well. Joysree and TG silks have the kind of texture that allows you to make straight pants and capris, if you so desire. TG happens to be very thick, with medium square-block patterns that make it perfect for making yourselves a trendy pair of pants, or even belts. Others such as Kota Tussore (similar to Muslin silk in texture; it is a transparent and crinkly fabric), old and new Gorod (Gorod has a beige base, with red, black, or green borders; the new Gorod has been made slightly modern by adding zari to it), and Joysree are amongst others that you may find in the market. Block print, Batik, screen print, blow-paint and hand-painted silk can all be found at "Mollah Silk" and other places, and most of these different kinds of silk fabrics come in various shades and designs. The array, the choices, the possibilities are all pleasantly mind-boggling for those with a creative mind and a love for fashion.

Trendy Khadi and Cotton: Khadi and Cotton have always been in vogue; they are amongst those that will never go out of style. Khadi especially with its thick texture is not only fashionable, but ideal for the Fall season. Prabartana houses some of the most tasteful looking cottons and khadis in the city, and they do not compromise when it comes to quality. For Eid, Prabartana has a display of very festive, bright coloured fabrics. Some of these luscious colours include royal blue, olive green, purple, indigo, maroon, chocolate, and burnt sienna to name a few. They have also kept a selection of cool, subtle shades such as sea-green, beige, mustard, onion pink and powder blue. Patterns are as much in abundance: Pin stripes, thick multicoloured or dual colour-coordinated stripes, plain checks, Nakshi Katha work over two-tone cloth, broken patterns of horizontal lines called 'Ikat' over tye-dye and Dobi stitchwork, are all available. Indulge yourselves in two, or four, or eight of these beautiful fabrics; even mix and match from the same materials, for instance, creating a pair of shalwaar, pants or capris with the thicker Khadi, and fatuas, short and normal length kameezes with the finer, softer khadi. (You could add beadwork on your khadi and cotton kameezes to make them different; transparent and multi-coloured beads may be found in abundance at New Market.) Complete your look with a trendy Prabartana dupatta. These come in many different shades and designs as well, some of which include shocking pink in checks, peacock blue in stripes; two-tones such as beige and pink, sea-green and blue, are also available. Why stop at wearing dupattas the traditional way? The bigger, more opaque dupattas can be made into sarongs, while transparent ones can be worn like a short skirt over your jeans; simply wrap it around your waist and tie it up on the side. You can jazz up some of these dupattas by adding hazaar buti, beads, and so on. Slice up your dupatta in half, sew the ends, fold it, and wear it either like a headband or a bandana with your khadi fatua and jeans.

Lastly, pair all your new clothes with just the right attitude, and no doubt, you will stand out in a crowd for creating your own fashion statement. So, get with it now, and let our gorgeous deshi fabrics make you into a traffic-stopping style guru.

By Rubaiyat Khan

Reader's Chit

Death is it scary?

Do you ever think of death? Does the thought of dying; leaving this world behind makes you sad. Do you ever wonder what is in the life after death? Death is a subject that seems suitable to talk about when you are old. As if that is the only time people die. If death comes in a topic, we quickly change the topic, leaving sadness with it.

My father passed away when he was 50. Until then I thought only people who are old with skin curled up and soft, grey hair, dies. But my father was nothing like that. It seemed right if my grandfather passed away instead of my father. He was 96 years old.

After that I think of death all the time. I do not think death has to be sad, and yet it is scary and sad. We humans do not like the unknown, at least most of us, and thus we are scared of it.

I recently read a book called "the five people you meet in heaven". I guess death is the beginning of another journey. Life does not really end with death. I think life is a very short voyage. And thinking of death at least once a day makes us human, more kind, generous, and honest. It makes sense then not to fight with each other, get angry for little things, not to talk to a close friend for years.

I wish people would think of death more often. They would realize then this life is only for a short while. The next one is much bigger. And in the next life we get rewards, for our good deeds here on earth. Only then we would talk with kindness to others, we would treat others the way we want us to be treated. There would be less hatred, less differences noticed and more love around us.

By Iffat Zia



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