Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 17, Tuesday October 19, 2004






The lure of gorgeous Jamdani

Jamdani saris have had their appeal since the Moghul rule ,where Muslim geometrical inlaid textures -- with their paisley, floral and other motifs --had won the hearts of the royal begums and other fashion-conscious ladies of the courts. Today, at Lavender, Gulshan, designer and manager Lubna Ahmed-- now back from her studies in Indonesia , and sojourn in, New York and London -- aims at not only the expatriates, but also the city bourgeois.

The commendable collection , which is on for Puja and Eid, has superb pastel shades -- specially, white , peony-pink , lavender - mauve, jet-black and white-on-black-- with subtle, selective highlights of the interweaving threads.

Most of the saris are done under Lubna's guidance by 15 craftsmen from Narsingdi, with traditional motives, including the designer's innovations. Some of the saris bear the designer's own motives, which contain patterns within motifs , that one hasn't come across anywhere else.

These saris could also be worn at weddings or even collected for the growing daughter's trousseau, for here are genuine products, not to be mistaken for one's found at many other sari outlets in the city.

Some of the Jamdani saris can be hand-washed while others require careful dry-cleaning. Cheaper Jamdanis are also available at Lubna's outlet , but these are from Kolkata . So are also numerous other types of flamboyant, delectable saris in transparent tissue, soft silk and scintillating chiffon , with minute embroidery in beads, sequins and silk threads.

By Fayza Haq


Swish of sensuous saris

Nahida Sharmin's exhibition of saris and "fatuas" at "Chitrak Gallery" is indeed a remarkable one. It contains items of sale for Eid at reasonable prices, with a wide range of garments to chose from. What is marvellous about the display is that a fine arts teacher from Chittagong has taken "Endi silk", cotton and silk as her canvas, and painted over that with brush in fabric paint, adding block prints and gold twists and "dollars" where necessary , to jazz up the items.

They were unique in the sense that here there was something exotic and dramatic, with each piece being different from the other -- so that here is a vast range to select from. The 70 saris and numerous "fatuas" are more subtle and suave than anything that one had seen before at the price range that suits the pocket of the run of the mill Dhakiite, who visits boutiques in the city.

Sharmin has combined folk motifs like that of toy horse, birds, paisley patterns, flowers, buntings and human forms, along with representation of clouds, waves and boats -- seen in a minimised form, to bring in a images which can be focused on in sections and taken delight in. Considering the body, "anchal" and border of each sari, when worn, also lend positive enchantment. The silks are subtle gold or beige or even stark white -- ranges of the colours of the saris varied more than when one normally finds in an artist's palette. " I'm not into harsh , sharp contrasting colours and I prefer the gentle effect of colours. I've gone in for the conventional and semi-abstracts and my motifs," Sharmin elaborates.

The exhibition begins on 19th October and runs for a week.

By Fayza Haq


Aarong takes its fashion to Mumbai

Aarong participated in the first ever Tara Bangladesh Festival in Mumbai, held during the week of Sept 26. Tara TV took the initiative to host this festival featuring fashion, music, contemporary art, and food, to promote and familiarize the people of Mumbai with the culture and heritage of their neighbouring country, Bangladesh. The fashion show participants were Aarong, Bibi Russell, Lita Chowdhury, and Aneela Haque.

Aarong presented a vibrant collection based on the age-old Bangladeshi crafts of jamdani and nakshi kantha. The collection comprises of chic ensembles in enchanting ivories to ultra glamorous eveningwear in ravishing reds, fabulous fuchsias, and gorgeous greens. The collection is a mix of funky western wear to muslin saris in fresh colours to bridal jamdanis using unique motifs, with the showstopper being a stunning purple jamdani with our traditional 'pati' pattern woven in copper, silver, and gold threads. Innovative approaches such as zari work on nakshi kantha and contemporary styling created an assorted collection that fuses urban eclecticism with Bangladesh's strong cultural identity.

Aarong received rave reviews from the fashion conscious socialites of Mumbai. This collection will be available for sale in Aarong Gulshan from Oct 21.

Shoilo comes to town

The craft of appliqué comes to Dhaka in an eight-day exhibition from October 17 at Drik Gallery. On display are an array of appealing appliqué works such as bedcovers, bed sheets, cushion covers, curtains and wall hangings. The viewer is struck by the vibrant colours:there's a bright red and orange bedcover, a children's bedcover with cartoon characters and a host of other household furnishings.

Bringing this craft to Dhaka is Mahfil-Ara-Shaheli, designer and managing director of Shoilo for Home Textile.

'People appreciate our appliqué works. A carefully crafted bedcover or cushion can suffuse the house with beauty and create a memorable ambience,' says Shaheli. In addition to the local market, she exports her products to Japan.

Shaheli's work is moderately priced. A bedcover sells for Taka 1,500 to Taka 5,000, a cushion cover ranges from Taka 150-1,000, while curtains go for Taka 500-Taka 1,000 (per piece). Wall hangings sell for Taka 300-1,500 and bed sheets are priced between Taka 1, 500 to Taka 5,000.

Shaheli has been preparing for the exhibition over the last year. 'I am confident that we will get a good response and buyers will welcome our delicate craft,' she says.

By Kavita Charanji


The Hot & the happening

Indigo exhibition at Aranya
In 1990, after a slide for more than hundred years, an effort was taken to revive the once famous indigo of Bengal. After working for several years Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) with the help of Aranya partly succeeded to bring back the natural colour to life. However, Aranya and MCC believe that there should be more endeavours to raise public awareness about this environment friendly unique beauty. Eid is approaching, in the presence of this festive mood Aranya and MCC jointly with partner organisations is arranging an indigo exhibition. Starting from October 22 the exhibition will continue till November 15.

Prabartana adds glamour
Prabartan is bringing in changes in their collection. Shifting form their matted look they've gone glamorous. Chosen fabric this year is silk, georgette, cotton and khadi. Vivid block print and embroidery work added extra attraction to the collection. Prabartana is situated at 2/8, Sir Syed road, Mohammadpur.

Dressydale at Bashundhara City
Dressydale's collection has been dazzling the fashion lovers of Dhaka for quite some now. In the occasion of Eid-ul-fitre and Durga puja, the two biggest festivals of Bangladesh they are opening their fifth showroom in Bashundhara city on October 20. Contemporary design themes will be on their line up with exclusive illustration and composition.

Rong shines brighter
Rong has been colouring Dhaka's fashion scene for ten years. All this period their line up only included women's clothing. This October Rong includes men's outfit to their collection, which of course required for a more spacious outlet. Rong appeared more spacious and stylish on October 15 at Twin Tower, Shantinagar with an assortment of fatua, shirt, for men, saree, shalwar-kameez, ornaments for women and some household items.

Bibiana, bringing out 'Ghuddi' collection
'Ghuddi' collection with bright colours orange, purple, magenta, yellow will pretty up Bibiana this Eid. In addition, there will be outfits with hand paint, mixed combination, hand stitch and Bibiana's specialty 'White on White' appliqués. Adding more zeal to the festive mood Bibiana will celebrate their second anniversary on November 1. Get ready shoppers. There will be special 10 percent discount on the day. And there's more, if you are lucky enough a surprise gift might jazz up your day. Bibiana is situated at house no 6, road no 5, Dhanmondi.

By Shahnaz Parveen






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