Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 56, Tuesday September 12, 2006




A glitzy, glamorous eve @ the Italian fashion night

Last week we'd brought out the news that JPR Events, in conjunction with the Italian Embassy, was holding a first-of-its-kind Italian Fashion Night on the 6th of this month to celebrate the best of Italian food and fashion. At the same time, the international issue of the UK based fashion magazine Asiana would be launched.

It's highly commendable that the Bangladesh Design Council is fostering its vision of “fashion without frontiers” by trying to help the nation's fashion designers and other players in the design industry to forge a growing global reputation. And what better way to do that than by showcasing, along with local prêt a porter and haute couture, famous designer brands from Italy? As it is, an international move towards eco-friendly fabrics such as pure cottons, linens and silks is already helping Bangladesh export over $200 million worth of merchandise per year to Italy alone and such endeavours are sure to help put Bangladesh even more firmly on the front line of global fashion.

The show was divided into two parts. First there was a local segment where renowned Bangladeshi designers from the Bangladesh Design Council showcased their couture, locally manufactured from start to finish. The opening act was by Kuhu Plamondon with her “Wearable Art” line of vibrant saris with bright orange, azure, magenta, black and white floral prints, embroidery and patchwork. This was followed Sozpodor's (Nahid Osman) line of chic, ethnic skirts and fully sequined halter-tops made with fabrics from the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Rangamati with the models having a very tribal-cum-modern get-up. Karim Leathers (Rezaul Karim Ansari) presented sexy and hip leather jackets, pants and skirts. Yellow by Beximco showcased contemporary street-wear. Rina Latif's collection celebrated the colour white, with beautifully embroidered kurti suits and saris having ruffles on the petticoats' hems and sexy blouse necklines, giving them a quaint, Victorian feel. The local segment ended with Dia's collection, the highlights of which were a little black number with a sheer wrap and when a 'couple' came out resplendent in a sari and sherwani of black Jamdani having gold embellishments.

After this came a pleasant break during which guests enjoyed cover songs ranging from Shania Twain's “You're Still The One” and Cyndi Lauper's “Time After Time” to John Denver's “Leaving On A Jet Plane”, performed by a father and daughter duo, Laura and Rumi. Then it was time for the Italian segment where models came out garbed in Diesel, Moschino, Emporio Armani, Ferretti, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Versace and Gucci designs. The whole Italian show had a feel of sensuality- figure hugging dresses with peek-a-boo backs, skirts with long slits, and even a couple of numbers with the no-bra look. Throughout the event, Panayiotis Antoniou aka Panny, a street magician from UK, occasionally went from table to table making the guests burst into amazed laughter with his wide repertoire of hand illusions.

The All Access magazine team who helped coordinate, arrange and source the choreography, music and accessories respectively for the Italian segment, consisted of Mohammadou Galy Sow, Editor (aka DJ Mo) and David Augusto Brito de Carvalho, Stylist. The local segment's choreography and music was arranged by Sameer Bhayani, one of India's top choreographers while the accessories were provided by Tenzing Chakma, Symon Rahim and Russel Ansari. Farzana Shakil and her team of eight girls, did all the hair and make up. The light and sounds were done by Fuad Shihab (Sound Storm) and Sandish. Rochelle Brown, Event Coordinator, Top Hat International, UK, did a fabulous job as the backstage coordinator, with a great team of young volunteers from Shanto-Mariam University, Charukala and Jahangirnagar University. For ladies wear, seven European models, two Indian models, and one Bangladeshi model graced the ramp while the male models were all from Bangladesh.

The culinary experience for the 500 plus guests seated at their white draped tables were presented by Steve Szabo, Executive Chef, Palazzo Versace; Martin Glutz, Chef De Cuisine, Palazzo Versace; and Andrew Blundy, visiting chef from the UK. Starting with a tantalising entrée of Salmon Confit with Maple Caviar Dressing accompanied by Ruffino Orvieto Classico 2004 (white wine), and followed by the sumptuous main course of Ballontine of Chicken on Red Wine Risotto Galette accompanied by Ruffino Fonte Al Sole 2003 (red wine). The haute cuisine menu was topped off by a sinful dessert, Vanilla Panna Cotta with Pistachio Nuts with portions of Chocolate Mousse on the side accompanied by coffee or tea.

Speeches at the event came from Nasrine R. Karim, Chairperson, JPR Events and President, Dia House of Fashion Ltd, her son, Mishal Karim, Managing Director, JPR Events, Mohammad Sarwar Ahmed, Publisher of Asiana magazine, and the Italian Ambassador, H. E. Mr. Pietro Ballero. Ian R. Barrow, General Manager, Radisson Water Garden Hotel and Steve Szabo, also spoke on the occasion.

An effort like this is definitely commendable, and our local hotshots performed with panache and held their own amidst the Italian heavyweights, which is also laudable. Unfortunately, the event management left a lot to be desired, and so we look forward to future events like this, which are better organised.

By Simin Saifuddin
Photos: Amirul Rajiv



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