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Shop Special
Samuel H: Couture pour homme

At first glance, with his clean good looks and ability to turn heads with his subtle but unique style, he could easily pass for a model or an actor. Then again, Samuel H's style mantra is all about making a strong impression. As he puts it, "Good clothes simply open doors."

With a BA Hons degree in Marketing and Fashion Design from the London College of Fashion, London University, and a diploma in Menswear Fashion from St Martin's College, London, Samuel H is the newest kid on the block in the men's couture scene in Bangladesh.

We caught up with him late last month as he prepared to launch his line in Dhaka, and in speaking about the state of men's fashion in the country, he said: "Currently fashion here is very Bollywood inspired. People see all these trendy actors in the movies and want to look like them. The problem is, what looks good on a celebrity, after s/he's undergone all the training and styling by professionals, may not work for a lay person. Now women here have many outlets to turn to, and specialists to help them along; but men's fashion is still a largely ignored sector here, in my opinion."

With that in mind, Samuel offers a brand new solution and a breath of fresh air: bespoke couture. He emphasizes that he is not starting another 'boutique' for his designs; nor is he a glorified tailor, rather he intends to work as a sort of style consultant to help his clients achieve their own sense of style and find a look that suits their personalities.

"When someone comes to me for clothes; be it a western outfit or a panjabi, I will first take some time to study him; his age, background, profession, activities, etc and try to grasp his overall personality, and then create a look for him that suits him as an individual, keeping his personal tastes in mind." The couturier modestly adds, "I feel that with my limited knowledge, I could offer him what I've learnt, and maybe learn some more from him as well."

As for Samuel's designs, they are an eclectic mix of western designs and traditional styles with a contemporary twist. There is an emphasis on details and finishing, which transforms an ordinary outfit into something stylish. What adds fun to his designs is that his fabrics and materials are all obtained locally. "People are always amazed when I tell them I get my cloth from places like New Market" he says, with an impish gleam in his eye. "I get everything locally and then add my own touches, be it embroidery, or foil work, or show buttons."

He is also planning to launch his collections thematically to go with special occasions like Pohela Boishakh, Valentine's Day, etc. "I'm doing a lot of homework" he tells us.

Samuel H launched a preview of his work on December 15 at a private showing held at PM lounge. Over soft drinks and finger food, guests had an opportunity to check out and buy some of his designs. The collection consisted of casual wear, traditional formal wear, sportswear and nightwear. There was a lot of classic white, which is Samuel's signature, as well as subtle blues, olive green, and shades of gray, perhaps inspired by the colours of the winter sky. Colour was provided by the bright scarves and mufflers, which were an added attraction of the collection. As he had stated earlier, a lot of research had gone into the pieces so as to result in styles that were subtle, and yet different.

With the casual wear priced at approximately Tk 1500-3000, and the bespoke formal wear at Tk 5000-10,000 the clothes not only look great, but also are easy on the wallet.

Samuel confesses that his ambition would be to design for the local film industry someday. "If I'm being honest, the clothes worn by the actors in the mainstream movies here are slightly tacky and don't do the wearer justice. There is a lot of potential to turn it all around. Proper styling could really turn it around and make people sit up and take notice of the movies."

Samuel H launches his design studio (he shuddered visibly when this reporter mistakenly called it an 'outlet') later this month. For now, his creations are available at Preema's Atelier, House 28 (3rd Floor) Old DOHS, Dhaka Cantonment.

By Sabrina F Ahmad
Photos: Zahedul I Khan

The shop down the lane

Even to the most skilled shopper, Bashundhara City shopping mall with all its blocks and lanes can prove to be a confusing maze. One shop that stands out from the puzzle is "Swiss Elegance." With a wide array of Swiss watches and knives to offer, Hasnat Enterprise at Level 6 Block D is a must for all who crave for quality.

The brand that instantly caught my eye upon entering the store is the 'Traser' collection. This sporty and fashionable range features labels like Military, Professional, Diver, Super Sport and Classic. The 'Traser' designs have incorporated Permanent Light Technology, a glow in the dark innovation, which edges radium or super luminova. For the tech savvy individuals, 'Traser' watches are priced between Tk 8,750 to Tk 49,000.

Bulova has been on the fashion scene since 1875 and boasts brand ambassador like aviation extraordinaire, Charles Lindberg. Though tagged at a higher price than almost all other designs at Hasnat enterprise, Bulova will certain appeal to fashion conscious individuals craving for the suave impression. Prices range from seventeen to ninety thousand. If Bolova is for the gentlemen, Grovana is certainly for the ladies. The sleek designs in rose gold, gold and silver are more reasonably priced than the lines for the gents. A particular design resembling a traditional bangle can easily be your wedding gift for your better half.

This review would be rather incomplete if the Wegner range of Swiss Army knives are left out. To the McGyver generation of Bangladesh, the gadget holds an air of nostalgia and manly definition. If you have a knack for handy tools, a Wegner can be yours for Tk. 1200 to Tk. 10,000.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif

On The Cover

Start the year with some glitz and some glam, particularly with the wedding season still going strong. On a more specific note, turn to the Centrefold and Page 8 for handy hints for newly wed couples.

Photo: David Barikder
Model: Mou
Makeup: Farzana Shakil
Ensemble: Tangail Sari Kutir


Expressing emotions
When you want to convey a message, it is easy nowadays to simply pick up your cellular phone, and either send a text message or just dial the number. But do those words properly describe what you want to say? Although technology has moved us to the fast track, it is more often than not, best to stick to the age-old. Greeting cards have not lost their essence as of yet, and always, we can use it to work up some magic.

Pick one
Greeting cards should be chosen according to your own taste, and also keeping in mind the person whom you want to give. Card stores like Hallmark or Archies will provide you some wonderful cards and they sure do have different varieties. The thoughts should be in words that leave your emotions intact. You may also choose something fancy if it is meant for children. For the family some cards are available which will show how much you care for them and respect their sentiments. These cards are not that expensive but it may take a bit of time to find the one you are looking for. Make sure you add in a personal message for an emotional touch.

Renewing bondage
Greeting cards are meant to renew some old relations; people who have not been contacted for a long time can find their way into memories. It really makes the other person feel that they have some significance and importance, irrespective of their age and it is indeed a different feeling. People often lose contact numbers, so let the card be your only hope of conveying all that you have to say. Feel free to let your emotions speak through words. This time around, rekindle the spirit of bondage.

By Yamin Tauseef Jahangir



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