Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 22, Tuesday June 3, 2008


midsummer dreams

We all like to arrive at a party looking like a style queen. Well, most of us do any way. We would like to think that there is a mantra, which is essential in making a grand entrance. You need to look fabulous, sultry and sexy, diva-like all at the same time, if it is possible. You need to evaluate your audience. What are they going to wear? You must not look like the rest of the pack rather try to make a unique statement keeping with the theme of the party- hip or classic, formal or casual. There are certain things to be considered before you make a final choice of an ensemble. This season summer evening's big surprise will be sheer fabrics. Clouds of tulle and transparent muslins in delectable harmony of trailing silk saris should be your pick of the evening. Summer night's fashionistas will be drifting in silk organzas and chiffons in soft drapes, flowing pieces in light fabrics pleated and engineered to wrap around your contour. Loose and trailing in unstructured shapes, the clothes will fall freely on your body. Ruffled blouson flared tops will flounce and flow in movement and look brilliant.

Muslin in kameez look superb, as well as in hand painted, in self prints, or embroidered in colours floating asymmetrically. Translucent fine fabrics in high umpire waist styles are particularly good. But you need to be inventive waist down. It should be pleated in knife or box styles or in multiple layers of gossamer water falls in uneven hemlines. You can also downplay the style and stick to shift styles. A line blouse with a simple slit neck and square hem is very versatile. Again, the very 'now' thing would be to reinvent a sweet fantasy with free shapes layered with an umpire shaped chest line emphasizing a princess cut. It's a whole new attitude that lets you drift to become a summer goddess. To finish the look, try strapped gladiator sandals or tall wedges.

This summer, women are going to take full advantage of long shirts, kurtas, and tunic tops. It will be smart to utilize flexible pieces, which can be mixed and matched. Kaftan style is very retro. Open collared button down with cuff sleeves take a formal appearance for the evening and you need to find some with focal embellishments to create jazzy emergence. Kilim or batik prints with tassels are good finds as they represent easy ethnic fusion. Animal prints, floral, fauna, fantasy calico or even shades of umbrae are great grounds for summer collection. These, paired with ethnic yokes makes it extremely wearable and chic. These will add a new dimension to your wardrobe. They can be worn with or without scarves. Paired with cropped pants, leggings or drainpipes they are simply remarkable.

Haute couture evening wears are going to be swept with romance. Dreamy and fairy like, these dresses will arrive in layers that will redefine sex appeal. The kameez are going to turn full length, full skirted with enormous hemlines. The colours are going to float from diaphanous yellow, to fresh lagoon green, to coral orange, to pale sky. But black and ivory will remain a favourite for eveningwear. The key is to manipulate your tulle organza or chiffon as skirting on your kameez or end piece on your sari. These sweeping pieces will clearly make a statement. You should pick up luxurious chic styles reminiscent of the seventies elegance. Full-length kaftans are hot. These are one-size patterns that look best with squared dolman, raglan, or tulip sleeves. The neckline could be anything from pear, v-necked, or open front button down. Sleeveless kaftans are great for the summer heat and in a mid length style they will look super with leggings or narrow cropped pants. Wear these in bright eclectic colours. The direction is all about yogi charm. The runways are heavily influenced by South Asian details and drapes. The fusion vibe is strong in sari style engineered pieces giving it a practical facelift, tailored to give a cultural cross over.

Summer saris will articulate clear fluidity and easy drapes. A Bangladeshi chic sari is rich in weaves. You can't possibly beat a Dhakai muslin sari on a summer evening. They are light, finely woven and beautifully composed and the vocabulary suggests pure poetry in drapes. Traditionally made in light colours they are now translated into rich jewel tones which are fit for the brides of Bengal. Jamdani saris are being revived in its old glory. A classic piece will be woven in miniscule floral motifs, or diagonal borders or in octagonal fillers running across the entire width. Jamdanis are best with matching borders and beautifully woven end pieces. I believe most textile researchers or examiners who delve into our heritage will agree that patrons of heirloom saris should be warned about transmuted modern alteration applied on such saris, which will clearly destroy the legacy of its pure beauty. Buy it in its cleanest form and encourage our weavers to create weaves of art.

Pure silk muslin saris embroidered and tailored with multiple borders look divine. Silk chiffon and endi silk sari are also good options for summer. Wear them with danglers, beads or fine pearls and you will simply emulate a defined sophistication.

Summer air is heavy and moist. The humidity limits our fashion prowess extensively. We need to be extra careful with our style, especially if we are confined to non-air condition or subjected to the natural weather conditions. No matter what the fashion adversity you can still splash an outrageous attention seeking outfits, provided it serves your purpose or you can try a different kind of fashion appeal where flamboyance is not your thing. Regular women precisely aspire to look elegant, classic and beautiful. Blouses reveal her shape without exposing too much skin. She is someone who walks the line between uncomplicated and boring but might break out to stop traffic once in a while when she feels animated. She is a strong independent woman who calls her own shots.

Photo: Munem Wasif
Ensemble, jewellery and styling: Maheen Khan, Designer, Mayasir
Make-up and hairstyle: Farzana Shakil
Models: Tumpa, Priyanka and Nabeela
Location: Sheraton, Dhaka
Our special thanks to Sinthia Siraj of Sheraton, Dhaka for giving us her all-out support while doing the photoshoot.

Note: Keep a lookout for a sequel to Midsummer Dreams...


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