Bright lights and glam galore: A week of fashion and fun
Starting off at Gulshan Club on the 6 July after much hype and anticipation, Aromatic Gold Dhaka Fashion Week 2008 promised a week full of glitz showcasing the trendiest haute couture from the Dhaka fashion scene. Having chosen Dhaka as the inspiration, the designers had much to live up to, Dhaka being the city of extravagance, vivacity, striking polarities and everything in between. Blending all the different elements to create an essence that is essentially Dhaka proved to be a challenge indeed, and the talented designers of the time had left no stone unturned in their attempt to represent Dhaka in its true colours and flavours in their prêt-a-porter.
The week long event started with Pride displaying a mind-boggling array of exquisitely designed saris and salwar suits, the colour palette ranging from warm summery hues to vibrant shades of red, hot pink and yellow. Inspirations had been drawn from the colourful festivals of Bangladesh, namely Falgun, Boishakh and Eid. Soft peachy makeup complimented the bright colours on the flowing silk saris with floral imprints. Intricate embroidery enhanced the festive look of the ready-to-wear Kamiz collection, specially designed for Eid. Designer and Director of Pride, Mohammad A. Momen, had kept a segment exclusively dedicated to the celebration of life, which included silk saris in eye-catching colours with bold geometric patterns.
Putting an icing to the cake, Farzana Shakil's bridal makeup collection was the last item in the day's itinerary. Dolled up in elegant bridal wear, the touch of Farzana Shakil's makeup made the models look like brides straight out of fairy tales. Shimmering eye makeup complimented the glossy lips and the models looked quite the blushing brides they were supposed to resemble. Heavy gold jewellery embedded with pearls and precious stones in trendy designs added to the daintiness of the bridal wear.
Virgo's collection was an eclectic mix of knee-length cocktail dresses for fashionable teenagers, long flowing kameez inspired by dancers of the Mughal era as well as transparent saris in glass tissue. Anokhi's collection was inspired by the natural elements of sea, earth and flora. The muted beige of the sandy colour gave way to brilliant blues of diverse shades while sprouts of green peeped in between. Shades like indigo, midnight and peacock blue were prominent, as were dressy fabrics like dupian, raw silk and crepe georgette.
Day three had in line some refreshing surprises in the form of Jatra's extraordinary collection. Drawing inspirations from the majestic architecture of pristine Dhaka, Jatra made ample use of shells and other natural elements in their long wavy dresses, skirts and tops, accentuated with ruffles, pleats and layers. Talisman was used instead of accessories while flowing black scarves added a divine touch to the outfits.
Paera's collection introduced a myriad of springy colours like yellow, orange and green to the stage. Patiala shalwars teamed with crepe kameez and khadi dupattas in the colours of the monsoon paced with jamdani saris of vibrant hues.
Taaga by Aarong is a brand name that has already acquired high popularity among the youth of Dhaka. Skirts, tunics, kurtis and capris in comfortable cottons and fine linen appropriate for summer mesmerized the audience with a range of youthful colours like lilac, aqua and buttery yellow. The models sported daring fringes and sharp spikes with bold highlights while strappy sandals and metallic accessories completed the youthful look. Aarong's signature collection came as a celebration of 30 years of its existence, comprising the traditionally exotic nakshi kantha designs in saris and kameez. Khadi, raw silk, endi and muslin were crafted with delicate threadwork to create exquisite pieces of art befitting any gorgeous new bride. Heavy pearl and gold jewellery were added to boost the elegance of the outfits. Off-white, beige and black sherwanis dressed up the male models, giving them a princely look. Kazi Kamrul, in his collection, emphasized more on the hairstyles and makeup, using an assortment of ferns, stems and feathers to achieve a tribal look. The collection included Mughal style kameez and churidar sets, flashy saris for evening wear and also the quintessential black dress.
The penultimate day started off with a bang at Dhaka Club with Jatra reintroducing its line comprising of kurtis, layered skirts and full-length dresses, khadi being the overriding fabric. Shades of ivory and grey competed with terra cotta, mauve and amber played in the bouncy layers of silk and endi while translucent scarves in soft chiffon added a mystic touch to the Bedouin look. Tootli Rahman's floral imprinted saris in muslin and silk were easy on the eye as silver glitter added a touch of dazzle to the collection in soothing colours. Anokhi's collection bedazzled the audience with gorgeous shalwar suits in ebony and ivory, traces of shimmer and glitter peeking from the drapey folds. Traditional kolka motifs coupled with modern halter necks gave the effect of an artistic fusion of Eastern and Western ideas.
The last day of the Aromatic Gold Dhaka Fashion Week 2008 started with the showcasing of acclaimed designer Maheen Khan's collection of kamiz suits and saris in warm fruity colours. With off-the-wall headdresses complimenting the outfits, the models glided down the runway gracefully, sporting muslin saris teamed with Victorian styled high-collar blouses unconventionally worn over the saris. Jamdani dupattas flattered the translucent kamiz sets in muslin while beads and lace played peek-a-boo from the saris. Maheen Khan was presented with an award for her outstanding contribution to the Bangladeshi fashion scene. Anyamela's collection consisted of conspicuous magenta, orange and parrot green with big floral and circular prints in kota and muslin saris. Traditional embroidery and appliqué accentuated the bright colours in the kamiz suits. The show ended with Pride adding a dash of wild colours to the stage with elegant silk saris in roaring purple, black and magenta. Bold geometric patterns added the glitz factor to the saris while white capris teamed with quarter-sleeved kurtis captured the attention of the audience. Star Lifestyle was presented with an award for their contribution to the promotion of fashion in Bangladesh.
With the successful exhibition of all the collections of the renowned designers of the country, the curtain was finally drawn on the whirlwind week of fashion and glamour that had the fashionistas of the capital mesmerized for seven solid evenings. With minor setbacks here and there, the event achieved what it had set out to accomplish, setting a positive trend in the Bangladeshi fashion industry and taking fashion one step further towards a brighter future.
By Wasia Mehnaz