Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 41, Tuesday October 21, 2008



reader's chit

Recap: Bridal Asia 2008

BRIDAL Asia 2008 has successfully completed their show in Regency Hyatt, New Delhi, earlier this month and most importantly for us in Bangladesh, designer Maheen Khan took part in the show after a long sabbatical of almost five years.

Bridal Asia with all its Indian opulence and chic glamour has steadily grown larger over the years and is now a strong platform that showcases only the best in the industry. Thus, along with internationally acclaimed designers like Ritu Beri and Falguni Shane and Peacock, Tarun Tahiliani, Honey Waqar from Pakistani, Maheen Khan this year showcased her grand collection at the fashion show that speaks only of the rich traditional past of our country. Using rich fabrics like silk, crepe, chiffon, and, of course our magnificent Dhakai jamdani and passionate colours like red, orange and magenta, which embody the spirit of a South Asian bride, she's played with intricate nakshi taaga, Arabesque motifs, and delicate embellishments. Our local flavour have thus found a contemporary, international look.

Khan's collection at Bridal Asia 2008 is strong, sensual and free spirited. Its inspiration was obviously today's bride. She uses classic Bengal weaves in heirloom tradition and pairs it with clean tunic shapes which embraces a 1970's stylization. Fringing, embroidery, tassels and trailing fabrics, her dresses were layered with uneven hemlines, pleats and a lot of other interesting applications; every element that she has used in her collection is a signature development of her own and are convincing statements of her unique Bangla style.

Her jewellery, silver in gold plated or just plain silver, featuring chilla and filigree designs sold out like hot cakes. It was interesting that in India, where jewellery making is an art, our traditional golap balas and ballis stood tall and took the visitors by a storm. Khan's Bridal Asia collection at the catwalk and exhibition talked about the poetic nostalgia of her roots in quilted patterns and paints. Adding to all the acclaim she received at the show, she is getting her own section at the fashion boutique Ogan, which has outlets in Delhi and Kolkata.

“I started with Bridal Asia from '99. I have also seen them grow and become more professional; this year from all aspects the show was successful for me. It was indeed an honour to be at the same platform with reputed Indian designers. As always this entire experience was a learning process for me. I was truly impressed by their professionalism. The green room management was extraordinary. The models, soft spoken and highly professional maintained pin drop silence, they read papers and magazines, and after every fit and trial they folded the clothes before handing it out. This was all new to me, considering how things go here. The logistics support system, the management team, all were ultra professional for which a huge show like that carried on perfectly without any major glitch,” Khan relates her familiarity.

“However, participation from Bangladesh is always numbered in ones or twos, such insignificant involvement is only because I feel our next generation designers are always opting for shortcuts and pleased with their five minutes in spotlight and are not serious enough to pursue the career to greater heights. Every designer must come from a design background. If artists, architects, doctors, lawyers need to educate themselves then why not designers? Many debate that designing should come from within; I believe that unless you have some professional training you cannot design from scratch. A university faculty makes a lot of difference,” she adds.

Remembering the pioneers of the industry she pointed out people like Ruby Ghaznavi, Joya Protti, Monira Emdad, Shilu Abed, Maleka Khan, Niaz Zaman all highly educated and excellent researchers who worked relentlessly for the industry. The fashion industry is not only about clothes; it's an entire range of lifestyle accessories as well. And on top of everything you should give your clients their money's worth,” she says.

The show, the glamour, the fame, the success, the applause are all fruits of hard labour and perseverance, and it's certainly worth it.

By Raffat Binte Rashid


Eid away from home…

IT was my first Eid in America, my first Eid outside of Bangladesh...I must admit that it was an atypical celebration of Eid for me. I came to know that the Muslim residents of St. Cloud, Minnesota were celebrating Eid on 30 September at 12:00 am! And that too would have remained outside my knowledge had a Bangladeshi student not informed me of it.

The rest of the day I kept wondering if I had ever imagined that an Eid day would begin without me even knowing that it was Eid. I thought that Eid-ul-Fitr would be on 1 October because my aunt living in Florida was making preparations for that day. I checked the website of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and found out that the society announced this year's Eid-ul-Fitr to be on the first day of October!

ISNA is considered as the largest Muslim organization in North America. I was perplexed. Why on earth would people living in the same country celebrate Eid on different days? But then I knew that it was also true for people in my country, where people in certain villages celebrate Eid when the Saudi Arabians do.

When I heard that it was Eid on September 30, I was working at my university. It was noon and I had one more class to attend. Phew! It was a unique experience, I tell you. This Eid being my first Eid in the US, I couldn't quite accept the fact that I needed to work for my Teaching Assistantship and listen to long graduate lectures on an Eid day.

Back home, Eid was synonymous to long holidays, good food, new dresses, and floods of Eid wishes over the phone, email and in person. Here, I am not even sure which day to actually call the Eid day. And which one should it be? 30 September, when people in the city where I live celebrate Eid? 1 October, when my friends and family living in New York and Florida celebrate Eid? I never underwent so much uncertainty over deciding the real day of Eid-ul-Fitr. Yes, it was a new experience but not a very pleasant one. Life abroad could be full of difficult-to-solve puzzles.

If anyone saw my sullen face on September 30, he or she probably walked away with the idea that I received some bad news from home. I tried to cheer myself up, I treated myself to ice cream and chocolates and I surfed facebook for hours and hours…but the tricks didn't work. I kept remembering my last Eid back home; my mom, dad, brother, aunts, cousins and friends. Tears filled my eyes with me completely unaware of the beads that were crawling down my cheeks to rest on my hands. They were tears of leaving behind the people I love so much. Who knew that I would be spending my first Eid in the US in tears?

Autumn in Minnesota can be quite harsh- the temperature on the evening of 30 September was around 7 degrees celcius. I left my apartment in a warm jacket and a scarf and walked to the deserted basketball court inside our complex. The cold wind sent shivers to my bones, but my skin was enjoying the pain that the evening wind inflicted through the jacket. On a cold wooden bench I sat to gaze at the heavens above. Grey clouds hanging from the charcoal sky seemed to add to my glum. However, the stars glinting here and there on the endless heavens carried messages of hope and better days. Eid in the coming years might be teemed with joy and happiness…who knows?

By Wara Karim


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