Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 87, Tuesday, October 13, 2009


on a bangladeshi fashion highway

The spirit of Bangladesh is an inspiring theme that resonates and characterises our enthusiasm for living. Complex moral fibres weave our mystic culture. Our country, its colours and creativity are exemplified by our soulful nature. We have a treasure trove of images and anecdotes that play a vital role in rendering our sense of fashion. We love to dig into places that subconsciously remind ourselves of power, our Bengali vibe. We are simply fascinated by our identity but on the fashion highway going forward we take it to the next level where there are no trap of clichés; it is simply a fascinating destination.

We can only begin to embrace this particular new ethos in fashion while we continue to build on our past traditions and cultivate an attitude for a sharper contemporary image. This can suggest high drama or subtle tones that indicate respect and the value of living responsibly. Fashion must always remain within our lifestyle and it means that we need not have to change our lives drastically to conform to its eccentricity. It is the flair of confidence in styling that is the chic factor in fashion that always rises above limited spheres of origin and time.

Edgy styles
This is an intense attitude where contrasts are drawn from the opposing poles of ideas. It is this sheer pull of thoughts that simply balances this kind of look. Distressed finish with that of a clean statement can work surprisingly well.

For an evening out, the styling calls for a simple squared medium length black kameez in faded linen or khadi with a metallic or satin gold fitted churidar. The interest lies with the bottoms that can get further illustrative with bold accessories, scarves, stoles, neck pieces purses and so on. Try funky shoes as a great finish. It is, as I have suggested earlier, a dynamic look. The clash of concepts creates a punk edge.

A day look can also be incorporated with bright chaotic prints. Blue and gold are the predominant colours this summer. Get adventurous with bold graphic prints and pair with solids. You are looking for an unbounded space of confusion. A riot of colours in simple comfortable styles with oversized hairpieces, faux leather cuffs and large wooden bangles, team these elements and somehow they seem to work when you bend the rules a bit.

Glamour factor
The glam girl is irresistible. She is the one with the air of confidence. Metallic shine on the ensembles is probably going to be a craze this summer. Laved, sequined, embroidered, faux leather in shiny prints, are all looking fresh in gold, silver, gunmetal, and copper. You could apply this and possibly go all the way or keep to a more subtle interpretation. You can work it any way you please. I suggest a daring individual could risk going all metal with ease.

Styles in simple a-line cuts paired with form-fitted drainpipes and layered with cropped bolero jackets can work in both ethnic and western styles. Waistlines should be given a degree of emphasis, as looser cuts look better with such details. Metallic flair is also spectacular when used as just the “bling” on your statement jewellery or on your bags and shoes. It is an easy perk to an otherwise regular look. The glam girl is chic with perfectly balanced style.

Kitsch style
The fun-loving, exciting fashionista will most likely go with this look. The young at heart loves direct conversational pieces that can be related to and understood easily. The factor in such an attitude is the quirky combinations. Illustrative comic or fairytale characters or motifs from pop culture are widely in use as they are easily recognisable. T-shirts or an end piece of a dupatta can easily carry this concept. It all depends on how it can be conceived.

A check skirt on top of a printed t-shirt with a cartoon character and a busy loud floral tote bag can easily reflect such a fun-spinning concept. This is an amusing and cool style. A ruffled kameez with a large heart-shaped neckpiece and squared acrylic bangles with just the right amount of playful prints in similar motifs are really cute; add to that a large bowed hair band to complete the look. Layer colours, prints and textures and don't be afraid to mismatch.

Classic moment
This summer a classic palette will consist of black or all white ensembles. These colours are simply befitting for an all time look. Day or evening these non-colours are superb choices. A day choice could be a sleeveless trench cut black blouse with denim or a white puff sleeved open front shirt that could have a slightly gathered waistline paired with black trousers.

A long white asymmetrical kameez with knife pleated neckline details is a monochrome style will define a classic moment for a good many years. It can hardly ever go out of fashion. Grey's and navy's are other good colour options. Ruffles biased waterfall details in engineered application can create a feminine look to an otherwise plain cut.

This can create an advantageous chic appearance when used even on a sari blouse. Accessories should also be understated but definitely not be boring. On occasions colours can appear on these items. As a classic wearer you will acquire your taste in such clothing over a period of time. It is a time-tested method and can only be picked up along the way. Build your wardrobe slowly with only the right amount of interchangeable pieces. Most women and men who dress in a classic style are convinced, self-assured individuals.

Bangla swing
In Bangladesh, like elsewhere, there are elements of our culture that can easily transcend to our fashion idea of sorts. You need to embrace our weaves, prints, textures in a riot of colours, complete eclectic pieces of garments that can be in easy east meets west ideology. A modern Bangladeshi girl is rooted. A double-breasted overlapped tie up kameez has a traditional twist yet it can pass for an oriental feel.

This global styling goes rather well with a pleated shalwar. Stripes or resist batik prints are ethnic and can be used rather well with a solid short kameez with empire waistline. Such a piece of garment can be collaged and put together with different textile prints in a patchwork of ideas. Harem pants and tiered swing skirts are great for today's hip girl who is not afraid and cool with her identity. If she is you, you will love to experiment with your Bengali sensibility and your western outlook. Saris are an all time favourite. Simple hand woven weaves will rock with all-over multi-coloured beaded blouses.

Fashion is no longer confined to geographic boundaries. You need to spell quality, class and demand diversity. Bangladeshi fashion is moving forward fast and it needs to remain aesthetically balanced. We need to learn to reinvent ourselves and give a fresh new feel. The challenge is to try good appealing silhouettes that are versatile and fit well in any environment.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Models: Tumpa, Chaity,Airin, Ruhee, Akash, Junaid, Shaon
Make-up and styling: Farzana Shakil


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