Pohela Boishakh peeks from right around the corner and hums along a tune of colours and celebration. The coming of the New Year is a time to let go of the past and start off fresh, to cherish the memories of yesteryears, while cleansing off the sorrows of yesterday. As we bid farewell to the year that slipped by, we warmly welcome the dawning of a new one.
Colours and colours everywhere with bright hues of red and the soothing white, our traditional Pohela Boishakh patents, are followed with a wide range of vivid shades this year. From psychedelic pinks to shocking turquoises, to fluorescent bottle greens, to sun-drenched orange; colour in the way you want to. As over the past few months we have celebrated our freedom in shades of black and white, we all are in dire need of a colour fever.
Hand-woven jamdanis are our heritage and mark a transition from the old into the new, a traditional piece so enriched in our culture; an entity of pride, the beauty and flawless craftsmanship of which we can never deny. Jamdanis in shades of red, pink and white are available at most outlets around the city. The colours in dual shaded jamdanis subtly melange, introducing a peek-a-boo for the eyes. This season, create your own style statement with an embellished blouse and a rich jamdani. Shalwar kameezes in jamdani are another delightful addition to the range of saris.
Muslin saris have made a comeback this season. Hand painted muslin saris with depictions of our villages and greenery are artistically sophisticated. Muslin embroidered or appliquéd saris add a bit of sparkle and glamour to the regularities of colours. Muslin, once so fine threaded and soft that an entire sari could fit through a ring and have been searched and hunted down for nations beyond. The Muslin's transcendent spirits make it one of our Bengali treasures.
Panjabis with bright knitted embroidery on backdrops of solids are to be found in various designs here and around. If embroidery is not what you are looking for, hand woven khadi or taant panjabis with wooden buttons are stored for this season.
Hand painted and block printed panjabis are now found in grand flocks. In folklore, we hear about men draped in dhutis and this season as we revive our own fairytales, we recommend you wear your panjabis with a twist. Lungis have made their names on the big fashion scene and if you dare be bold, dhutis or lungis are what you should tie on.
|Braids and Twists
Braids are in this boishak. It's glamorous and '70s, but very much in style this season in a modern soft way. Take your pick from structured fishtails, horsetails, loose braids and long braids with hair extension, French twists and school girl double plaits. For the Boho chic look, add cloth or traditional coloured 'fitha' or candy coloured tassle like extensions as twists into braids and updos.
'Tangail kutir shilpa' saris, purely handcrafted, mark a Bengali woman's destiny. In traditional and modern day colours, Tangail saris are a must own and wear this Pohela Boishakh.
A handful of beli flowers tucked neatly into the hair, and a Tangail sari swiftly draped on, is now what being a Bengali is all about.
Bailey Road has been a favourite for years, among enthusiastic Pohela Boishakh shoppers. This alley with an assortment of shops, offers Tangail saris in anything to everything you could have wished for.
Nakhshikantha saris and panjabis, embed our folk art and our rich greenery into a form of wearable art. It is truly and literally an art that you carry with you. Nakhshikantha designs are the knitted and threaded embodiments of tales heard throughout our existence.
Nokshikanthas are available in both silk and cotton this year. These are arts of admiration and appreciation of the efforts that come into play to create a single width and length.
Bengali pottery designs have been hand painted or block printed on saris and panjabis alike. The bright hues combined into pottery art are utterly divine. These designs have been introduced with a flare of rickshaw paintings on saris and panjabis. You can wear the rickshaw paintings you have longed in your wardrobe for so long.
The festive air has brought along with it a revival of the deshi roots. Terra cotta designs mark a step forward into the New Year and portray the designs once created with mud and clay on temples, tombs and palaces.
Terra cotta is every storyteller's potion: each segment of terra cotta has a prayer moulded in it. These designs are now available on saris, panjabis, shalwar kameez and fatuas.
For couples this season, many of the fashion houses have chosen to create mix-match attires. These come in both contrasting colours with the same print and identical shades with unparalleled motifs. Some have even created saris and panjabis from the exact material. With paired outfits, you will not lose your better half in the crowds of the fairs.
Saris, t-shirts and panjabis have always carried Bengali lyrics, alphabets and Bengali messages in print. To mark the beginning of the year 1417, powerful yet vibrant poetic vibes are printed. Tie-dyed saris and panjabis on comfortable cotton and soft silk have engrossed fashion analysts.
Tie-dyes are vivacious and without a doubt, in bright hues seize the occasion. With the sudden onset of occasional monsoon showers and the descent of the premature heat, breezy cotton has been every designer's fabric to play around with.
Ethnically fabulous are the fabrics from our tribal heritage. From Garo designs to Chakma handlooms, ethnicity has been emphasised throughout the country. The delicate handloom materials have been used to craft both ethnic attires and urban garbs. Venture out into the distances of the country, to awaken an eccentric fashion statement.
Bengali craftsmanship needs the glory that it has always deserved. The handwork and craftsmanship that goes into making each and every piece of clothing is immeasurable. This Pohela Boishakh, indulge in and savour our Bengali designs, the true Bengali style.
By Sanjana Rahman
Photo: Molla Sagar
Wardrobe and styling: Deshal