Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 37, Tuesday, September 20, 2011




Fashion sirens

We have observed how retro trends have come back in full throttle over the past few seasons. We have seen the re-emergence of polka dots and the comeback of geometric prints. This season, it's time for fashionistas to take it a tad further by getting psyched about stripes and snakeskin prints.

A serpentine lush
Disparate to their live counterparts, snake skin on clothing and accessories is only as fierce as the attitude of the wearer. Making fashion ruckus from European catwalks down to Dhaka streets, the serpentine print is a big hit this summer. Slithering onto everything starting from strappy stilettos, shoulder bags, clutches, bangles to even shirts and skirts, these reptile prints can give you that edgy chic look that in no way will kill but just entice the onlooker.

With the resurgence of animal prints in international fashion, snakeskin is the new addition to the line. Combining the prints with different ranges of colour and fabric, designers are creating looks that make use of sultry, hypnotic patterns.

Serpent print stilettos, pumps, peeping toes and chunky heels are all the rage currently and can be spotted in many a shoe shop around Dhaka. The latest addition to this trend is the print in vibrant colours for the daring. So if you are in a mood to experiment buy one of these pieces and flaunt them with utmost confidence.

Crocodile printed bags are now a common sight everywhere, but to bring about a variation to this scene, snakeskin bags are the latest guest. They are modish, trendy and can be paired with bold accessories to create a statement.

For the ones with a brave heart and a keen sense of fashion, you can even wear serpent print on your clothing, but do keep a vigilant eye on for overdoing it. You definitely do not want to look like a reptile yourself. Do not go all out with all things reptile. If you are wearing it on your attire, then give the shoes and accessories a rest and vice versa. Everything in moderation will do the trick.

Stripe mania
Stripes are everywhere. They are on the runways of international fashion shows, on the portfolios of world renowned brands like Prada and Gucci, they are adorning your favourite pair of converses, they are woven into your much-loved cotton sari, they are on your bags and can even be spotted in home décor.

Stripes are no more just limited to your pair of socks. It is almost overwhelming how all of a sudden the stores are filled with striped knitwear and tops, the pattern being displayed even on traditional wear like the shalwar kameez and sari. Most importantly, stripes can do wonders in accentuating your body structure while hiding unflattering features. Vertical stripes are known to make you look taller and elongate your legs while horizontal stripes highlight your curves.

Nautical stripes are rather large this season and are not just about two colours anymore, but also about brandishing multiple bright and unsullied colours to create a frisky and fun look. In cohesion to that, the width of the stripes can also vary to add some perk to it. Such multicoloured stripes can mainly be seen on shoes, tops, t-shirts and bags. And do not think that it is an all-girls trend and that men should be left behind with their perfectly parallel pin-striped shirts. Geometric patterns are always neutral and the men out there can look fabulous sporting this atypical pattern as well.

Parading stripes is not just for those with a western wardrobe, but we can see an adaptation of this classic in traditional wear as well. Along with variations in cuts this season, stripes are very much in vogue when it comes to the print and pattern of shalwar suits and panjabis. Stripe patterns are being weaved by hand as well as machines onto cotton and silk fabrics. Saris are also getting finely gilded with this pattern in both printed and weaved forms and are in absolute demand this festive season. Bright-coloured cotton dupattas are seen to exhibit this pattern and are getting paired up with contrasting pale colours.

For the bold-hearted out there, it can be a part of your home décor as well, be it your cushion covers, your curtains, your rugs or even your walls. A dash of stripes in your living room can add that chic touch you've been looking for.

In case of smaller rooms, thick stripes look better as they add to the volume of the room, and vice versa. Thin vertical stripes tend to make the roof look higher than it actually is. You could use bold or light colours. Contrasting colours do well in certain places, but for first timers it is best to stick to the same colour family as the stripes themselves are less glaring. For those purple lovers out there, using the colour in the form of white and purple stripe pattern can add a whole new chic to your dwelling.

So celebrate the stripe mania this season and bring this pattern back to your closet and to your home, but do not forget to add your personal touch to it.

By Afrida Mahbub


Images through a theodolite VII: The posthumous child

12 December, 1978
The Past
My uncle stood silently on the street. Taking a long drag of the cigarette held in between his fingers, he took a long look at his watch. Time seemed to have stood still, the arms of the watch stuck. 5:45 and not a single auto-rickshaw had passed the Shantinagar Road in the last half hour. As the tar filled smoke invaded his lungs, he felt the nicotine spur his senses.

It was chilly that December morning. Amidst the thick fog, Abbas only made out the silhouette of the man standing on the road side. There was no way of knowing that he had been waiting for over an hour. He was almost at the point of accelerating when the shadowy figure hailed for him to stop.

The two men moved through the thick fog, with my mother resting her head on my uncle's lap. Abbas thought them to be man and wife, but they hardly seemed like a couple. But he dared not to ask. Fifty takas he charged that day. My uncle didn't complain, neither did my mother. She was running a high fever -- the day I was born.

As the autorickshaw rushed to the hospital, my mother asked to see her husband. My uncle only managed to say “he is here”. It had been three months since my father breathed his last in a road accident at Motijheel and I was left behind in my mother's womb to be a posthumous child.

On his way to work, a drunken driver ran over him. No one heard his last words. No one could even say if he had any, but everyone wondered. As he did the autopsy, the coroner saw the tyre marks stamped on his chest. He noted the smile on the corpse, and it haunted him for days. More accustomed to finding a look of horror, the smile bothered him. He had heard of men who smile their way through death but he never came across a death that seemed pleasant. The young gentleman that lay on his table seemed to have smiled as he breathed his last. The coroner too pondered about his final words, if there were any.

The distance from Shantinagar to Dhaka Medical College Hospital was not long; the streets were desolate and the early morning office commuters had not yet hit the streets. The autorickshaw blazed through the streets like a fast racing horse. Yet even the strike of luck couldn't appease my uncle.

He was anxious, anxious to get medical attention for his sister, my mother. She rested her head on my uncle's lap and remained in a semi-conscious state. Her fleeting thoughts bothered her. She knew her husband had passed away a few months ago but she preferred to think it was not so. Her delusions and denial were her only solace in this time of pain and suffering.

"O koi" (Where is he?) she asked my uncle, again.
"He is here. Don't worry. Everything will be fine. Don't you worry a bit" said my uncle.

He could not find comfort in his own words. He felt his anxiety and fears were revealed through his words. Every sentence he uttered was discomforting and he preferred to stay silent.

Dr Shameem had just finished his early morning tea. Being an intern at the hospital he was often assigned the duty of managing the emergency room at the odd hours of the day when the senior doctors were having getting some shut-eye. He saw two men carry a pregnant woman to the ER, both seemed perplexed and burdened with the gravity of the situation.

The doctor rushed to attend the patient. Checked her pulse, measured her pressure and took my mother's temperature.

"Is she your wife?" he inquired looking at my uncle.

- "My sister."
He called the orderly, "Call Dr. Irfan. Quick!"

I was born some two hours later. But my mother didn't live to hear the first cry of her new born. She passed away at childbirth. And I bore the stigma of being a posthumous child.

(to be continued)

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif


Stress busters

No one escapes unscathed from stress. Living in the hubbub of Dhaka city, there seems to be a whole range of situations which we are unable to deal with. There are negative and positive stressors; positive stress helps us break bad habits, get motivated, and, as procrastinators who wait before the last night to get something done know, help focus as well.

However, stress can negatively affect our body and mind. Hysteria and fear that occur as a result of stress can lead to poor judgment, and pessimism. Excessive worrying, moodiness, irritability, loneliness, and depression will hurt a mind. Stress will manifest itself in aches and pains all over the body, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, eating disorders, and a heavy reliance on substances. By reducing stress levels, an important step is taken towards improving overall health.

Beneficial eating
Eating healthily is at the top of many new years resolutions list, and for good reason. There are negative health consequences of obesity, and the impact fitness has on self-esteem is huge. Often due to stress levels, people may resort to emotional eating. Good nutrition lowers stress levels; although many are too tired after work to cook at home, eating at home reduces expense and ensures healthy meals.

Decrease the amounts of fats and caffeine entering your system. Have healthy snacks at work, in a purse, or briefcase to prevent drops in blood sugar that bring mood swings and fatigue, and hypoglycemia in the long term.

Drink Water
Water refreshes the mind and body. It is recommended to drink 9-13 cups a day. Dehydration can cause physical stress, as drinking water provides a moist environment for nose, ears, throat, and tissues. Even mild dehydration can drain energy and cause fatigue.

Water is also a good substitute for all the coffee that is being gulped down instead. Many people find that caffeine helps cope with daily stressors. Caffeine can help stay awake to finish late work, but also causes exaggerated stress responses, and disruptions in sleep.

Studies indicate high blood pressure and increased adrenaline when under the influence of caffeine. People who consume large amounts of caffeine find it more difficult to focus, making a simple task more stressful and difficult.


Discount offer at Farzana Shakil

NS a mark of appreciation to all their valued customers, Farzana Shakil's Makeover Salon is pleased to announce attractive discounts of up to 45 services on services at both their Gulshan-1 and Dhanmondi 27 outlets from 25 September, 2011 to 04 October, 2011. (Conditions apply). Visit their expanded premises with all-new amenities, and revel in the luxury and ambience of their new Sabai Spa, complete with authentic Thai therapists at Road 27, Dhanmondi.

Please contact 01713451776 or 01926153010.




home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2011 The Daily Star