|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 37, Tuesday, September 20, 2011|
CHECK IT OUT
Sharodiyo Durga is just around the corner and boutique Rang, as in the past, adorns itself in festive colours. Whether you are looking for that ubiquitous white sari with a red "paar" (border) or something in similar hues, Rang is just the right place to look for the puja garb.
The fabrics used in creating these festive attires are extensive, ranging from cotton to endi silk to jamdani to muslin. The embellishments are also eye catching in hand block prints, appliqué, hand embroidery and others. To help clients make the perfect festive gift, gift vouchers are available from Tk 500 to Tk 5000.
Rang has also arranged a photo competition where young photographers will take puja snaps beginning on the Shoshthi till the Ashtomi and will finally be judged on the blessed Nabami at Sri Sri Boldeb Akhra and Shib Temple premises.
Was it in 1963 when Ben Sherman endorsed the motto 'Looking good isn't important, it's everything.'?
I may forget my history, but whatever year it was, it's the epic realisation in the statement that matters. Judging from all the ill-fitting, badly-ironed and terribly colour coordinated clothes that I (and so must you) see everyday, one would be fooled into thinking that the rolled-right-out-of-bed look is some sort of national preference; when in fact, the opposite is true. Bangladeshis care about appearances. And that caring reaches its peak during important festivals.
Lucky for the clueless, the older these festivals get, the more we promote distinctive looks for each one of them. While we have settled on red and white for Pohela Boishakh, black and grey have become Ekushey's statements and red and pink their Valentine's counterparts. At the expense of creating stereotypes and wearing something similar to what everyone and their grandmother is wearing, these flavour-of-the-month outfits are fun ways to uphold traditions and develop a sense of unification.
And upholding culture wouldn't be such a beastly affair if it didn't involve searching for the perfect sari. But let's be honest, no one (who matters) wants to get their 'big day' look wrong, so sari-searching, originally known as soul-searching, can take anywhere between a few hours to a few weeks. Much about getting the right look for the right occasion depends on whether or not you have a gameplan - yes ivory and crimson are Durga Puja's darlings , but is it going to be traditional-traditional, neo-traditional, modern or post-modern for you this season?
In non-pretentious terms, are you aiming to do justice to a vintage gorod, playing it safe with a taant or cotton or experimenting with a chic silk? In any case, if you've read our supplement long enough, by now you should have some idea of the sari scene in Dhaka - the luscious vegetable dyes, the softest silks, the best jamdani weaves, the vibrance of traditional motifs and where each of these are at.
Of course there will always be those who do not plan ahead, but maybe that's a good thing. Chances are, for all their daredevilry, they will sieve through the market better and truly know what's on offer for as long as the hunt lasts. Wait to be wowed by window shopping there's nothing wrong in it. You could even make a day out of it with your mother, aunts, cousins et al or your friends. In a country that has little or nothing to offer in terms of entertainment, the search for the perfect sari is recreation in itself, a perfect preamble to whichever festival it builds up to. Remember that the true spirit of festivity begins much before the festival itself -- and sari shopping is what creates that palpable air of excitement for us Bangladeshis.
I often find encouragement in Hedy Lamarr's sardonic words, 'Any girl can look glamorous. All they have to do is stand still and look stupid.'
Wouldn't it be great if everyone stood still and looked stupid in gorgeous saris?
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