Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 6, Issue 39, Tuesday, October 04, 2011



Gitanjali wedding

Weddings, no matter how important, fun and joyous events they may be, are no doubt big hassles too. Starting from the wedding attire of the bride and the groom, to the million little things that make up the wedding, to finally going for a honeymoon - all these, although exciting, prove to be very tiring.

Wouldn't it be great if you could enter one retail outlet and buy all the things you need for all the wedding affairs?

While that may be a stretch, Gitanjali came quite close to the concept. The jewellery mughal took this initiative to provide one-stop wedding solutions under one roof.

Welcome to Gitanjali Wedding Festival, a huge “wedding fair” that was organised at the Grand Ballroom of Radisson Water Garden Hotel.

The two-day fair kicked off on the 29th of September and continued until 11 pm on the 30th of September.

Simply put, the festival was a one-stop event for wedding solutions. Anything that comes on your mind that is associated with weddings was there for you to pick from.

Therefore, it was no surprise that the environment in the ballroom was vibrant and very enchanting. The band, every now and then playing the traditional trumpet music you hear at weddings, made the atmosphere very festive indeed.

The stalls collectively offered everything a person needs for a wedding, such as jewellery, wedding attire, wedding planners, parlours, wedding photographers, floral decoration companies, printers of invitation cards, caterers, trousseau packing and almost all the related requirements.

Gitanjali, an Indian jewellery brand, is the pioneer in offering diamond studded jewellery at affordable prices, featuring standardised designs, quality and pricing across regions. The international brand has earned raving success and operates in many countries across the globe. It has, so far, introduced five brands in our country: Beautifully You, Nakshatra, Parineeta, Asmi and Nizam.

The stall of Gitanjali Lifestyle, at the center of the ballroom, featured all its five brands and offered a twenty-five percent discount on all its offers.

Many designers from the stalls of many national and international brands gave free gifts and discounts of up to ten percent.

Khan Brothers, too, offered a discount of twenty percent. The stall of Khan Brothers was an innovative one indeed, featuring a horse wagon, on which their wedding attires were displayed.

Another stall that snatched everyone's attention was the stall of Shahjahan Wedding Planner & Event Management Ltd; it was one grand and huge sliver wedding stage.

With the stalls selling flowers (floral designers), wedding dresses and what not, the atmosphere was indeed extravagantly “wedding-y”.

But perhaps the main attraction of the entire fair for many was the stall of the immensely popular Indian designer Ritu Kumar. Many other Indian fashion brands, such as Preeti S. Kapoor and Kavita Vinita, also drew huge crowds.

The festival also aimed to uphold the traditions and cultures of the Bengali wedding.

On one small portion of the floor sat a couple of vendors selling jewellery, much like you see on various marketplaces and streets, thus not leaving out any dimension or perspective of wedding shopping and portraying a true picture consisting of all the aspects. Fashion shows were also held on both days of the fair, from 7 pm to 8 pm.

The event was organised by Momentum Event Management Ltd., the event management branch of Unitrend Ltd.

Sponsors of the event were Mercedes-Benz, City Bank, American Express, Navana Real Estate Ltd., Honda, Aftab Group and Fizz Up. Partners of this one-of-a-kind festival comprised of Radio Foorti, Star Lifestyle, RTV, Sygmaz, Ritu Kumar, Banthai, Wedding Story and Toshiba.

Hats off then to all of them!

By M H Haider
Photo: Zahedul I Khan


Style & heritage

My grandma would tie it around the wet tresses of her hair, the multicoloured, chequered design peeking out of her grey locks. I would notice it keenly everyday and try to figure out how different it is from the towel that I use.

The fabric was soft in touch, yet coarse in nature. And that is how I got acquainted with the gamcha, a cloth that is greatly intertwined with our roots and culture. A gamcha is not just any piece of cloth; it's a hand-woven, flamboyant story by itself.

Gamcha talks about the yarn of the poor and the destitute. It has always been an integral part of the lives of many a farmer, rickshaw puller, day labourer and their likes. After a hard day's toil, under the shooting sun, a weight puller would always resort to a gamcha, his only tool of comfort, to wipe away his sweat.

It was always a fabric that was largely ignored by the well-to-dos, something that was only to be hung around the shoulders of the impoverished. It is only very recently that, thanks to the efforts of some revered individuals from the fashion industry the mainstream masses have started appreciating its beauty and practicality as something that can be worn as attire and can be fashionable at the same time.

Visiting Bibi's Production, an endeavour by Bibi Russel to display her creations, one would surely get mesmerised by the amazing pieces she has shaped from a supposedly menial fabric like gamcha.

We all are pretty much familiar with Bibi's love for gamcha. She is the only individual who has used her name and fame to take this fabric beyond our national frontiers, displaying it in international fashion shows. Bibi is currently working with gamcha weavers in almost all the districts of Bangladesh. Her production does not alter the traditional patterns, but she sometimes modifies the texture and colour. She stresses on the need for creating diversified gamcha products. Gamcha can be treated like any other fabric and be used to make napkins, tablecloths, cushion covers and even bed sheets.

You can find the typical gamcha checks in the form of trendy saris, shalwar kameez sets, fatuas, panjabis, jhola bags, skirts, caps, accessories and even shoes and sandals. Not just Bibi, gamcha has also attracted a lot of young and talented designers who are relentlessly trying to make this age-old cotton industry survive through their innovations and creativity.

Gamcha has crossed our national perimeters and is being used by expatriates as well as foreigners in the form of scarves. Teaming these chequereds with a pair of jeans and a plain top is quite the rage in places like London, Scotland and USA. It is a unisex fabric that is being used by both boys and girls to create a distinct fashion statement. As Munira, a Bangladeshi national studying at a college in central London says, “Wearing a gamcha makes me feel like I am carrying a part of home with me. To add to that, it catches a lot of attention and is definitely a head-turner.”

Even our story of independence has something to tell about the gamcha. Photos taken at that period show that almost every muktijoddha had a gamchha with them, either tied to their rifles or around their heads. Hence, the gamcha should get a special tribute for the role it played during the liberation war. Just like any other hand loom product, the gamcha has also fallen prey to the advent of technology that runs on machine driven production. Though initiatives are being taken to revive the art and help the weavers as much as possible, the situation is still not that bright.

This idea to introduce gamcha as a fashion symbol might have a noble thought behind it, but the message is yet to reach the general masses. As Sharaf, a young university-going girl puts it, “Gamcha fashion is for those bold maidens who like it edgy and unorthodox, not necessarily for damsels like me who like to play it safe.”

Meanwhile Rupok, a software developer, stands up from the opposite sex saying, “Sometimes when people get bored with things running smooth around them, they need to bring about variations, and gamcha fashion is an example of that.”

But people like Faria Ahmed Zaara, a student and a part time job-holder, believe in something different. For her, “Gamcha is the best example of how style intertwines heritage.”

Whether in as a fashion trend or not, we have to realise that this fabric is an irrevocable part of our heritage and culture. Just like our golden fibre, jute, we need to give it the respect it deserves. Let the weavers keep on creating more magic through the tale of gamcha.

By Afrida Mahbub
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Chaitee


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