|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 8, Issue 01, Tuesday, January 01, 2013 ||
staying cool in winter
The temperature's dropping, the nights are foggy and the a/c remote is left forgotten in your bedside table drawer. We all know what that means. It's finally time to take out all your much-loved winter clothes and give your day-to-day looks a refreshing change while you can. For those who want to embrace the endless fashion opportunities that winter provides, here are a few ideas to get you ahead of the game.
Photo courtesy: Dressy Dale
Winter wear with a 'deshi' twist
Winter can easily be singled out to be the best season to sport a very elaborate collection of garments as the chill allows one to wear a combination and a number of pieces at the same time, mixed and matched to their liking.
Western wear allows the mixing and matching of tops, shirts, t-shirts, pants and skirts with sweaters, jackets, cardigans, wraps, etc. in a much varied assortment of warm materials than is allowed by our local staples, shalwar kameezes and saris.
While those of us who have the liberty of wearing western wear everyday have greater freedom to try various warm materials, those of us who have to wear shalwar kameezes and saris, be it for dress codes at work or because of personal preferences, have much more restricted options in terms of having the actual outfit in heavy materials.
When it comes to winter wear, most commonly shawls are teamed up with shalwar kameezes and saris, and when it is too cold for shawls to suffice alone, cardigans and jackets are added beneath the shawl to shield against the winter wave. A little bit of creativity in terms of design and choosing the right materials can help make kameezes and saris feel warmer than you have been used to till now and also allow you to flaunt your actual outfit instead of being wrapped beneath layers of shawl and cardigan.
To begin, when going material shopping for kameezes pick materials that are thick, for instance 'khaddar' or cotton, and grab darker colours. While designing your kameezes layer them. You can make a two-layered kameez with the upper layer having an open front, buttoned in the middle with full sleeves or alternately have the inner layer in a short sleeve or sleeveless, and the upper layer with full sleeves.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
This way you could also play with colour combinations and contrasts. The same goes for saris; opt for thicker, heavier saris. If you are looking for party wear you may select a silk with kantha-stitch; these saris often end up being quite thick and always look gorgeous in a traditional way. The same rules apply for the blouse in terms of material. Make full-sleeved blouses and ones that go up to your waist; this will also add variation to your wardrobe or personal style. You could also layer your blouse by making a short jacket (more commonly known as coatie here) to wear over it. This will look trendy as well as keep you warm. For everyday-wear blouses you can also use flannel.
For winter compatible saris and kameezes you could drop by at Chondon, Dressy Dale and Emdad's Collection to take a look at their winter collections. At Chondon's you will find saris in dark winter colours. Saris that you may choose to wear to a barbeque dinner party or an evening get-together include a classic black-bodied sari with thick red paar bordered with a thin strip of white, another one with a black base with grey, magenta and blue motifs on the 'anchal' and the body and if you are one who loves elaborate paars the red one with a very thick border of several different layers and colours will certainly please you. Take your pick and team it with a blouse in solid colours and a shawl in similar colours to go alongside.
If you are looking for dressy shalwar kameezes, Dressydale has a collection of kameezes for party wear, again in deep colours including purple, magenta, and navy blue. If you are looking for something to wear to a wedding or a party a dark purple kameez with a heavily embroidered blue, lavender and silver 'paar' teamed with a golden 'dupatta' is just the thing. A magenta one with golden embroidery done near the chest with a thick, shiny golden 'paar' and a green chiffon 'dupatta' is for you if you are into bright colours. You will also come across long kaftans in earthly brown and green which would be appropriate for evening wear.
For toned down saris that can be worn to work, a casual outing, a lunch get-together or to a winter picnic, take a look at Emdad's Collection's offerings. They have saris with a slight hint of an ethnic feel in the design and colour combo, for instance a maroon sari with an olive 'kuchi' topped with an 'anchal' in solid blocks of orange and forest green and the entire piece of cloth bordered with a thin multi-coloured 'paar'. For a dressier sari you could check out their plain mustard-yellow sari with an elaborate 'kantha'-stitched 'paar' of red and green. Emdad's Collection also has a selection of party wear shalwar kameezes. Take a look at their vermillion kameez with golden motifs throughout the body teamed with a pair of plain red 'churidars' and 'dupatta'. If you are in the mood of sporting, to a party, something with a more heavenly appeal you may like their long off-white 'kameez' with a wide handkerchief hem which is very subtle yet elegant.
For a better look at their collections do drop by at these stores and you will surely find something you will love.
By Karishma Ameen
Chunky sweaters: sweaters that bring back childhood memories of grandma's lovingly knitted winter pieces are now a major trend. Heavy, loose cable knits as well as sweaters with patterns have made a huge comeback.
The “Snood”: Also called an infinity scarf, it's a bulky scarf that has no ends and is ridiculously comfortable. Coupled with statement ear studs and a high bun, it's the perfect accessory for an effortless but chic winter look.
The denim shirt: Love it or hate it, the 90s are back with a bang. Denim shirts are the perfect substitute for a cardigan when you want to add an extra edge to your outfit. For guys, an open denim shirt with a white shirt underneath and khakis can never go wrong. For girls, roll up the sleeves and wear it over a tank top, and add some chunky bracelets for a more feminine touch.
The beanie/beret: The flashbacks of last winter with the strange looking contraptions that people wore called “earmuffs” still cause me pain. Why not opt for the much cuter substitute, the beanie? It's the perfect winter statement during those early morning picnics and those late night barbeque parties, and looks great with your hair down.
Coloured denim: They're everywhere these days, and for good reason. If there was any easy instant outfit enhancer, it has to be the coloured pants. Team it with a simple black or white sweater and you're ready to go.
By Mehereen Aziz
George Moore, an Irish novelist, once said, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” Far from Ireland, the statement bears every bit of truth for our country too. Rich with natural resources and skilled with an artistic mind and nimble, patient hands of a craftsman, we have a lot of things to be thankful for, from rich indigo to fine stitches.
CARE Bangladesh is an organisation which has utilised these assets. The organisation aims for social development but so closely is the issue of economic development linked to that, it would be hard to achieve one without the other. To achieve that dual purpose, CARE Bangladesh set out to help the poor. However, forcing work upon the villagers that requires a skill alien to them was not the way to go about it.
Soon, CARE Bangladesh got the answer: stitching is an innate skill of the rural women in our country; every woman is an artist in her own right. Combining the art of stitching with a Japanese technique of dyeing named Shibori, the organisation knew it had achieved cultural fusion -- something which is unique, which would sell and could make lives better. Also, on the other hand, indigo cultivation was another project CARE Bangladesh thought could change the lives of these people for the better.
And then, Living Blue was created. Living Blue was a fashion brand that makes several items such as kantha, scarves, shawls, 3-pieces, saris, cushion covers, etc. Recently, it has started making fatuas as well. The clothes, all handmade, are each unique and rich with elegance and meticulous, fine designs. By wearing them, not only are you helping the poor and encouraging their special talent, you are also showing off a spectacular dress.
Therefore, all the products of Living Blue are expensive. “We don't sell cheap products. Making them requires very hard work and special skills, the price tags simply reflect that. We know the value of art and culture; we sell high-end products,” said Arshad Siddiqui, the technical coordinator of CARE Bangladesh.
Living Blue is making it big in the international market, exporting its products to many countries including Canada, India, Australia and France, working with many big names in the fashion world.
CARE Bangladesh supports Nijera Cottage and Village Industries Private Limited, a community owned by the poor, which carries out these activities.
“From all these projects, more than 1800 people are benefited. Our target is to reach 4000,” informed Siddiqui. “There are new sections we will soon be opening up, such as block print, satranji and clay products. We are also planning to open a textile unit.”
Siddiqui urges the government to come forward to help the indigo industry as the returns, economically, can be tremendously positive for our country. “The indigo of Bengal has a long history and is very sought-after in the international market,” he said.
With the rising global demand for environmentally friendly products and as more people understand the uniqueness and authenticity of handmade products, Living Blue will live forever.
By M H Haider
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2012 The Daily Star