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Season of colours

February is a loaded month for Bangladeshis. From Pohela Falgun to Ekushey, there are heavy cultural and political connotations for the month. Since the weather also begins to transition around this time, February also marks the start of the first of three “fashion seasons” of the year. The most important aspect of Spring fashion in Bangladesh is colour, so that's what we'll focus on this week.

The global trends are also hitting the markets worldwide in full force, and it looks like the colour of the year is emerald green. What other shades are rocking the planet? Let's have a look.

Femme shades
A lot of Spring 2013 lines showcased on the NYFW runways were inspired by water, as evidenced by the use of flowy fabrics and beach-themed prints, and the colours also reflect these influences. Aside from the emerald shades, there are a lot of blues and greens that closely imitate watery hues. There's dusk blue, a deeper royal blue, and a beautiful shade that is halfway between jade-green and silver grey. There's also a warmer bamboo green that could be one fresh alternative to the usual yellow of Pohela Falgun, but if you prefer to stick to tradition, lemon yellow is also on the cards this spring.

The neutrals in this season's palettes run close to pastel shades, and that's why we have 'linen', an off-white shade that's somewhere between eggshell and blush, which could be a fantastic colour for accessories for your Ekushey blacks and whites.

Last year's vivid tangerine has muted to a softer nectarine orange, although the red has brightened into a vibrant poppy. There's also a lovely, romantic violet shade inspired by African violets. All three are pretty apropos for Valentine's Day.

Homme shades
The men's colours are mostly the same as the colours for women, with a few of the shades being slightly muted. You have the emerald and the jade-grey, but in place of the bright bamboo green, there is a grey shade which is somewhere between ash and gunmetal. The lemon yellow for women is a deeper sunflower oil shade for men, which makes it a good choice for Pohela Falgun, as is the vibrant orange that is the counterpart to the women's nectarine shade. The romantic violet is replaced by a subtle shade of grey that lies somewhere between ecru and taupe. The dusky blue, the royal blue, the poppy red and two jewel greens remain the same for men as they are for women.

Make-up trends
This Spring will be known for electric lips in bright shades of orange, berry-red, magenta, and fire-engine red.

Those who have struggled with the still-popular winged eyeliner from last season, will appreciate the comparatively effortless smudged liner look this year. Top off a bold application of your kohl liner by smudging in smoky shadows in coffee, ash grey and coal black, or create a surprise with a dramatic shade of blue or green. Finish off with killer mascara...or if you're feeling really daring, rock a hot pair of falsies for maximum drama. Don't forget to let your eyebrows grow; full brows are still hot, hot, hot.

All of these trends require a backdrop of glowing, natural looking skin, so you might want to opt for liquid foundation and light-reflecting primer, and stay away from blushes that are too bright.

Home shades
Since we're talking colours, might as well cover interiors too. There are three dominant schemes that you can pick from and introduce in your homes, whether via a new lick of paint on your walls, or by simply changing some accents and soft furnishings.

The most obvious trend is the beach and marine theme, with watery greens and blues, grey neutrals and sandy yellows. These are good colours to help balance the temperature of a room.

There's the urban trend, which favours metallic grey shades and deeper blues, and are good colours to use in the bedroom or study.

Or you can go completely rustic and opt for shades of white and neutrals such as ecru, eggshell, and natural wood shades.

Whether you're painting your lips or your walls, there's a nice spectrum of shades to experiment with this season. Go play.

Source: Pantone Spring 2013 Colour Report Benjamin Moore, Spring 2013


Spring fragrances for the fashionistas!

Winter has finally departed after descending upon us with all of her glory, ushering in spring in her wake. As the mercury levels steadily move upwards, the social scene of Dhaka City is buzzing with a plethora of activities. The invitations to countless parties don't stop coming; so much so that you are required to party-hop every other night! Dressing up becomes mandatory for such occasions; chic party wear has to be complemented with suitable make-up. Coco Chanel once famously said, “a woman who does not wear perfume has no future,” and any fashionista worth her stiletto will not dare leave home without wearing a splash of her favourite fragrance, for she is well aware of its power to enthrall and captivate mere mortals. Keeping in mind the changing weather, Lifestyle has listed the best perfumes to wear in spring for the diva in you!

During daytime the warm sunshine is accompanied by chilly breeze.' Daisy' by Marc Jacobs with its top notes of violet petals and vanilla is warm and whimsical and perfect for a garden party. 'The One' by Dolce & Gabbana is fruity with top notes of peach and lychee, and sweet with vanilla and musk. Glamorous and tempting, it is perfect for the lunch soirees. 'Bright Crystal' by Versace is a refreshing new spin on a floral scent. A mixture of magnolia, peonies and lotus flowers create a fresh, warm scent on the wearer. Another fruity delight is 'Nina' by Nina Ricci, the opening notes of candied apple are followed closely by white cedar and musk, giving it a sparkly, yummy twist. 'Body' by Burberry is the latest offering from the House of Burberry, which is a sophisticated scent with top notes of peach and freesia, and is perfect for informal hangouts with friends.

Spring nights are long, romantic and magical. 'Guilty' by Gucci is rich, powerful and feminine. With strong top notes of mandarin and pink pepper and a rich base of patchouli, it is perfect for those glamorous rooftop gatherings and al fresco dinners. 'Love in Paris' by Nina Ricci was inspired from a woman in love in the most romantic city in the world, Paris. A lovely combination of roses and peonies give way to a wonderful scent, and it is just the perfume to wear for an intimate night out with a special someone! 'Jasmin Noir' by Bulgari is heady, strong and mysterious with Jasmine as the main component, enveloped by a plethora of woody base notes. Another favorite is 'J'adore' by Christian Dior. The French fragrance powerhouse created this perfume with top notes of mandarin and base notes of vanilla and amaranth that went on to become the most popular fragrance for women in the past decade. It is perfect for weddings and other festive occasions due to its demure, feminine scent. Lastly, 'Parfum' by Jimmy Choo is for the modern and confident woman who enjoys the good things in life. With top notes of exotic tiger orchid and base notes of sweet toffee and Indonesian Patchouli it is luxurious and fancy, and is ideal for exciting nights out. All of these perfumes are available at superstores such as Almas, Priyo and Rainbow Perfumes located at Pink City, Gulshan-2. No matter what time of the year it is, wear what makes you feel the best and don't forget to have fun!

By Sabrina Haq


Deshi-Dosh launches third outlet in Tejgaon

Choosing none other than the month of February, the executives behind Deshi-Dosh opened the doors to its third outlet by paying homage to the International Language Day and 10 recipients of the Ekushey Padak. Deshi-Dosh, which started its journey with its first huge outlet at Bashundhara City, where it brought together 10 of the biggest fashion houses specialising in Bangladeshi wear and handicrafts, is in its fourth year of success.

The inaugural ceremony was organised with much fanfare with the store decorated with an Ekushey theme for the purpose of the programme. Hosted by Azharul Haque and Biplob Shaha, the ceremony kicked off with a spelling competition for the children present there. Clipboards, paper and colour pencils set at the bottom of the stage had a number of the visiting tiny tots squealing with joy and demonstrating their prowess in remembering the Bengali alphabets. This was followed by observing a minute of silence in respect for the martyrs of the Language Movement.

Unplugged performances of the National Anthem and Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano created a sombre mood before calling on 10 eminent personalities of the country, also recipients of the Ekushey Padak, onto the stage and presenting them with a crest and scarf. Dr. Rafiqul Islam, Dr. Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir, Syed Hasan Imam, Syed Shamsul Haque, Hasnat Abdul Hye, Hashem Khan, Layla Hasan, Dr. Muntasir Mamun, Hamiduzzaman Khan and Fatematuz Zohra were each presented with the crest and scarf by an executive from each of the 10 boutiques that comprise Deshi-Dosh.

After the presentation ceremony, famed writer and artist Shamsul Haque wrote and brushed a few strokes of colour on the canvas set up on stage followed by the rest of the personalities. Each of them also signed the canvas before Hashem Khan shared a few words with the audience wishing Deshi-Dosh good luck on its journey followed by the same from others on the stage.

The programme continued with musical performances while shoppers went around the 10 brightly lit stores of Deshi-Dosh fame: Nipun, Probortona, Kay Kraft, Anjan's, Rang, Banglar Mela, Shada Kalo, Bibiana, Deshal and Nogordola.

By Karishma Ameen

Second couple 'Peri- Blinged'

On 14 February, Valentine's Day, the second lucky couple won a diamond ring from Nando's. Every week throughout February, Dhaka's popular South African restaurant chain will run their 'Valentine's Campaign' through which four dazzling diamond rings from Diamond World will be won by four lucky couples. So far, two coupes have collected their precious winnings and dined in grand style at Nando's for free. A romantic stage was set in the middle of the restaurant for the winners and they were pampered no end by the Nando's staff. Flowers and Chocolates were just some of the gifts that were handed over to them as they sat opposite one another at the scarlet table.

The second winner's name is Adiba Chowdhury and her Valentine is her husband Abu Bakr. The ring was handed over to her on Valentine's Day at Nando's Dhanmondi by model Susana, who expressed appreciation for such a great initiative by Nando's in the month of love.

To try your luck at being the lucky couple to win one of the two remaining diamond rings, you have to have their Valentine's Meals for two which starts at Tk.1,314. Along with the Valentine's meals they will give you a 'Heart Card' which has a rhyme but you need to finish the rhyme as creatively as possible. The most creative ending will win the diamond ring.

In order to learn more about how you can participate in the competition, please visit the official Facebook fan page of Nando's called 'Nando's Bangladesh'.

Laser Treat brings Zerona Treatment

Slimming down and getting rid of the so-called baby fat can be an ardous tasks. Diets, pills and extensive hard work may just not suffice in certain occasions. However, one need not worry any more. Laser Treat now offers just the solution, in the form of Zerona Laser Treatment, for the first time. Now, you can rid yourself of unwanted fat in just two weeks' time. The treatment is conducted over a period of two weeks, six to seven times, in simple forty-minute sessions. The procedure is not painful and Zerona is in fact practised and remains popular worldwide. The treatment works by concentrating the laser on the areas of accumulated fat and removing them slowly. As an added incentive, Laser Treat is now offering 25% discount to the first 25 people to avail the offer.

Address: House# 32, (Level-3), Road# 11, Block-G, Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Phone: 01750010020

“I am real”: 100% Fruit Juice hits the town

The essence of fruit juices usually come last in the mix of numerous additives, sugar and many other ingredients. The taste of the fruit, although decipherable, is tinged with an unnatural flavour. The concept of 100 per cent real juice is then completely lost and additives rule the roost, simply due to a lack of choice. However, all that is about to change.

15 February marked the launch of 'I am real', the juice that is as real as it gets. Bangladesh Dutch Development Limited's newest juice line titled 'I am real', the most pure juice form, held their juice tasting ceremony at the Westin Dhaka. With no additives whatsoever, 'I am real' is made from pure fruit pulp. In their own words, since Mother Nature does it best, they daren't mess with her ingredients. Therefore, 'I am real', offers 100 per cent pure fruit juice.

Minister of Food and Disaster Management, the Honourable Dr. Mohammad Abdul Razzaq, was the chief guest of the event. The Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh, GS de Jong, was also present as a special guest. In a session of mingling over the taste of pure juices, all seasonal and fresh, the taste that we have been missing for so long finally came to the fore.

Look out for 'I am real' as it hits the shelves. If you are a fruit lover, then this really is as good as it gets!

Handsome, The Ultimate Man

To cash in on the fact that reality shows have become a big trend in the country, Emami Fair and Handsome, has joined forces with Channel I to bring to television watchers Emami Fair & Handsome, Channel i Presents “Handsome The Ultimate Man”.

The programme which will run for five months, had a total number of 150,000 registering in the 3 weeks of the campaign. 1200 participants were selected for the primary audition out of which only 100 deserving candidates were shortlisted for the grand audition. Only lucky 20 finalists made it through to start the journey of “Handsome the Ultimate Man”.

The episodes will be aired on Friday & Monday at 9.40 pm on Channel i. After the initial episodes the audience can cast their votes to decide on the winners.

The programme, themed the “First Ever High Voltage Reality Show for Men in Bangladesh” has participants going through tasks on ground, under water, on air, strength proving, and glamorous acts like ramp, drama, photoshoot, etc. The final 3 episodes will be shot in Thailand and will be followed by the Grand Finale to choose the winner.

To arrange the High Voltage Tasks and to take the programme to a different level, the reality show is Powered By “BANGLADESH NAVY”. Persona Menz is working as the grooming partner while Ifad is the food and beverage partner and Novo Air is associated as an airline partner.

The key highlight in the show is the selection procedure. The participants are marked on the 3As -- Action, Appearance and Attitude -- by judges Gazi Shuvro, Joya Ahsan and Mahfuz.

This is indeed history in the making with Emami and Channel I bringing the very first reality show for men only.

Mama noodles in two new flavours

Thai President Foods, which has been a famed name in Thailand in the packaged food business, joined hands with Kallol Group in 2010 to bring to the noodle loving segment of the country yet another option to treat their taste buds with.

The company, which has just started production at its Gazipur factory, is introducing its instant noodles in two flavours -- Shrimp and Chicken -- at only Tk17 per packet and at just Tk65 for a packet of 4.

Along with the noodles Mama is also bringing Snackle, a tasty snack, in two flavours, namely Wasabi and Tangy Tomyum.


Exodus Vintaj
Date: 22 February
Time: 10pm onwards
Venue: The Nest, House 24, Road 2, Gulshan 1

It's not just a party, it's a celebration! Exodus presents DJ Judu, who will be spinning a blend of Hip Hop & Pop; his soulful beats will have your hearts pumping. And there is DJ Simon who shall deliver a dose of beats and infectious bleeps. Their dance anthems will leave you wanting more and more.

Dress code: Glam it Up! Tickets: Tk.1500 per person.

Tickets will be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis. No tickets will be available at the door. For details log on to www.facebook. com/ events/ 324988777620295/?ref=14. Right of admission reserved.

Landscape Exhibition by Soumitra Dutta
Date: 24 Feburary
Time: 11pm till 7pm
Venue: Drik Gallery, House 58, Road 15A (New), Dhanmondi

Soumitra has a free spirit and a passion for capturing moments. This is his first photography Exhibition in Dhaka. He also plans to bring out his photography book showcasing his creativity though lens.

"Contemporary dance workshop" by Sadhana Hazra
Date: 20-26 February
Time: 4pm
Venue: Shadhona, House-5, Road-27, Block-j , Banani

The workshop is based on contemporary dance in Navanritya style of Dancer's guild. Sadhana Hazra is an exponent of the Dancer's Guild founded by Manjusri Chaki-Sircar. Her mastery over the acrobatic style, Kalaripayettu and other Indian Classical Styles gives her performance a cutting-edge. Navanritya style of Dancer's Guild is the contemporary Indian dance training methodology developed over the last fifteen years by Ranjabati Sircar in collaboration with her mother, internationally acclaimed dancer-choreographer Dr. Manjusri Chaki-Sircar.

A comprehensive modern methodology of executing Indian forms of dance, Navanritya offers an alternative approach to traditional physical practices such as classical, martial arts, and yoga.

Those interested in participating please call 01713040814; kanchendzonga @gmail.com

"Nupur Beje Jai" -23rd episode of monthly dance programme
Date: 20 February
Time: 6pm to 8.30pm
Venue: Chayanot

This is the twenty-third regular bi-monthly performances of dance by Shadhona at Chhayanaut. Dance numbers will be performed by Ramyani Roy and Sadhana Hazra.

Ramyani Roy is a classical dancer who started dancing at a very tender age of four years under the supreme guidance of Smt. Mamta Shankar, renowned actress and choreographer. Her natural inclination towards dance gave her the direction to nurture in the field of creative dance.

She took lessons in Indian Classical forms like Kathakali and Bharatnatyam and Mohiniattam under the guidance of renowned Guru Sri Kalamandalam V. R.Venkitt and Smt. Preetha Venkitt. This acted as a perfect motivation for her to take up dance as a subject of study at the university level and after completing her graduation from Calcutta University she did her Masters' in kathakali dance from Rabindra Bharati University with a 1st class degree in the year of2007.

Presently she is doing her PhD on Kathakali dance from Rabindra Bharati University.

Tickets are available at the venue. Price: Tk.200.

Diva's World of Jewelry
Date: 22 February
Venue : Clothing Partner, House 192, Lane 2 (West), Ground Floor, Baridhara DOHS
Time : 11.30 am to 9 pm.

Diva is back with its seventh edition of the Indian Jewelry Exhibition with designs from Hyderabad, Jaipur and Delhi to be held on 22 February, at Baridhara. It is hoped that the fair will be a perfect trading platform for launching and sourcing the newest jewellery collections from the Indian jewellery industry.

Diva Jewelry is made in the base metal silver with gold vermeil studded with precious and semi-precious gemstones. The collection, ranging from classic to contemporary designs, is a true depiction of Indian and Bangladeshi heritage. These products are hand-crafted by one of the finest artisans and are designed by the finest designers of India. As a brand they specialise in the design, manufacture, retail and export of semi-precious designer Sterling Silver (92.5 per cent) Jewelry. The current lines are an eclectic and balanced ensemble of styles running from contemporary Club Wear pieces to an Ethnic Fusion all the way to Victorian Style. Prices range from TK.3000 to Tk.75000.

For details, contact 01713005733.


Fight Club
We've all heard of the movie that shook the audience and the critics alike. But the book that the movie was adapted from is significantly different in its plot. Chuck Palahniuk's darkly funny first novel tells the story of a young man battered and quietly enraged at living in a world filled with failure and lies that cannot be pacified by an empty consumer culture. And thus emerges Fight Club, the brainchild of Tyler Durden, who thinks he has found a way for himself and his friends to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, no brakes in the basements of bars where they secretly organise after-hours boxing matches and find relief in physical self-destruction, i.e. the ultimate form of asserting control over self.

For those who have seen the movie, the book contains the same unknown narrator speaking the sentences which were lifted verbatim and transposed into Ed Norton's voice: I am Joe's Prostate. I am Joe's Complete Lack of Surprise.

Short statements are peppered throughout Fight Club and as you read, they pile up in your mind, slowly pushing on the barriers society and yourself have built up. And just like the end of the movie, the book closes (with a different twist from the movie) leaving your mind blown.

The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World
In a world where extroversion dominates as the standard social virtue, this clever and pithy book asserts that the introvert's lifestyle is not “wrong” or lacking, as society or extroverts would have us believe.

Sophia Dembling assures introverts -- you're not shy; rather, you appreciate the joys of being quiet. You're not antisocial; instead, you enjoy recharging through time alone. You're not unfriendly, but you do find more meaning in one-on-one connections than large gatherings. Trying to define introversion is difficult. It is not the same as being shy, misanthropic, or narcissistic. The default, then, is to define it as the absence of extroverted behaviour. Through a combination of personal insights and psychology, The Introvert's Way helps and encourages introverts to embrace their nature, to respect traits they may have been ashamed of and reframe them as assets. Thus, by honouring what makes them unique, this astute and inspiring book challenges introverts to “own” their introversion, igniting a quiet revolution that will change how they see themselves and how they engage with the world. Sophia Dembling asserts that the introvert's lifestyle is not “wrong” or lacking, as society or extroverts would have us believe.

Looks like introverts are finally having a moment -- Susan Cain's Quiet landed on the New York Times Bestseller List as soon as it came out in January 2012 and it's about time. Not to mention the acclaim the movie Perks of Being a Wallflower received.

Imagine: How Creativity Works
New York Times best-selling author Jonah Lehrer writes a sparkling and revelatory review on the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even “creative types”, Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few, rather a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

You'll learn about Bob Dylan's writing habits and the drug addictions of poets. You'll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist, and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move.

Did you know that the most creative companies have centralised bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the colour blue can help you double your creative output? Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider's perspective (travel helps).

Fresh off the Boat
Eddie Huang's first book, a memoir, is titled “Fresh off the Boat,” and the word to emphasise is “fresh”. He's the proprietor of Baohaus, a jaunty Taiwanese street-food joint in the East Village, a cultural hub in New York City. Eddie grew up in theme-park America, on a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan.

While his father improbably launched a series of successful seafood and steak restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every “model minority” stereotype along the way.

He obsessed over football, fought the all-American boys who called him a chink, partied like a gremlin, sold drugs with his crew, and idolised Tupac.

His anchor through it all was food -- from making Southern ribs with the Haitian cooks in his dad's restaurant to preparing traditional meals in his mother's kitchen to haunting the midnight markets of Taipei when he was shipped off to the homeland.

After misadventures as an unlikely lawyer, street fashion renegade, and stand-up comic, Eddie finally threw everything he loved -- past and present, family and food -- into his own restaurant, bringing together a legacy stretching back to China and the shards of global culture he'd melded into his own identity.

Fresh off the Boat is a surprisingly sophisticated memoir about race and assimilation in America. It's an angry book, as much James Baldwin and Jay-Z as Amy Tan. That it's also bawdy and frequently hilarious nearly, if not entirely, seals the deal. Funny, raw, moving and told in an irrepressibly alive and original voice, Fresh off the Boat recasts the immigrant's story for the 21st century. It's a story of food, family, and the forging of a new notion of what it means to be American.

Far from the Tree
Ever wonder how you find yourself in a separate sphere from your parents despite loving and living together forever? It's what Andrew Solomon calls a “horizontal” identity -- one that separates you from your parents -- in his monumental new work “Far From the Tree”. In this book, Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so. And I'm not talking about self-identified black sheep or Einstein IQ MIT-inhabitants. The author writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender.

In a startlingly philosophical proposition, Solomon attempts to convince us that while these features are potentially isolating, the diversity is what unites us all. All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, he explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance -- all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.


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