Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 25 , Tuesday June 26, 2007



Freespirit, Lakme and designer duos

If hand is to glove then fashion is to glitz. Fashion is to glamour and fashion is to creativity (creativity one may not necessarily understand but creativity nonetheless). Certain images after all, have always been found synonymous to certain objects and with fashion come visual tags of glamour, style and elegance.

And every aspect of this was well catered for in Lakme's Freespirit Fashion Show. With the introduction of their Freespirit collection a couple of months ago, Lakme looked to provide a product designed with the modern woman in mind. In collaboration with three fashion designers and three make-up artists, the idea was to have the leading names of our fashion industry provide their own interpretations of the Freespirit concept. After months of innovation, the Lakme Freespirit Summer Collection show held on the 17th of June at Dhaka Sheraton was a showcase of just those efforts.

Simultaneously, the show was held to accommodate the last round of Lakme's NexGen Designer Search 2007 giving the top three finalists a chance to exhibit their collections on the ramp in front of a full-house audience and a qualified panel of judges. The show kicked off with these three lines of designer wear and surprisingly enough, their collections were creative just as they were well-diversified and well-accesorised.

After the close of the last contender's fashion line, the show lost little time in moving on to the main event and after a short briefing of Lakme's Freespirit collection and the dominating purpose and inspirations behind the show, the first duo was up for dissection. First up we had Humaira Khan, proprietor of the boutique Anokhi and Farzana Arman Munny of Que Bella Beauty Parlour. In a short video clip aired just before the models took to the ramp, Humaira mentioned how she focused mainly on local materials, especially Rajshahi silk and chose to create a line that would accommodate both the comfort and style prerequisites of any contemporary woman.

The first leg of her collection comprised of four varied-lengthed salwar kameez sets in peach, midnight blue and sea green and a shaded sari with the contrasting colours of orange and grey. It is however, the second part of her collection that made for a sight for sore eyes. In glaring hues of white muslin, intricate designs were hand stitched and under the transparency of the fabrics used for the full-sleeved kameezes were short fitted pants and tube tops accompanied by heavily embellished dupattas. Her line of saris, in the same pristine tone and putting to use the same material were adorned by intricate stitching, accesorised by large pearls and made complete by crotchet lace and satin for borders. Farzana Arman's make-up, understandably, focused on natural tones with slightly highlighted eyes. Although a fashion line undeniably worthy of appreciation, criticism could stem from the fact that this collection made more boutique than ramp sense.

The second designer/make-up artist couple to be brought to ramp was Chandra Shekhar Shaha of Nogordola and proprietor of Persona, Kaniz Almas. True to his style, the pivotal features in Chandra Shekhar's collection were tribal motifs and ethnic designs worked on khadi, silk and muslin. Essentially based on varying shades of earthen terracotta, purple and blue, this was a collection more trendy than traditional (except in motif). Aside colour and material, variation was well brought forth in the presence of a combination of dresses, pants and saris. The frilled and layered dresses had more than one shade in their make as did the saris boast multiple embellishments.

As concerns make-up, Kaniz Almas mentioned in the pre-show clip that she incorporated ample shades in her work in accordance with the underlying theme of ethnicity because tribal fashions dictate the use of colour in abundance. Most of the models had their hair done up and accesorised by flowers and hair jewels.

And to round the show up, we had the final collections brought out by the mammoth names of Maheen Khan of Mayasir and Farzana Shakil. Maheen's collection followed a single train of thought and was based on a semi-Japanese theme. Her choice of materials included silk and motka silk and all the outfits were of a soothing pastel shade of peach. Variety however was catered for in terms of length, style and stitching. Each outfit contained multiple stitching and from knee length skirts to fitted pants, from ponchos to kimonos, differing consumer tastes were evidently well borne in mind.

The thematic approach for this line of designer wear was incorporated into the make-up as well with natural shades being in dominant use but more worthy of mention was the eye make-up, where shimmering make-up was used to create 'masks' around each model’s eyes, maintaining the Japanese theme as well as giving off a masquerade look. Their hair was done up into neat buns with decorative hair snoods inserted in sidewise slashes.

The summation of the catwalks called forth the final highlight of the evening-the announcement of the designer search’s winner. Mirza Safaruh finished ahead of the other two finalists and all three contestants were presented with certificates on stage. Mirza's collection contained layered and frilled skirts in shades of pink, peach and purple. Her accessories, charmingly, included everything from the usuals of beads and flowers to the less conventional add-ons of feathers, fans and head dresses. At the end of the search, however the contestants were ranked, all three collections were refreshingly creative and twofold above general expectations. The quality of our local fashion institutions, much to our ignorance, was brought out to be remarkably high and credit goes to Lakme for bringing out their talents.

Three duos, three lines and three forms of expression. But at the end of the day, what you understand of the freespirit concept and what it signifies for you is a matter of personal interpretation. Use it, define it, express it…simply as you please.

By Subhi Shama Reehu
Photo: Zahedul I Khan

On The Cover

Chondon's taking advantage of the early rain spell to launch their monsoon line. Check them out at House 1/A, Road 7, Gulshan 1.

Photo: Chondon


Before you hit the tarmac
Going on a trip, whether within the country or outside, always gives rise to a lot of anticipation and excitement. And soon enough people get caught up in the whirlwind of booking flights, hotels and packing. In the rush, people often overlook the little things that might later become big issues when in unknown territories. So taking a few precautionary steps before heading out will always keep you prepared for unforeseen events.

Basic necessities
Packing in a travelling sewing kit, some basic medicine and a small foldable umbrella never hurt anyone. You never know when you might need to sew back a button, fend of a headache or shield off the rain. And these things come even handier when you're in a place where language is a barrier or it is remote.

411 never hurt
Before you're off to that much awaited exotic destination, do a little research. Buy a travel guide for that specific place and read up on it a wee bit. Search the net to see what things appeal to you and what you'd like to see. And also make a note of important numbers like that of your embassy, the hotel or even a tourist agency. This little research will take you a long way and you can save a lot of time planning ahead so that when you get there you know exactly what you want to do.

Copies are crucial
Before you leave, be sure to make copies of your important documents and credit cards. If travelling abroad, make sure you carry copies of your passport, visa, credit cards and other important documentation. That way if anything goes missing, you have something to quote information from. And on that note, keeping the number of your home bank and passport office may be a good idea too.

A few pre-departure measures can make your trip go a lot smoother and keep you stress free. Then all there is left to do is kick back your heels and enjoy!

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob



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