Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 82, Tuesday, September 1, 2009



Our pick

All eyes on Ogaan

At first sight, the exterior of this quiet boutique could almost be mistaken for a rather neat single-unit residence. Walking through the cream-coloured gates, with only a cloth banner indicating the address on the number plate to indeed belong to Ogaan's Signature Collection, one is greeted by subtle landscaping, with a soothing fountain, and modest frosted glass entrance. A welcoming foyer with mirrors and floral arrangements leads to rooms with mellow lighting, exposed brick, earthy colours, and spartan furnishing, so as to put the spotlight on the products on display.

Ogaan's Signature Collection, not to be confused with the Indian Ogaan, features shalwar suits and saris from Nisha Beri, Kavita Vineeta, Ekru, Shailender Gupta, Chhuti Raja, Mogra, Aza, Keva, Joya Rathod and many more. Local designers on display include Kimaya, Hera, Chondons, Sameera and Farah Deeba. The Eid collection also features an inclusion of items from Indian fashion houses Ritu Kumar and Adya Fashions, as well as local boutiques Anokhee and Paira.

In addition to clothes, Ogaan also offers a choice selection of accessories. Initially, this included gold, silver, and costume jewellery from Jaipur and Hyderabad, and bags from Bombay, but of late, the outlet has also attracted local creations. Krystal Chic recently announced the launching of its costume jewellery line at Ogaan, while 22/7 offers a collection of trendy bags.

Kanize Afroze Shumi, the brains behind the venture, explains the concept behind Ogaan. "Firstly, I am not a designer, but I am very interested in fashion. I started out by gathering designers together and organizing fashion shows, the success of which led to Ogaan. My boutique showcases the work of other designers, well-established names. I wanted to have one outlet where one can turn to for both their clothing and accessories under one roof. Sure, you have big malls and clothing houses offering the same, and they even offer Indian labels, but all of these have huge price tags attached to them. My strength is in my pricing. My mark-up is very low, with a wide range, from Tk 1500 - Tk 15000, to suit all types of wallets. There is something for everyone here, be it chic kurtis, to smart shalwar suits, to sensuous saris. I want my clients to be able to come in, browse at their leisure, and not leave without buying because they couldn't afford something."

Talking about the current collection, Shumi says tie-dye is very popular right now, as are cotton and crepe silk. Cotton day wear and evening wear in chiffon and georgette are enjoying a lot of popularity here and abroad. "The A-line silhouette is definitely out this season, while straight cut with churidar is in vogue."

Ogaan Signature Collection is located at:
House: 20, Road: 117
Gulshan 1, Dhaka 1212
Phone: 01937 056060, 9895881
By Sabrina F Ahmad

Aranya Crafts

Aranya Crafts is a renaissance in Bangladeshi heritage decked up in its sheer modesty. This fashion house located on 60E Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani; delicately dissolves a hint of style into our deshi treasures. Somewhere along the way we seemed to have lost touch with our roots but we have somehow managed to rediscover ourselves primarily because of houses like Aranya.

Aranya is an epitome of our revived traditions. Had we ever before imagined that we could wear nature and blend in with our evergreen surroundings; pure radiant natural dyes- non-pollutant and non-carcinogenic, are cultivated from onions, betel nuts, indigoes, marigolds, henna, tea and rain tree barks. Threatening synthetic or chemical based dyes are not only hazardous for the environment but also for our health.

Aranya functions under Fair Trade Organisation, which is closely associated with World Craft Council and National Craft Council. The demand for Aranya's products has travelled worldwide, from our neighbouring majestic India to oriental Japan, from the shores of the United Kingdom to la belle France.

Aranya has maintained a steady record of quality products and adept craftsmanship. Saris are available in an assortment of, but not limited to, balaka, endi silk, toshor, crepe and cotton. Shalwar kameezes, panjabis, kurtis, stoles, jewellery and showpieces compose the effervescent selection of Aranya.

The handcrafted pieces engage neglected village women struggling out of poverty or with abusive pasts. The price ranges are reasonable and remember that you are making a small contribution for the greater cause of humanity.
By Sanjana Rahman

On The Cover

Add an instant touch of freshness to your look by wearing flowers in your hair. For more tips on instant pick-me-ups, check out page 6 and 7
Model: Chaitee
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Make up and styling: Farzana Shakil
Wardrobe: Scarlet


news flash

DesignDhaka's Eid

Designdhaka's Eid collection is now available at their outlet. The line consists of exclusive designer outfits, all at a price range of Tk 1200 to Tk 8000.
Contact: bnt, House # 21,Road # 7, Sector # 4, Uttara, Dhaka-1230
Phone: 01716069306

Splash of colour

Designer Shahnaz Khan prepares Rangta, in a sparkle of colours, vivid through artistic use of prints and hand made designs. Price: Sari (Tk 950-5000), shalwar kameez (Tk 900-4000), fatua (Tk 550-1000), shirt (Tk 600-1200), panjabi (Tk 750-1800), tee shirt (Tk 180-250) and children's wear (Tk 300-700).
Address: Sunrise Plaza; Lalmatia; Dhanmondi; Tajmahal Road, Mohammedpur. # 01199873560

Ramadan 'treats' for your 'taste'-buds

This Ramadan, prepare yourself, as the Westin, Dhaka takes you on a ride of true gastronomic indulgence! While the fact remains that this month is all about abstinence, if you're one who is on the lookout for more than the regular splurging, and in search of some serious soul food, then the Westin is the place to be.

'Treats', the cosy little bistro on the ground floor, with its super comfortable 'egg' chairs, is the perfect place to while away a couple of hours, for those who have a little respite; curled up in a corner with a good book, over a steaming cup of latte and a plate of yummy sandwiches.

During Ramadan, however, when 'respite' seems like a far-fetched dream, what with the hectic work schedules, and frenzied traffic, 'Treats' is also the perfect place to stop and grab some great Ramadan grub in a jiffy! Apart from their usual assortment of mouth-watering rolls, sandwiches, breads and pastries, the café also offers special delicacies, that are must-haves for this month.

Among take away items, the delightful array constitutes of everything from fresh green salad, chicken and vegetable pakoras, spicy chicken cutlet, tandoori chicken kebab, spicy beef tikka kebab, to the Ramadan regulars (mind you, though, nothing about the Westin is ever just 'regular'!), such as haleem, eggplant tempuras and piyaju.

The prices of all the items mentioned above range from Tk 200 to Tk 750, per 500 gm. Also, available at 'Treats' are special prepared take away iftar boxes, for those who want a little bit of everything, and that can be easily and most gratefully enjoyed if you happen to be stuck in traffic and can't get home on time! Priced at Tk 850 each, the boxes include an assortment of scrumptious items, such as chicken and vegetable pakoras and cutlets, green salad, potato chop, jeelabi, fried gram, and of course, dates, puffed rice and more.

The Westin's treat for Ramadan does not end here, however. At their much-acclaimed restaurant, 'Taste', the magic continues with a more 'extensive' and revitalising iftar spread. Here, the iftar buffet constitutes of an array of the most tantalising items, starting from all kinds of rejuvenating juices, to refreshing fruits and salads, such as poached apricots and prunes, fruit chaat, kachumber salad, tomato-cucumber raita, to hot specialties and delightful sweets, the likes of reshmi jeelabi, shir kurma, carrot halwa, sweet yoghurt and more. The best is yet to come however, because the Westin offers all this, as well the amazing spread that is the dinner buffet, all at Tk 1876++, which is the usual charge of the dinner buffet, available the year round!

Also, should you prefer to break fast in the privacy of your circle of family, friends, colleagues or business partners, the Westin also offers special Ramadan banquet set menus (starting from Tk 750 and above), tailored to meet your individual needs.

For all this and still more, stop by the Westin this Ramadan, for some real indulgence! For more information, contact #9891988.

By Farina Noireet




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