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Style statements

* Soft pastels. Baby hues make for comfy chic.
* Vintage pieces - Recycle old classics for a retro feel.
* Unexpected splashes of cheery prints.
* Think scarves and belts.
* Brighten up a dull outfit with a bold accessory in colours that pop.
* Lace camisoles that peek out from behind low-cut tops for a sexy, layered look. Low-key, muted colours make good foils for bright accents.

News Flash

The splendour of wedding couture

A designer's thought on her wedding wear line produced for the ITF- Pearl Fashion Institute Fashion Show.

Over the ages, across the globe, to every girl her “Wedding Day” is a memorable one. On this day she wants to be the centre of attraction simply because it's special to her; it is the desire of every girl to enhance her beauty to the fullest, to look at her very best. As a newly wed, I myself can relate to this precious inner feeling of every girl. This had been my primary motivation for the bridal theme.

When it comes to designing wedding wear, Mughal jewellery has been the source of my inspiration. The motifs, use of pearls, rubies and other stones on the pieces always fascinated me. On my designs, I have made elaborate use of stones, matt gold beads, lace and thread as embellishment; I also made abundant use of pearls, which I believe is the most romantic piece of ornament.

"Why the Mughals?" I am often asked. To this my response is simply, 'Old Dhaka' -- the vibrant centre of trade, architecture, culture, colours and food. The fort in old Dhaka, now a tourist centre, represents the stamp of Mughal architecture in Bangladesh. I love to breathe in the nostalgic aura of 'Old Dhaka'. It is the cultural bridge between today's Dhaka and the rich splendour of the great Mughals that has inspired me.

For my bridal collection I've chosen Bangladeshi fabric. The reason behind this is that in drape and texture and in the splendour of colour Bangladeshi fabric is unique - this is magical from a designer's point of view. I cannot help but mention the world renowned muslin, Dhakai jamdani, Mirpuri katan and Rajshahi silk among others.

For the quintessential, red, wedding sari, I've chosen Mirpuri katan. While designing this one, I poured out my heart. Embellishing it with white stones gave the katan the desired glamorous effect.

The off-white jamdani is made of pure cotton, and looked pretty simple when I bought it. In this context I have to mention a comment made by my mother when she saw the jamdani, "An ordinary cotton jamdani for wedding, isn't it? Fail to understand today's girls."

I have designed this jamdani, with off-white pearls, stones, matt gold beads, thread and lace and it turned out to be the, elegant beauty that I wanted to represent. I have also experimented with blouses and drapes, picking up the traditional Bengali style and puffed sleeves for the holud sari, and so on.

As a designer, I believe, it is not always foreign fabrics or expensive brand names that can help achieve that 'special look'. Use Bangladeshi fabric on special occasions. Creative design and exclusive embellishment can tune in to create that unique look of glamour eagerly sought after by brides to be.

By Shivani Sharma
Faculty, Perl Fashion Institute

Soft, soothing watercolours

The exhibition on workshop held by Munirul Islam, Biren Shome and Alokesh Ghosh at Shilpangan was definitely worth visiting. The participants, undoubtedly, were persevering and talented. Whatever the teachers had taught them earlier, along with the three major painters on watercolour to guide them, brought scenes that were idyllic and restful.

The exhibit brought in art enthusiasts and watercolour experts -- ranging from Faiz Ali Bhai to Subhir Choudhury and Javed Jalil. The electricity failed somewhere along the welcoming speeches, including one by Ramendu Mojumumder. But the guests kept calm and collected until the power came back much later.

All the watercolour scenes were more or less convention standard. Yet the lines -- sweep and glides of the different stroke -- specially ones by the black and white tones and other variations, in blue, grey and brown.

The details and backdrop -- including ocean liners, trawlers, boats, barges, lighthouses, trees etc. -- were brave and wonderful. Even the collection of mud, rubbish dumping and seaweed appeared beautiful and perfect.

One almost felt that one was seeing the scenes from the seashore. One knows full well that the environment touch outside the cities is essential for health, both physical and mental. The young ones were certainly brave and eager to learn more given the guidance and the experience. What ever had been gleaned from books and the art schools had been applied aptly. The landscapes, done by Sagor Chakroborty, Humira Akter, Biplob Kumar Das, and Nayan Tripura were certainly worth seeing and even buying.

When the paintings had been done from close by forefront, the details, steps leading to the house -- in focus, brambles, threes, houses, gates, and roof tops -- had all been delineated with necessary care, devotion and concentration.

Along with landscapes, some still life by women artists and Faizul Kabir, had been the paintings including blossoms, leaves, and containers with decisive care.

By Fayza Haq


Think before you act

Wise people correctly said that first impression is the last impression. So follow the wise people's path and give the very first impression as good as possible. Begin your mail or message with the name of the addressee. Simply launching into your message is unduly abrupt, unless the two of you are regular correspondents rapidly sending messages back and forth. Many people do not know that messages should not be written in capital letters which is considered the internet equivalent of shouting. Before sending the quickest mail, take a pause and think with a calm mind whether you are conveying the correct thoughts or not. Do you really mean that insult, threat or offer of help? Can you really honor the words you have just written?



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