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Gallerie Apex presents
Life is Beautiful

At one end of the spectrum, we have an evil and horrifying thing known as acid violence. At the other end we have a very different world; we have the glitzy and glamorous fashion shows. What connection do these two things, that seem to be light years apart, have?

On February 3, a fashion show by famed designer Agnimitra Paul was held at the Grand Ballroom of Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel. The clothes worn on ramp were sold in an auction, the revenue from which was given to the Prothom Alo fund that helps rehabilitate acid victims.

"Every fashion show I do is for a good cause. Last year I did a fashion show for helping blind children. I hope that our contribution will at least bring a smile to some women who are victims of acid violence", a passionate Paul informed.

The fashion show had a very interesting structure: it portrayed Agnimitra Paul's perception of various times of day and night. Of course, since she is an artist, her imagination took the shape of colours and attires.

Each time of day and night has a different mood to it -- and hence different sorts of colours and attires come into play. The fashion show started off with the moods of dawn. Through the eyes of Paul, dawn is green, yellow and orange.

The models mostly showcased traditional wear worn in contemporary fashion -- saris, salwar suits and lehengas. The men, in sync with the women, wore panjabis and sherwanis.

Then, Paul chose red to portray the mood of a sunny afternoon. The ramp thus sizzled with red, perhaps signifying the heat of the sun.

Yellow and violet are the colours Paul sees in the dusk.

The fashion show portraying attires of the night were simply drop-dead gorgeous. The models shone with the exquisite jewellery of Jarwa House. The shoes were from Apex.

Many celebrities from India and Bangladesh walked down the ramp. Among them were Tisha, Nowshin, Bindu, Momo, Mim, Rituparna, Paoli Dam, Nobel and Locket Chatterjee.

Many other organisations, such as Menz Klub, Persona and Jet Airways supported the event. Desh TV ran a live telecast of the event.

As the fashion show ended, it was time for the auction. A generous amount of Tk.765,000 was generated for the acid victims. The bids touched Tk.200,000 twice -- one of these high-demand attires was worn by actress Rituparna and the other was flaunted by Agnimitra Paul herself.

A musical show was also organised after the auction.

Prothom Alo started their campaign against acid violence in 19 April 2000. The first injection of money came in from a day's salary of all the journalists of the newspaper. Now, readers and well-wishers of Prothom Alo contribute to the fund. The fund goes into rehabilitating acid victims by providing legal assistance, medical assistance, awareness programmes, etc.

It is an endeavour for which Prothom Alo and Agnimitra Paul should be congratulated.

By M H Haider
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Smart shelving

Shelves are the perfect solution to achieving a balance between generating additional storage in the home or office and creating an aesthetically pleasing display for showpieces. They are practical, adaptable, easy to install and portable.

Structurally, there are two types of shelves, those that are hung and those that are free standing. A wall-hung shelf can have a single surface or a group of linked surfaces. Its mount can be exposed, such as a bracket, or hidden by the shelf for a floating effect. A hung shelf can also be suspended from the ceiling by some sort of rope or chain. A free-standing shelving unit sits directly on the floor or on the top of a table.

This week's column discusses some unusual shelving options.

Paint bucket shelves
Galvanised buckets are just as practical and attractive sideways as they are in their normal upright position. We can arrange three or four buckets with handles and hang them together on the wall. The top two bucket handles are faced upward while the lower bucket handles are positioned downwards. These can be used for towel storage.

Shelf contained
Most consumers merely contemplate what can go inside a storage box. Stylish storage boxes are a practical and an attractive solution for containing clutter. Large, medium, and small drawers can be a great way to get organised. Objects of different sizes can be kept in different drawers - stamps, tape, and clips in smaller ones; pens and markers in medium-sized ones, and check books and mail in the large.

Cane basket shelf
You can fashion a fantastic shelf from almost any type of basket. Baskets are popular and easily obtainable. Traditionally, they are made from natural materials, such as split oak, reed, twig, bamboo, wicker, and rattan. Now many types of baskets are available in local markets. Some are plastic, wire, or metal mesh. You can prefer a rustic look or one that's sleek and modern for your home or office space.

Candle sconce brackets
As the popularity of candles has grown, so have the options for displaying them. Sconce-type holders liberate candles from being strictly tabletop ornaments. Sconce candle holders come in many designs. They are made from diverse materials, such as metal wire, wrought iron, and stained glass and their shapes vary from the very traditional to the very trendy. The circular structure and interior spiral design of these particular sconces resembles a peaceful mandala. These types of candle sconce are commonly available in such as Aarong, Kumudini and KayKraft. These types of shelving are ideal for study areas or verandahs.

Plant stand supports
Multilevel plant stands make unique supports for a seat of decorative shelves. Simply select an appealing pair and bridge with sturdy boards. You can use new or vintage plant stands for this project. Look for matching pairs at home décor stores, gardening and home improvement centers, and secondhand shops. To ensure level-sitting shelves, make sure all the plant stand tiers are at equal heights.

Watering can brackets
A cheerful pair of painted watering cans provide a perfect bracket for a garden-themed shelf. Topped off with a piece of wood painted in coordinating tones, this shelf can alter the ambience of an outdoor space. Aluminum water canes are available in Kawran Bazar and local crafts shops.

Interior Consultant

E-mail: journeyman.interiors@gmail.com
Photo Credit: Journeyman Archive



Rahima Sultana Rita
health and Beauty Expert
Harmony Spa

Ayurveda is a way of understanding nature. It seeks to solve problems by identifying their root causes.

In common practice, we are only concerned with external beauty. Beauty, however, must come from within. Just as it comes in two forms, so does health and it comprises physical and mental well being. Good health is necessary to maintain beauty. In fact, Ayurveda was originally a tool of the sages in helping people to be beautiful, inside and out, and making the body/mind as clear and balanced as possible. This form of healing informs us that beauty can come from a lifestyle dedicated to simply living in balance.

In Ayurveda, there are three different body types or doshas -- Vata (from ether and air), Pitta (from fire and an aspect of water), and Kapha (from water and earth). Individual constitution is acquired at birth and remains constant through life. Through Ayurvedic books, teachers, and courses, one is able to determine one's individual constitution and thereby knowing which direction to take for self-diagnosis purposes. According to these doshas, Ayurveda provides individual solutions for each skin types.

To maintain complete beauty, Ayurveda suggests some basic, healthy habits:

Healthy food intake: A person is what he or she eats. The first rule is to follow a diet to suit your body type (Vata, Pitta or Kapha).

Drinking plenty of warm water throughout the day. Avoiding heavy, cold food and taking light, warm and nourishing food.

Fasting at least once a week.Eating raw fruit alone and never as part of a meal.

Yoga and breathing exercises: Breathing exercises like the alternate nostril breathing, cleansing breath exercise and the 'bee' breath exercise are beneficial.

People who meditate regularly enjoy more beautiful, younger looking skin than those who do not. Ayurveda says that inner peace and happiness is a sure way to ensure both inner and outer beauty.

Some specific yoga techniques like forward bending, 'lion' pose, downward facing and some other poses are also very beneficial.

Proper skin care: Skin care regimes are an integral part of being healthy and beautiful. In Ayurveda, various massages and bodywork therapies form a part of the beauty treatment. Traditionally, a bride-to-be receives various beauty treatments days before the wedding. Specific facial services according to Ayurvedic therapies bring proper cleanliness, tightness of skin and longevity of your beauty. Whether you follow Ayurveda or not, the prime Ayurvedic beauty tipthat beauty inside and out stem from a balance of mind, body and spiritcan serve as a guide to everyone seeking natural beauty.


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