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Creating your designer label

When you get tired of the monotony of your surroundings, the less-expensive way to add colour is to change the way you present yourself. Adding a few shiny glasses or extra colours to your wardrobe can easily lift you moods! Fashion designers can inside-out and upside-down your ordinary clothes to transform them into something extraordinary. Mr. Zahangir Karim, a freelance fashion designer, instructor of the Sky High Fashion Designing workshop course in Dhaka and faculty member of NIFD Bangladesh (former student of NIFD, India) had won 'Best Designer Group Award', 'Best Creative Award '99' 'Best Appreciation Award 2000' and 'Best Exhibition 2001'. He shared his views with us.

RS: Why should anybody join fashion designing at all?

Z.K: Simply because they want to, they love to and they feel like to! <*grins*>

RS: What about the academic qualifications? Is a high grade necessary?

Z.K: High grades are surely not necessary, but each university has criteria that to be set since they receive huge amount of applications. The situation was difficult a few years ago, but nowadays you have so many private institutions teaching fashion designing in a diploma course. Most universities and private institutions accept 12th Grade graduation. However, in truth anybody willing to be a fashion designer can start whenever they feel like to. All they need is absolute devotion!

RS: So that means a lot of back-aching, butt-paining hard work, right?

Z.K: Yea, definitely. A fashion designer got to devote himself totally and hard work is a must for anything you go for, isn't it?

RS: Any particular combination of subjects that fashion-designing institutes prefer?

Z.K: Well, as I said before, you simply do it because you want to do it. There isn't a particular set of subjects to be studied before joining fashion designing. But even then each university has their own criteria. So you should find it out from the university that you're interested to get in. Drawing helps since any designer needs to know how to draw. Chemistry sometimes proves useful while studying about dying and colours, and mathematics is a subject we need everywhere. From my point of view, every subject is good enough to be studied and no subject is bad enough to be discredited while joining fashion designing.

RS: With all the devotion and dreams, where will these young designers land? What's the prospect of designing in Bangladesh?

Z.K: It's actually quite huge! Bangladesh has more non-technical fashion designers than technical ones. There's a definite need for qualified, professional designers in this field. Now that there's a big field out there for every young fashion designer, a lot of people are actually pouring in. Fashion houses are looking for dynamism and all you have to do is step up and work towards them.

RS: How do designers start their career in fashion designing once they have gained a degree?

Z.K: Firstly, you've got to maintain contacts. A lot of contacts with a lot of people will assure you a lot of work. You can participate in competitions, put up group exhibitions, publish yourself on the net - there's a whole set of things that you could do to get focused.

RS: Won't putting up a solo exhibition or as a group need some money beforehand? What about those who cannot afford it?

Z.K: Yes, it surely will cost a lot. To start something, you always need a sufficient sum of money first. However, those are not the only things fresh designers can do. They can join a fashion house with a monthly payment if they are unwilling to go for the other options of self-advertisement.

RS: Which one do you think is better freelance or job?

Z.K: If a designer is confident enough, he can go for freelance marketing. But experience always counts. It's sometimes safer to work somewhere for sometime before building one's own empire.

RS: When you talk about fashion designing with parent, some of them just laugh at the idea and prefer a safer, typical profession. Some just complain that fashion designing is a costly subject. What have you got to say about that?

Z.K: Well, some people don't even know what's fashion designing all about! With the prevailing idea that doctors and engineers lead an ideal life, it becomes more difficult for them to accept it. But, times are changing and people are getting to know more about it! Someday I hope this problem won't remain. Speaking of cost, any subject that's rare or rather different from the rest is meant to be costlier than the rest. Art has always been a thing of luxury and expense! It's still very glamourous, very exciting!

RS: You're right. At the end of the day, it's about a satisfied self and a peaceful mind that makes a difference; not the money or the effort spent on it.

Z.K: That's why you should always try to do what you love!

By Shabanaz Rashid Diya

Featuring otos

It's a pity photos have to be tucked away in albums that in turn are stuffed below pile of junk at some distant corner of a forgotten cupboard. Especially now when taking and printing photos have become particularly simple its time we spent some time in displaying those special moments captured in film. Photo frames are the perfect way to preserve a memory and also be a showpiece on a bed side table that will help accentuate the look for your space. You could always buy one OR you could make one for a change.

The thing about making your own frame is that it can be of any design or size that you want it to be and it will be your very own piece of handiwork that you can forever show-off to friends and relatives. The basic structure is very simple:

First gather up the following items:
Cardboard: most boxes are made of this material so it's pretty much everywhere, just asking to be discovered and put to some use. You can use a flap of the box in which you bought your cell phone. 'Modern Stationery' in new Market sells Cardboards of all sizes, in case you just can't find some at home.

'Anti-cutter'(yes that is what the stationery store keeper said): it's basically a cutter and I have no clue why its called 'opposite-of-a-cutter'. It resembles a paper cutter but is strong enough to cut cardboards.

Decorative Paper: now this could be any kind of paper that you consider decorative: coloured paper, tissue wrapping paper (these are extremely elegant and available at Aarong and (sometimes available) in Etc.), random magazine cutouts (to give a collage look), wedding cards cut out. I used cut outs from 3 year old Jaatra calendar that my friend had apparently preserved.

Glue: paper glue is not an option when working with cardboards; definitely Aika or super glue. The former is preferred since any mishaps with super glue leads to you having a second skin stuck to your finger for ages!

Laminated photograph, or painting

Plastic sheet: now this is optional, but recommended, if you haven't laminated the photo. Stationery- pencil, meter ruler, eraser …you know KG2 basic stuff

To make the frame:
Measure out the photograph and draw a box with dimensions 1cm smaller in each side, than the photo E.g. for a 12*8 cm photo draw a box of size 11*7 cm, with around 2cm thick outer border.

Press down hard onto the cutter to cut along the lines, using a ruler for support. Lines need to be cut 3-4 times for the cutouts to come off easily

Now you have the frame which you can decorate anyway you like, simplest method being wrapping with paper, more artistic approaches include wrapping with one-coloured paper and painting on designs (both paper and painting could be colour coordinated with the Photograph). Stick on beads, sequins or for a more casual look, dried flowers (pot pourri).

Now for the backing take a card board piece of a size slightly smaller that the external dimensions. The plastic sheet (if being used) has to be cut in the same size and attached along three sides so that one side is free for the photo to slip in. now attach the photo case to the frame with glue. Finally to make it stand, take a triangular piece of card board. Fold one of the corners and stick on the folded bit to the back, so that it works as an adjustable support.

The description so far is just a basic guideline about how to use cardboard to make frames. Once you start experimenting, ideas pour in by themselves and you can even make hangings (attach a firm string on two sides of the back) and long floor stands to make a display of CD covers, favourite quotes, photos etc. Let your imagination run wild and give importance to details like measurements and finishing, and you will come up with something that might even amaze you. Mail us with questions and tell us about your attempts

By Aniqa Moinuddin

According to him & her

Vulnerable (vul-ne-ra-bel) adj. female: Fully opening up one's self emotionally to another. male: Playing football without a helmet.

Communication (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n. female: The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one's partner. male: Scratching out a note before suddenly taking off for a weekend with the boys.

Butt (but) n female: The body part that every item of clothing manufactured makes look bigger." male: what you slap when someone's scored a touchdown, homerun, or goal.

Commitment (ko-mit-ment) n female: A desire to get married and raise a family. male: Not trying to pick up other women while out with one's girlfriend.

Entertainment (en-ter-tayn-ment) n. female: A good movie, concert, play or book. male: Anything that can be done while drinking

Flatulence (flach-u-lens) n. female: An embarrassing by-product of digestion. male: An endless source of entertainment, self-expression and male bonding.

Remote CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n female: A device for changing from one TV channel to another. male: A device for scanning through all 75 channels every 2&1/2 min.


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