Dhaka’s fashion triumph

A week of international, national and regional fashion shows, exhibitions, workshops, and roundtables – Dhaka Fashion Week has come a long way. Writes Nadee Naboneeta Imran
Dhaka Fashion Week (DFW), which began in 2008 as the brainchild of Kawshiki Nasser Tupa and Fakhrul Chowdhury, stepped into its fourth year last week, hosting a range of fashion-related programmes, which has surely made the event worthy of its name. Now considered one of the biggest fashion events of our country, DFW, this year, brought together great designers from home and abroad, on one platform, with an aim to uphold domestic apparels in the international arena and also to make Dhaka a leading fashion hub in South Asia. The event was themed ‘A Celebration of Sight’ and included in the fashion week were fashion shows, fashion exhibitions, workshop sessions, lecture sessions, a fashion photography exhibition and a roundtable discussion. Fashion had been the only thing in the air around the venues of the fashion shows with the congregation of great fashion designers from all over the world, eminent fashion professionals and fashion connoisseurs.
The first of the series of four fashion shows was held at The Living Room of The Westin, Dhaka, on the evening of June 16 and was of a bridal theme. During the opening show, Chhuti Adhikari, an Indian designer, brought life to the event through a creative collection, portrayed as a splash of colours. A few make up and hair brands also presented their signature make ups in respective queues, such as Elegance, Ban Thai and Dreams, owned by Razia Sultana. The rest of the show was dominated by Indian labels, such as Virachi by Rita Singhania and Priyanka Singhania, 34 C by Kanika Sarker and Krishna Singhania and The Sepoy’s by Niraj Agarwal and Rashi Agarwal. The dynamic duo of The Sepoy’s captured most of the audiences’ attention with their radical and conceptual designs while Virachi showcased different kinds of creations by mixing eye-catching colours on their fabrics, and 34 C showcased a festive collection of vibrantly coloured hand-stitched kurtas and saris.
The first queue of the second fashion show on June 17 held at the ballroom of The Westin, Dhaka, was showcased by Roxana Salam, who graced the ramp with her gorgeous ‘Mariama’ collection. Second in row was the well known fashion house Jatra. Next came Escape, which is headed by Muniza Khan; presenting a modern, chic, glamorous and festive, collection. Mansha was the fourth fashion house to present its delightful collection on the ramp created by Faisal Taher and Farhana Taher. The famous label O2 presented its Eid collection at the fashion show. Asif Iqbal and his design team put up an exquisite collection that highlighted freedom and personal style. Ena La Mode presented their range of accessories for both men and women. Also presented were cotton saris with contemporary and traditional designs by B Plus Sarees.
Mahmudul Hasan Mukul presented his collection Amour that contained unique cuts and shapes. Fortuna group Bangladesh presented their range of bags, sandals, shoes and other accessories at the ramp of DFW. Awal Collection, a fashion venture of Fatema Awal, presented women’s wear that focused on various patterns and types of embroideries. Freeland graced the ramp next, with their diverse collection of western wear. Shirin Karim, an individual designer who takes inspiration from nature when creating her fashion creations, displayed saris from her label Swayambara. Uttam Ghosh brought out a beautiful collection of outfits using the traditional jamdani. Also presented were collections by popular fashion houses McCoy, Bibiana, Nagordola and Sadakalo.
The evening of June 18 was divided into two segments and also took place at the ballroom of The Westin, Dhaka. The first part comprised mainly of designers from the region of seas and mountains – Chittagong. Their creations reflected a lot of inspiration from nature and the lives of the indigenous people living in that region. The first to grace the ramp for the evening was a collection of ethnic wear by Ahmed Newaz. The collection of Aryan Fashion, a venture of Amina Rahman and Arup Barua seemed to be strongly inspired by tribal materials. Fashion house Chaity brought out a collection of saris and kameezes designed by designer HM Elias.
Ivy Hasan was next, presenting an interesting collection of modern fusion at the gala evening. Shubhra Newaz from Fine Boutique, displayed a collection inspired form both Arabian and Indian styles. Shimul Khaled is the man behind the well known fashion house Charu Chittagong, who also presented his collection. Saleh Rabi John charmed the ramp with a soothing and magnificent collection of saris, kameezes and panjabis with interesting cuts and designs. Other designers from this segment of the fashion show were Kazi Shahtaz Parvin Munmun, Lutfa Sajida, Mohsina Kuraishi Mita, Najma Akhter, Rowshan Ara Chowdhury, Moni Dipa and Sultana Nurjahan Rosy.
The second half of the event began with a special award from DFW for outstanding contribution to fashion, which was presented to the late Nasrin Karim. The first fashion house to grace the ramp was Doors. Then Mumu Maria presented a tenderly crafted collection of saris and kameezes using very light pastel shades. Design Suede presented a casual and beachwear collection for trendy young people. Warah presented a glamorous collection on the ramp, designed by Rumana Chowdhury. Zeenat presented a collection of local fabrics and traditional themes, which reflected intricate craftsmanship.
Rushmita’s displayed gowns in colours black and white, made with Rajshahi silk and Mirpuri kataan. Next, Peter England showed a wide range of men’s wear from casuals to formals for men. Then three young designers from the BGMEA fashion institute highlighted their creation of evening gowns. Before the last designer for this year’s DFW appeared on stage, a few awards were given out; the best female model of DFW 2011 was awarded to Syed Ruma, best male model of DFW 2011 to Asif Khan and award for the model of the decade went to Shabnaz Sadia Emi. The award for the best channel to promote fashion in Bangladesh was awarded to ETV.
The grand finale of DFW was brought about by Arnab Sengupta, a very prominent designer from Kolkata, who has been a regular participant in almost all of the international fashion weeks. His collection of gowns, with a mix and match of ethnic and modern designs, was an illustration of artistry at its best. Then, with satiated hunger of fashion lovers, the evening came to an end, and the curtains dropped on DFW 2011.
Dhaka Fashion Week in association with Child Sight Foundation promoted a cause for raising awareness on prevention and cure of child blindness in Bangladesh, during the fashion week. The fashion shows were directed and choreographed by Kawshiki Nasser, president of Dhaka Fashion Week. Persona was the makeover partner and The Westin, Dhaka was the hospitality partner. The media partners of the event were Canvas, ICE Today, New Age, Lifestyle, Dia Asiana, Purple and ETV.


Courtesy of New Age

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