A starched cotton 'taant' sari, paired with a blouse bordered off in white lace the petite, dusky girl wore it slightly above her ankle; her dreamy eyes lined with kohl and long wavy hair done hurriedly in a casual bun with couple of frangipanis tucked on the side.
Before running out for errands at the bazaar, or walking to the college library, or even to her secret rendezvous, she grabbed her cotton 'jholi' or sequined bag, and put on her two belt slippers showing off toe rings and anklets. The bells on her feet merrily made music as she 'walked in beauty'.
That's my dream girl from the late fifties and sixties. The 'taants' in 'dooris' or 'beetis' — the traditional stripe and dot patterns, the coarse 'khadis', the elegant Jamdanis — these were the staples in the wardrobes of our mothers, aunts or grandmothers. Even the Begums of Bengal and their ladies of the court treasured these weaves and wore them with much élan and grace.
I, for one, am in love with their style. I love to flip through old albums and pour my heart out on these pages and try to soak in every minute detail of their styling. The simple makeup with a touch of carefully careless detailing, the traditional sari wardrobe boasting the motifs and patterns exclusive to Bengal; all these put together we had the graceful styling of these yesteryears women that till date never fail to inspire the present.
However, in today's context we try the fusion game, we add our own chic, ethnic touch to these traditional garbs and try to bring them to the forefront of style and fashion.
As heritage weaves are my personal favourites, this week Star Lifestyle has put together an album fusing these traditional garbs with contemporary styling. Undoubtedly, not a new concept, yet we felt the subject is pertinent enough for a re-visit.
We feature an in-depth report on fashion with a social commitment, and trailing the Bangladeshi heritage weave we present the current, local issues plaguing the industry.
We hope all our readers will enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed putting it up for you.
Model: Meghla and Raj
Location: Lotus Etang