HOT ON THE HEELS of London Fashion Week, Bangladeshi fashion designers are aptly placed and ready to take on the world.
Having competed, excelled and dominated in the world of ready made garments, and becoming the world’s second largest manufacturing base for the garments industry, Bangladesh has now set its eyes on playing an even more prominent role within the fashion industry.
The inaugural Bangladesh Fashion Week made its debut in London in 2016 and was headlined, among others, by Bibi Russell, a former supermodel for the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo and Vogue.
The iconic Russell, who studied at the London College of Fashion, is now a feted and globally acclaimed fashion designer. Russell featured alongside eight other designers in 2016 and the fashion world licks its lips in anticipation as the show returns for Season 2 on 7th October 2017 at the East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf.
Bangladesh Fashion Week 2017 will host 14 designers of Bangladeshi origin: eight from Bangladesh, one from Dubai and five from the UK.
Leading the designers from Bangladesh is Maheen Khan, the President of the Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh (Bangladesh’s equivalent to the British Fashion Council). Using modern silhouettes, Khan’s “Botanical Blooms” collection consists of single and layered garments with a boho chic feel. Prints are inspired by botanical gardens and are accompanied by skilled hand embroidery with a couture quality that has unique folk inspirations. Handmade accessories and jewellery accompany the collection. Colourful and floral, her timeless pieces are ethically made – part of her commitment to making fashion sustainable.
Also showcasing their latest collection will be the Bangladeshi fashion label Zurhem, with its chief designer Mehruz Munir, who graduated from the London College of Fashion. Set up in 2015, Zurhem is a relatively new label but it has been creating ripples across south Asia with its western style attire. It has broken the mould of traditional Asian clothing, with its bold statement pieces and bespoke, made to measure, tailored suits that could rival men’s suit shops in Savile Row.
Taking inspiration from Berlin’s underground nightlife and BDSM, their Fall Winter 2018 collection consists of silver metallic leather jackets, electric blue dresses, camouflage sequin tuxedos, purple faux fur overcoats and black neoprene suits paired with harnesses. This designer pair are truly pushing the boundaries, dishing out something never seen in the Bangladeshi/Asian fashion scene before: the perfect finale collection for Bangladesh Fashion Week London.
From Dubai, showcasing their latest jewellery collection is the jewellery label 1972, with its chief designer Niharika Momtaz. This is again a fairly new brand, which originated in Bangladesh and already has outlets in Dubai and Doha as well as its home town of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.
The UK designers showcasing at the fashion show include the launch of two new fashion labels. The first is Ruji of London by Shanita Aktar, a current fashion student at the University of Coventry. Aktar is in her final year of fashion design studies and recently completed a six months internship with a fashion house in India. There she honed her knowledge and skills, which has enhanced her confidence and emboldened the young designer to launch her own label before she has completed her studies.
The fashion week, organised by the British Bangladesh Fashion Council, was set up in 2015 and includes a range of workshops, media appearances and talks, which will culminate in a reception at the House of Parliament hosted by Baroness Pola Uddin.
Fokrul Hoque, Founder and CEO of BBFC, commented, “Bangladeshi fashion is unique and brilliantly combines the old with the new. We had a dream to provide a platform for outstanding Bangladeshi talent and I’m pleased to say that we are slowly and surely getting there. We have an array of talent which will dazzle the fashion world through the use of tradition and technology.”
Maheen Khan, President of the Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh, concluded, “Bangladesh Fashion Week is an opportunity for a group of acclaimed designers to come together and celebrate fashion through designs which are not only beautiful and eye catching but also true to their traditional nature, with most of the designers promoting sustainable textiles.”
Full list of participating designers
Asheka Hossain – Asheka Hossain – UK
Farida Rashid – Farida’s Design – UK
Husneara Choudhury – Prity- UK
Mirza Miah – Iman Boutique- UK
Shanita Aktar – Ruji London – UK
Chandara Dewan Chondon – BD
Kuhu Plamandon – Kuhu’s Wearable Art – BD
Lipi Khandkar – Bibiana – BD
Maheen Khan – Mayasir – BD
Mehruz Munir – Zurhem – BD
Rina Latif – Rina Latif – BD
Sahar Rahman – Sahar Rahman – BD
Mehjabeen Mustafiz Simily – Z&Z Collections by Simily – BD
Niharika Momtaz 1972 – Dubai