The rich, cultural heritage of Bangladesh’s fashion industry was on full display at the Majestic Silks of Bangladesh Exhibition, organised by one of the pioneers of the sector, Maheen Khan. The three-day exhibition that took place at the Nordic Great Hall, Gulshan 2 was a follow-up of a fashion show with the same moniker that took place a month ago and displayed the collection showcased there.
The guests at the exhibition were treated to a closer and more personal look at the ethically produced, artisanal clothing items that reflect and promote Bangladeshi handwoven silk produced in Rajshahi that are extremely rare and somewhat of a dying art.
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“Bangladeshi silk has somewhat diminished over the years and we are trying to revive it in our own modest way to promote the silks of Bangladesh,” stated Maheen.
Each of these clothing items that range from gowns, and saris, to three-piece suits, took around a month and three months to make, embody a piece of history and display Maheen’s prowess in adding fine detail and intricacies to her creations.
“All of these designs have a Bangladeshi core and are a reflection of our culture. The motifs establish a spiritual connection with Bangladesh’s heritage. Everything you see here is purely Bangladeshi, in every sense of the word, especially the design vocabulary,” she elaborated.
“A lot of thought was put into them so that they can portray our roots in a contemporary way that younger generations can also apprehend and understand. The designs are of today but they are also connected to our past. We wanted to establish that bridge,” added Maheen.
Of course, they are best displayed on models but Maheen left no stone unturned to ensure that her guests can get a true-to-life feel of her creations.
“Models have an important role in what we do because they bring our designs to life and that is something very hard to duplicate. We have tried our best to capture and preserve that essence through structures and stands that were custom-made specifically for this exhibition,” she explained.
The exhibition received an overwhelming response and Maheen was successfully able to build awareness regarding silk and its nuances and spark public interest in the process. Furthermore, the purpose of this event was also to support social good as it provided local designers and artisans with a platform to generate income.
“I have been working in the industry for a very long time and I really feel that more events like this should take place to support the community of artisans and the community of designers through presentations and promotions. I hope we can continue taking things to the next level. I hope we can continue to create a difference,” Maheen concluded.