SHADES OF BAISHAKH | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 04, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:29 PM, April 04, 2017

SHADES OF BAISHAKH

Deconstructing Conventions

A new year promises a new beginning; as last year's ledgers are closed and the fragrance from crisp pages of the new halkhatas overpower the senses, there is an underlying hope in what is about to come. Bowls of steaming traditional dishes satiate appetites while beaus and belles embrace this celebration of colours. 

 

Riverbanks play host to their yearly visitors and the flowing breeze itself is charged with an electrifying new vigour. 

This is Pahela Baishakh, the harbinger of new openings, the patron of new promises and the spirit that ties all those dwelling in the golden land of Bengal.


 

This year we celebrate colours the best way they can be celebrated by bringing you this 24 page Baishakh special resplendent in splashes of the most vibrant colours. 

 

As the food and fashion evoke both energy and a positive languorous feeling, sit back and pore through our Baishakh portfolio and see what colours will imprint themselves in the year to follow!

 

The order of the day is distinct and thus requires careful thought. For the morning, let 'less is more' dictate. Contrast a subtle monochrome taant sari with a contrasting blouse in a tone two notches brighter than the six-yard-garb. This is a unique opportunity to flaunt that glamour of being make-up free! 

Bosekhe-te rong makhibi ke ke aayo...

oo
bodhuaa...

tor
chulete kan ful neire haay

jonak jole

jhikmik jhikmik kore

buker modhhe

bosekher jhor othe



Baishakh is all about passion and the zest for life. Everything old and dull is put away so life can be embraced with a renewed and reinvigorated spirit.

The colours of Baishakh are reminiscent of its indomitable nature. Red, a hue so redolent with life force and energy, is symbolic of the Baishakhi spirit in every possible way. A beacon of positivity in the coming year and a glimmer of prosperity as radiant as the dazzling Baishakhi sun. And white - for everything pure in life and the world around us.

Yet, fashionistas and the well-clad-men go beyond these shades for the celebration of the coming of yet another new year. While these two colours are de rigueur for Baishakh, they by no means are the only ones to be sported.

Traditions aside, Baishakh has emerged as the occasion to express one's own identity. Although the collective celebration is now the quintessential Bengali affair, it still leaves the possibility to venture into unexplored fashion avenues. 

Renegade? Possibly not, but a class apart—something that can make one stand out even in a crowd of thousands. 

Let us be clear; red and white remain the classic, one that almost every other soul shall don as they flock to the Ramna greens at the break of dawn on April 14. And that is exactly why the need for a change is even more pressing.

Embracing the traditional approach in fashion is one way to go about it; another is to be a renegade, an icon - not for the ramps, but for the pleasure of one's own self. 

Simplicity has been the last thing on most mind as far as Baishakh is concerned; it is all about the colours that trickle from the festivities to one's inner spirits, and that is evidently reflected in what they wear. 

This makes it a fertile ground for exploration. One can paint the attires of Baishakh with the colours of classical passions, red and white, or walk the other way and still make their own mark. 

The event of the first days of Baishakh are two-fold, one embracing the new year along with the rest of the country at the Batomul or near that disappearing greenery of the city, and an evening with friends, and/or family.

The order of the day is distinct and thus requires careful thought. For the morning, let 'less is more' dictate. Contrast a subtle monochrome taant sari with a contrasting blouse in a tone two notches brighter than the six-yard-garb. This is a unique opportunity to flaunt that glamour of being make-up free! 

Not quite to your liking? Then add a nude shade on the lips, kohl your eyes and put a flower in your hair. 

The morning of Baishakh will be troublesome. Be prepared to walk a mile. And few more. So let your feet rest and put a spring in your step by choosing flat sandals. Leave the stilettoes for the evening. 

If you want something more traditional, then a classy Jamdani paired with a contrasting monochrome blouse can be the order of the morning events. The point is to not overdo with the fashion and then suffer for it. The blazing Baishakhi sun can, and in all likelihood will, be ruthless.

Speaking of evenings, give your laces and chiffons and georgettes a break. Choose a handloom saree instead. Jamdaani, Dhakai Muslin, light kataan - take your pick! Bengali women are spoilt for choice when it comes to options for saris. 

Makeup can be subtle or heavy, but accessories are key for the evening parties. Gold jewellery in traditional patterns is most apt for Baishakh, along with silver and mixed metal jewellery.

For men, the options are pretty sorted. It is a simple cotton panjabi during the day. Or opt for a fatua, which can be worn too to beat the heat. In the evening panjabis with slight embellishments are always recommended.

Baishakh is all about holding on to the Bengali within us, through external expressions like traditional cuisine and traditional dressing, even if just for the occasion. Yet, the essence of being a Bengali is an ever changing one, with some core values held closely to our souls. Let your fashion be a reflection of you, in all our evolving sensibilities. 

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif

Photo:  Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Styling: Isha Yeasmin

Models: Rabbi, Meghla, Abdullah Al Mahfuz Raaj, Mashiat, Maisha

Make-up: Noyon Ahmad

Location: Mermaid Beach Resort, Pechar Dwip, Cox's Bazar

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