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Defining fashion from Bangladesh perspective March 26, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.
Tags: ,

The rich are always fashion concsious, as a way to express their affuence, the tendency is now spilled over to middle class with the flow of more money to this group and projection and popularisation of the trend by the media.

We are not against the present rise of trend in the fashion. But what we worry is the tendency to drift way from our own culture among some of our fashion designers. The values and attitudes to life is actually arise out of long tradition, culture and philosophy.

Modesty in dress and behaviour was and is always a basic component of our culture. We shouldn’t cross it in comtemporary fashion also. Expression of sensuality is not taken as expected by the larger population. So they don’t like to see the news caster, a preserter or like to be sensual. Sexism is the last thing one would like to see in the day to day fashion in Bangladesh.

There is some tendency to change our fashion in the line of western culture. But they have to understand that the main essence of our fashion is to be more artisitic than to be sensual and sexy. I was listening to a talk show where Mostafa Monwar, one of our most creative artist, as telling how wonderful it is to look at sharee folding on itself and bleding a women artististically.

It is nice to see that many new designers could feel the essence of Bangladesh culture and are concentrating on more artistic presentation of their product than sensuality and sexism.

An ordianry citizen


1. defensive designer - March 29, 2009

When a Bangladeshi designer creates, the last thing he/she wants is to lose the essence of Bangladesh. That gives it the edge over other competition, that is its competitive advantage.

What we also want, is to propel the image of Bangladesh, which means we need to create a wider, more global demand for our product. In order to do that, we need to incorporate some Western trends.

Bangladeshi designers don’t ask you to compromise on your modesty, to shed for the sake of shedding clothes, to be anything less than you are. But we need to progress with the times, but still keep our tradition and values intact. It is a difficult reconciliation, but not unmanageable without finesse.

The thing about sexism in Bangladesh is, it needs to be fought, and we need to teach open-mindedness. Bangladesh is unused to such, and for this we are unable to move forward. I applaud the models who were enough to battle sexism everyday of their lives, and making the fashion industry in Bangladesh a moving force.

I don’t mean to insult, but you are being sexist if you think a newscaster has no right to be sensual. if she is appropriate, I see no problem in celebrating sensuality. It is every woman’s right to dress as they please, as long as a certain level of decorum is maintained, and you are being sexist if you question that assertion of right.

The fashion industry can do alot to propel the image of Bangladesh, and cease it from being a stagnant pit of undirected creativity. We need to break borders, and every one needs to open their minds now.

2. bdoza - March 29, 2009

I couldn’t accept ur logic of one being sexist, if he/she thinks a newscaster has no right to be sensual.

Is the world is moving towards a uni-culture? That may be the vision of the western expansionists but we shouldn’t conciously step into their plan.

What I like to emphasise is to blend our culture in the modern fashion. The beauty of global culture lies in the diversity of its variation.

3. Jen - December 11, 2010

I am sorry but i could not help being amused by both comments. As a fashion professional, who works at global scale, it is a very interesting for me to see both the takes on Fashion and Culture.

A)Culture and tradition is one things,and serves one purpose in the society, and in global context and fashion does something entirely different.

B) Fashion has always all over the world been lead by consumer taste and demands. (hence the difference between fashion and fine arts)
That also includes hard core business understanding in Marketing Mix, pricing, quality strategies. These are not relevant in culture.

c) it is this reason No Brainer, Retailers who just import and sell what ever consumers buy have more solid and profitable business than, any pioneering fashion designers have managed to set up in Dhaka.

d) I do have a lot to say, but here is the deal about being sexist – while it is a reality that conservative clothing relates to our local morale (not culture!), and it is perfectly acceptable, even appreciated – it is also a business point reality, we have a culture dominated by global exposure the youth culture now demands to be sexy, star, etc. Which in personal opinions may or may not consider a good. How ever, fashion is not Morality court. It is the reality, that demand for revealing trends are growing at a higher percentage – Not dictated by fashion, but dictated by changing world. A Fashion Designer can respond to it – consumers lead it.

Now if we want to dominate conservative clothing, and sticking to tradition etc. it would have to be dominated by marketers, media, etc. Hyping and branding the Culture (overall), not just sit and design “Traditional clothes” which will eventually be read by target audience as ” stuck in time” and don’t attract as much consumer response, as imported stuff. I must add, lack of quality has also a huge huge role to play here.

It is also lack of this understanding that has lead Bangladeshi Designers, to not operate in the potential necessary.Our advocates of tradition may not like it, but the reality is – these advocates are not enough in the form as consumers. The percentage is too low to be able to influence the market.

ONE LAST THING – our fashion industry, or even individual designers have no Unity at all. They consider each other mortal competitors. In the global market, the fashion businesses are competitors but also, hold common unity forum – in the form of Prediction consultancy Firms, Government or Huge Corporation Backed Councils etc. That is why, Designers have very little influence in the fashion market purchase patterns (decided by consumers), while the western world is able to direct the consumers what to buy, even during global recession.

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