Khadi: Heritage meets innovation


by Tajnim Imami

Khadi is a fabric that carries the rebellious and resilient history of the subcontinent in its every weave and stitch. Hand- spun and hand- woven, it speaks of the connection that its people nurture with nature and its wellbeing.  Organized by Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh (FDCB) and held at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) on November 3 and November 4, the third annual khadi show TRESemmé Khadi ‘The Future Fabric Show ‘celebrated the historic fabric in its renewed, diverse forms. Twenty six designers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India presented their collection inspired by folk arts and crafts, pottery, jewellery, calligraphy, carpentry, architecture etc. In recognition of the craftsmen who have kept khadi alive through thick and thin, taant artisan Aslam Mia was awarded by the FDCB president Maheen Khan, vice-president Emdad Haque and general secretary Shaibal Saha. The presented collections will be available for purchase on November 10 and November 11 at Gulshan Gardenia Convention Centre.

Shaibal Saha opened the first day of the show with his elegant black and white collection inspired by calligraphy in all its beautiful fluidity. Simple and eloquent, his sari, panjabi, kurti and dresses paid homage to the disappearing languages of a fast moving world. Next came Farah Anjum Bari whose white, gold and emerald collection glowed with the beauty of the traditional Bengali jewelleries of kaan bala, golap bala and jhumka in her sari, kamiz, and dresses.

The Bhutanese designer Chimmi Choden presented her silk and woollen collection of charming coats, dresses and capes with fine, floral embroidery. Emdad Khan’s elegant sari, panjabi and long dresses were designed using antique, golden handrail motifs with geometric and floral patterns on black. Nawshin Khair’s shakha and shonkho inspired collection named ‘Jaana Ojana’ displayed patchwork, chequered print, stripes and polka dots complemented by the swirls and patterns of seashells on blouses and jewelleries.


Afsana Ferdousi’s fun and colourful collection portrayed the history of khadi on the dresses and shirts with patachitra art. Her shoes were just as youthful with drawings of lily, elephants, dolls and peacocks in vivid, joyous colours. Faiza Ahmed used wonderful golden motifs of terracotta pottery and sculptures on her collection of sari, kamiz and panjabi with a rustic colour palette of rust, moss and saffron.

Lipi Khandker’s collection presented sari, skirt, top, panjabi, shawl and jacket with bold, screen printed  motifs of flowers, butterflies and stars inspired by rickshaw hood in sprightly colours on a background of  white and cream. Her shoes were made for comfort with a touch of frivolity, decorated with colourful buttons and rosettes. Chandana Dewan took her inspiration from the paintings of rickshaw and her collection featured stars, lotus and mosques on white, indigo and emerald green.

Riffat Reza Raka paid homage to the Bengali language in her black, grey and gold collection with large, embroidered, proclamation of our most beloved lyrics and slogans such as ‘A Mori Bangla Bhasha’, ‘Karar Oi Louho Kopat’ etc.  The Sri Lankan designer Nelun Harasgama’s saris were soft, elegant and feminine in red, white and black. Biplob Saha’s fusion collection in rust- bronze was inspired by the old antique railings of the architecture of Panam City. Elaborately designed and accented with striking head pieces, his work was bright and lively.

Thai designer Sukajit Daecgchai’s brand Mae Teeta’s cotton ensembles dyed in traditional natural indigo dying technique were light, practical and sophisticated. Ezmat Naz Rima’s new fashion house Rima Naz presented sari, kurti, jacket, long dress and pants inspired by the heritage of our carpentry techniques and furniture motifs.

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Rupo Shams’s first collection showcased panjabi, trouser, pants, kurti, long dresses and sari with elaborate, floral embroidery.  Tenzing Chakma’s vibrant collection with patachitra was fabulous in details and execution. Jovial models carrying fresh red lilies presented his beautifully painted pieces twirling and skipping along the runway.

Maheen Khan’s shitolpati themed collection of sari, skirt, top, pants and dresses were stylish in black, white and indigo. With geometric patterns and clean, asymmetric cuts, the pieces were sharp yet flowing and feminine.


A feast of fashion, tradition and innovation, Khadi: The Future Fabric Show merges the heritage of yesteryears with the talents of today. It is a fabric that truly promises to make its mark and play a crucial role in Bangladesh’s future with its versatility and rural, eco- friendly origin.



First day:

Shaibal Saha, Farah Anjum Bari, Shah Rukh Amin, Chimmi Choden (Bhutan), Emdad Haque, Nawshin Khair, Afsana Ferdousi, Soumitra Mondal (India), Faiza Ahmed, Sarah Karim, Farah Diba, June Ngo (Malaysia), Rasna Shrestha (Nepal).

Second day:

Maheen Khan, Lipi Khandker, Chandana Dewan, Biplob Saha, Kuhu, Maria Sultana, Tenzing Chakma, Nelun Harasgama (Sri Lanka), Rupo Shams, Ezmat Naz Rima, Sukajit Daengchai (Thailand), Riffat Reza Raka, Himanshu Shani (India)





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