International Weavers Festival 2017

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International Weavers Festival 2017: Tradition modernized

By Alvee Khan

 

The International Weavers Festival is a celebration of handloom textiles, weaving arts and indigenous crafts. This year, the event was organized for the second time by TS Events and patronized by the Ministry of Textiles & Jute. It fest was held at the ICCB open arena in Kuril on Friday, November 17, maintaining the legacy of the success last year.

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Twelve designers and boutiques from Bangladesh as well as students of three institutions presented their collection representing the historic nature of the craftsmanship and promoting the methods to the world. Designers from Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Portugal, South Korea, Thailand, Cyprus, Italy and Mexico also showcased their collection at the festival. Chief guest A. H. M. Mustafa Kamal, minister of planning division, and special guests handed over the lifetime achievement awards to Malika Khan and Shamim Hossain of Prabartona for their contribution towards the handloom field. Three master weavers were also recognized for their contribution and given the lifetime achievement awards.

The event celebrated, showcased and promoted the creativity of an eclectic mix of established and breakthrough designers. Local and international designers, weavers and artisans were recognized for their contribution to the textiles industry. The event also provided the elements of a full festival packaged into one unforgettable evening containing fashion, drama and musical performances from renowned artists.

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Gates opened for the guests around 4.00 pm, as the crowd started pouring in at the festival venue and explored various fabric and food stalls. The event officially started around 6.00 pm with a mesmerizing musical performance from Palki, who sang her hearts out to a welcoming audience.

After the opening ceremony, the enthusiastic students of three institutes – National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), National Institution of Design (NID) and Radiant Fashion Institute – brought out their collection of designs blending traditional values with western designs. They used cotton and their designs were inspired by corals and jute crafts.

For the first fashion show that soon followed, various designers and boutiques showcased their collections to the crowd one by one. The segment started with Monira Emdad who brought her collection from Tangail Saree Kutir Ltd. that showcases the beauty of Jamdani incorporated with Bangladesh’s culture in her beautifully designed hand-woven dresses.

Sarah Karim presented her exclusive bridal wear to the guests. Festival chairperson Tootli Rahman’s By-Deshi presented her unique fusion weave saris. Libasse’s collection consisted of traditional and modern dresses for today’s bride to be. Famous fashion brand Cat’s Eye also presented their collection.

Chief guest A H M Mustafa Kamal, the minister of planning division, was called on stage along with other distinguished special guests such as Marcia Bloom Bernicat, US ambassador to Bangladesh, Sonam Tobden Rabgye, Kingdom of Bhutan ambassador to Bangladesh and Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal MP to commence the lifetime awards ceremony. The session was moderated by festival chairperson Tootli Rahman.

The speakers described the importance of the craft of weaving as a means to represent Bangladesh internationally and vowed to work for the betterment of the craft to bring back the glorious days. Planning minister Mustafa Kamal promised investment for 200,000 idle looms around the country and informed that the government is financing 10,000 looms in Madaripur.

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Lifetime Awards were given to Malika Khan for promoting the role of women in the weaving industry, and to  Shamim Hossain for Prabartona which contributed towards working with handlooms in the country. Three master weavers, Md. Abul Kashem, Md. Iman Ali and Md. Faizul Islam, who have been designing and teaching the techniques to the next generations, were also called on stage and given the lifetime awards for their contribution. Tootli Rahman revealed her project to open the Heritage huts & crafts village in Kaliganj to showcase the unique artistry of Bangladesh, permanently.

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Afterwards, another fashion show started with collection from Sahar Rahman, showcasing their unique range of Asian and fusion wear to the crowd. Jahanara Rahman’s J/S fashion followed, presenting their collection made of silk, jamdani, raw silk and muslin materials. Farzana Malik showed her beautiful designs next and it was followed by Z&Z Collections who worked with muslin and jamdani. The segment ended with designer Sonya Panni’s aesthetic designs coming to life with muslin, silk and benarasi materials.

A fashion drama, titled ‘Robi Anuragi’, paid tribute to the prominent female characters of Rabindranath Tagore. Renowned model and actress Sadia Islam Mou exquisitely presented herself as Moni Mollika of Tagore’s ‘Monihara’. Actress Nipun Akter made a glamorous appearance as Komola of Tagore’s ‘Nouka Dubi’ to ignite the crowd.

The exquisiteness of the parade ended with a fashion show of international designers from India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Portugal, Thailand, South Korea and Cyprus. Local artists and celebrities advocated the traditional crafts of our country and inspired the crowd.

 

IMG_0473The festivity ended with musical performances from Habib Wahid and Ferdous Wahid.

The International Weavers Festival 2017 made its mark in the hearts of the visitors by tying traditional values with modern innovations through fashion while representing the country’s heritage and craftsmanship to the world.

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