With the azure sky kissing the horizon and warm sea breeze flowing through our hair, one could not help but ignore their calming effects on the senses and come to the only natural conclusion — serenity must mean this! But as the sky lit up in the shades of blush oranges and pinks, the entire sunset palette of nature took to stage for a one of a kind event — Of Shores, Sunset and Beaches.
On Friday, 19 October, 2018, the crème de la crème of Dhaka's uber-chic social circle witnessed the collaborative efforts of Sohana Rouf Chowdhury and Selina Nusrat take stage at the Sayeman Beach Resort, Cox's Bazar.
As models walked the ramp, the sparkle of the pearls they adorned accentuated the dresses they donned to perfection, and audiences could easily vouch for the wattage of the catwalk far overpowering the blazing sand it stood upon.
Sohana Rouf Chowdhury is the face behind Amishe — the couture jewellery brand; Chantilly, the trendy clothing brand, is the artistic reflection of designer Selina Nusrat. 'Of Shores, Sunset and Beaches' was simply an amalgamation of the two minds and their vision turned to reality.
While expressing her passion behind the endeavour, Sohana Chowdhury spoke animatedly, “This is the second time I am working with Chantilly. We share a common goal to design pieces that can be worn every day.”
Speaking of her inspiration for the show, Selina Nusrat said she was particularly moved by a sunset by the beach during a trip to Cox's Bazar last year. That lingering effect ultimately became the philosophy behind the Chantilly line showcased at 'Of Shores, Sunset and Beaches'.
Nusrat said, “Although the process of taking and translating that visual into clothing took a while, I do feel that I have captured the serenity and beauty of it.”
The ramp set at the Sayeman Beach Resorts overlooked the Bay with waves breaking onto the shore as the backdrop. Chantilly's casual wear took the stage, dominated by pastel shades, flowy, flirty but comfortably fitted kurtis in floral prints, perfect for the casual, but chic independent femme.
As dusk settled in, the couture line mirrored the very colours of the jewelled sea on beautifully embellished floral kameezs, long kurtis, saris often in fusion combinations with capes. Topaz, corals, aquamarines and tangerines splashed on gorgeous dresses were the highlights.
The entire line-up was the result of a picture-perfect romance between sunsets, shores and the jewelled secrets of the sea. Although the show set off with the more casual wear, it slowly transitioned into the heavier evening looks and wedding wear.
The final collection aptly mirrored the lunar skies lit up by phosphorus waves lapping on the night shorelines, the beautiful models took to stage in flowing lehengas and anarkalis in shimmering hues of white and silver.
Selina Nusrat aptly captured the sunset canvas in her latest line under the banner of Chantilly, and just to set off the sparks, Amishe's exquisite pearl collection added the extra oomph to the catwalk.
“I love everything about pearls. They are the perfect accessories that don't require anything extra,” said designer Sohana Rouf Chowdhury. Explaining her unabashed bias for this particular bounty of the seas Chowdhury said, “Pearls are diverse in and can be easily styled into casual office wear, as well as most formal ensembles. I have collected not only different kinds of pearls like Baroque and South Sea, but also sourced other varieties. Sohana Chowdhury said she travels all over the world to source pearls, with the thought in mind, 'Would I ever wear this myself?'
“I too work, so I feel that accessories should be small but different; something which can be worn on a regular basis. I think, right now, fashion is all about wearing that one statement piece.
“For the fashion show, I did put up a lot of the more elaborate pieces to complement the outfits, but I also have smaller designs using myriad variants of pearls” said the renowned designer of Amishe fame.
Enthralled by the positive vibe she could easily pick even as the show progressed, Chantilly designer Selina Nusrat said, “The response from this show has been far greater than my first showcase, and I am looking forward to opening my own store in the coming year.
“My embroidery designs have been then translated onto the materials by our local artisans, who were also especially trained for this. The material used was primarily chamois silk, which was sourced from India, and the laces from Malaysia.
“There were naturally many trials and errors before getting to these pieces as finished products, but that's just how the whole process works.” she added.
While expressing her reaction, Chowdhury said, “This collection was a lot of fun to create and I will keep adding into it as my research on pearls and stones progresses. In addition to the more mainstream designs using polkis and diamonds for brides, I want to bring in western influences as well,” she added.
Both designers acknowledged the role of Mitsubishi Motors, Bank Asia, and Robi as sponsors, and reiterated that without their help, the show may not have been possible.
The well executed collaboration made sure that each piece complemented and completed the entire look rather than steal the focus from any one element. 'Of Shores, Sunset and Beaches' managed to capture the imagination of the guests and the critics. Every ensemble was carefully accessorised, adding flair to elevate the interestingly fusion-based outfits with the just-right extravagance and decadence of an old-world classic luxury and charm.
So what's next? That is for Amishe and Chantilly to decide, but with all certainty, it already have the fashionistas something to look forward to.
Photo courtesy: Amishe