A whole lot of Dhaka swag, a dash of Warhol | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 14, 2019

A whole lot of Dhaka swag, a dash of Warhol

Taking inspiration from instantly recognisable objects we see every day and presenting them in a pop art influenced visuals was Andy Warhol’s claim to fame. For Zurhem’s Spring Summer 2019 collection, Creative Director Mehruz Munir was inspired by rickshaw art that is bold, flamboyant, often chaotic and unapologetic.

The designer collaborated with rickshaw painters and experimented with prints that will immediately remind you of Dhaka. There is an element of familiarity and the excitement of shapes and silhouettes that are all too current and edgy.

The fashion show was staged at the InterContinental Dhaka on 3 May, 2019 where Chairman of Zurhem, Saadat Chowdhury, announced the tie-up between Ermenegildo Zegna with Zurhem. The high-end Italian fabric, along with the Eid and runway collections, will be available at Zurhem’s new atelier on the 7th floor, house 44, road 12, Banani.

Talking about the arduous process behind the latest collection, Mehruz Munir said, “A designer often needs to travel for inspiration to create something new. But when you grow up in a city like Dhaka, as an artist, you are blessed with a surrounding that is unpredictable, loud and unapologetically chaotic.

“This time, I took inspiration right from the streets of Dhaka and gave it my own little twist. By collaborating with rickshaw painters, I took elements we see on the back of rickshaws every day and tried to present them in a very Warhol-ish pop art style.”

He further added, “The entire process of working with the rickshaw painters was immensely rewarding. I tried to give them as much creative freedom as possible. I would tell them to select their favourite film actor and paint as many expressions of them as possible. I also made my claim on the Bengal tiger — an image we have been seeing a lot on runways around the world of late. I may sound possessive when I say this, but Bengal tigers belong to Bangladesh!” the designer explained.

Munir went on to say, “One of my favourite prints was the one with peacocks. When the painters were done, I absolutely fell in love. I honestly didn’t know how to use them initially. I felt like they should be framed and hung on walls, but fortunately, we managed to turn them into wearable art. And finally, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, the print that was the most popular on the runway was the one with my face along with a tiger’s. The juxtaposition worked out well. The colours clashed with each other, but it was a functional symbiosis — a kind of ‘working chaos’ that defines Dhaka.”

Content and photo provided by Zurhem

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