Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 7, Issue 29, Tuesday, July 17, 2012




Of laces and trimmings

Weighed down by numerous oversized packets she walks through the lit-up aisles. Squirming through the little gaps left between the women and the young girls haggling away with store-keepers on either side of the narrow aisles, making her way out of the maze known as Chandni Chawk. Stepping out in the sunshine she remembers the few tiny things -- in particular the laces for her dress that she had forgotten and rushes back into the thronging maze with the load.

Trimmings are to outfits what icing is to cake. Like everything else embellishments and add-ons on clothes add that distinctive touch to an outfit, which otherwise may remain plain. Contrasting-colour borders, a shimmering neckline, a sensual lace pattern, a cutwork lining, all attach a unique touch to every article of clothing.

Living in a country where kameez and saris are the staple wear for the female population, trimmings and embellishments are as much in demand as the former are, which is to say they are available almost all over the city given the female population's regular mammoth appetite for new clothes.

Most trimming and embellishment shops carry similar products with some disparity in their collections attributable to their size or location. Borders in lace, velvet, embroidery, sequins, beads knit-work, jhumkis (bells), stones and balls are a few of the many that can be found. Coins and beads, mirrors, pearls and sequins of any imaginable colours are not hard to find in any of these stores. Patches with embroidery of different lengths and colours, pearls, zardosi, stones and cut work are just a few of what these shops keep in store.

The haven for these is the Gausia Market and the Chandni Chawk Market and if you are a woman living in Dhaka City you already know it. The first floor of Gausia is lace heaven. Most of the shops on this floor are of traders of borders and other embellishments. The second floor of the Chandi Chawk market has a number of these shops and their collection is quite eye-catching as well.

This is indeed a treasure-trove of materials and accessories for one to unleash their creative side and to put together trendy outfits.

The trimming shops at Mouchak Market and New Market, two of Dhaka's older and much visited markets, are also worth checking out if you happen to be near. The fabric shops there were at one time one of the most visited.

For Dhanmondi dwellers, A.R.A Plaza at Road #7 has a small shop on the ground floor and a bigger one on the second floor where you can avail your desired borders and patches of embroidery although they may not have as varied a collection.

For those not willing to travel long distances from the Northern corners of the town you need not look further than Pink City, which has an array of tailor shops along with dedicated trimming shops. You will find all that you need here albeit at a slightly higher price, which is reasonable given the difference in the environment you will be shopping in.

Eid is nearing and sooner than later you will be looking for embellishments that complement your dress. So drop by at a few of these stores to take a sneak peek at what they have in store for this festive season. Happy shopping!

By Karishma Ameen
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Cut pieces this Eid

Walking down the narrow lanes bustling with populace, looking for that special piece while the unforgiving heat takes its toll on my body, I can never help but push myself further into the track. For me, it is not about a good bargain or the environment. It's rather the colossal array of items found in Chandni Chwak that draws me there time and again. From the latest offerings of cut pieces to accessories and food, Chandi Chawk has it all. This year is no different either. Like many a shopping freak, my eid frenzy starts in this hub of the connoisseur, and I start by drawing a list of what is out there in the market so that I can make my choice out of many.

The long kameez has brought about a huge wave of alteration in the common street fashion in Dhaka. While there are many ways one can opt for to get that perfect piece of kameez, starting from buying your own yards to getting it done ready made form a local boutique, it is Pakistani Lawn that occupies the highest ground when it comes to this fashion statement. Chandi Chawk has a variety of these pieces to offer this Eid, starting from simple printed pieces to extravagant ones adorned with embroidery and stone work.

Pakistani Lawns can be a liitle high up in the price list. So if you're looking for greater value for money, you can try out the local replica of the Pakistani Lawns that look almost the same. Though the quality of the fabric is not the same, the local makers have tried to mimic the look and feel of Pakistani Lawns as much as possible.

Apart from Lawns, the Indian Rajasthani cut pieces are also a rage this Eid season. They come in bright attractive colours and can be made according to taste with various accessories as add-ons. Various kinds of embroidered nets along with chiffon and georgette pieces are also among the common offerings. Theses fabric yards can be made into anything you want, and with a little bit of innovation, one can come up with great designs to make their own sari this Eid.

For those who don't like the chaos of Chandi Chawki, you may want to take advantage of the boon of technology -- a new trend of buying cut pieces form online forums like Facebook. The trend has caught on like a fever, as it can help you save huge amounts of time and energy. There are dedicated Facebook pages that offer Pakistani Lawns and have earned considerable recognition in a very short time. The mode of transaction is very easy. If you like a dress, you order the dress through the online forum, usually via mail. If your order gets approved, you then pick the dress up from a nearby distribution point. The process is extremely simple and clean, and you can always cancel an order before buying if you change your mind.

So whether from Chandi Chawk or from your PC, what really matters is getting your hands on that perfect piece for yourself this eid. So go for a little research before you get down to buying to see what suits your taste.

By Afrida Mahbub
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed



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