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Dhaka Tribune

Kantaji Khadi

Update : 18 Nov 2016, 04:30 PM

Trending| Khadi Festival 2016

This year's Khadi Festival, organised by the Fashion Design Council of Bangladesh (FDCB) centres around a number of local heritage sites, which will act as muses for the participating designers. This week, we talk to the two veterans who have selected the Kantaji Temple in Dinajpur as their inspiration base.

Emdadul Hoque

emdad hoque

The vice-president of the FDCB, best known as the founder of Studio Emdad and the director of Banglar Mela, is uniquely placed as a spokesperson for the development and benefit of khadi. His entry into the fashion industry more than two decades ago came via the journalistic route, as a columnist for Shaptahik Bichitra, where he worked hard to create a platform for local craftsmen. As his interest in our local textiles grew, he joined the Brac silk development project, and later the Grameen Uddyog, before venturing into design.

Legions of Banglar Mela loyalists will testify to Hoque's emphasis on natural fabrics, local textiles, and focus on Bangali culture and traditions. His work is the epitome of comfort and wearability.

In conversation with Dhaka Tribune, Emdad Hoque tells about the intricate details of the Kantaji temples, which he intends to replicate on fabric via shade work, embroidery, mirrors and more. “The immediately noticeable feature of the temple is the distinctive terracotta work, in a pleasant gradient of burnt orange darkening to brown. These colours will feature prominently in my collection for the festival” he tells us. We're to expect saris, menswear and accessories this year.

Researching for the challenge took the designer deep into the history of the temple and the area. “The temple's architecture is based on stories, some that I discovered for the first time. This exercise has definitely been a learning experience for me,” he says.

A lover of local textiles, getting to work with khadi is probably the highlight of the whole program for Emdad Hoque. “This green fabric is the key to our future,” he says.

Biplob Shaha

With some 23 years of design experience under his belt, Biplob Shaha, the visionary behind Bishwa Rang is no stranger either to khadi-based designs, or even using buildings as inspiration. “In fact, I used motifs from the Kantaji Temple for my Durga Puja collection, so I will be revisiting familiar territory with this exercise,” he tells Dhaka Tribune.

As such, he'll be delving into some trademark tools for his collection for the Khadi Festival. Sticking close to the colours of the temple complex, he will be incorporating the figurative elements taken from the terracotta tiles, particularly the silhouettes of the Hindu deities, onto khadi. “I have also been working closely with our weavers to render new textures on our traditional khadi. I envision outfits that will look as though they are constructed out of terracotta tiles,” Shaha tells us. In addition to khadi, we can expect some endi cotton in the collection.

The Khadi Festival takes place at the Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel on December 9&10.

TRESemmé reprises its role as title sponsor, with The City Bank Limited, Green Delta Insurance, Bengal Group Ltd, and Senora as Silver sponsors, KK Tea as and Driven by BMW as Bronze sponsors, with support from Pizza Hut and The Way Dhaka Hotel as hospitality partner.

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