When a tried and tested method seems to work, few would venture into the unknown. This is Aranya's legacy, and it seems this will stay true for many days to come. A veteran in the Bangladesh fashion industry, Aranya is known far and wide for its famous vegetable dyed clothing. Other items of clothing have not been left behind, either; all in all, no one can create the flawless combination of traditional ethnicity and modern sophistication better than Aranya.
This Boishakh, Aranya promises to deliver a Boishakhi collection that reflects Aranya more than it does Boishakh. Aranya prides itself on being one of the revivers of many traditional Bangladeshi designs that were on the verge of being lost to the world, but are now proudly hanging in their showrooms. The trademark vegetable dye dominates, but there are a few other varieties as well. Cotton and silk are the main fabrics used for saris and shalwar kameez sets, and there are also some jamdani saris in stock. Block prints, tie and dye, embroidery and nakshi kantha stitch have all been widely used. Although the red theme does not feature as strongly in the kurta collection, a kurta from Aranya has a class of its own and will definitely stand out amongst everyone else on Pohela Boishakh.
Of course, the requisite red and white cannot be wholly set aside, and there are some red and white saris you can take your pick from. In addition, there are some interesting colour combinations with red, such as red and beige, red and blue, and red and black, to name a few. These combinations have been mostly brought alive in vegetable dye and block prints, although there are also a few traditional jamdani and taant saris that also come in vibrant shades of red and its friends. Complete your look with help from Aranya's accessory collection. The jewellery collection has pieces made from brass and other metals, wood and beads, all featuring an old-world, traditional style that will perfectly complement your outfit.
If you are the creative type and would prefer to make your very own Boishakh outfit, be it a shalwar kameez set or a kurta, then you can choose from the fabrics on sale at Aranya. Mostly yards of vegetable dyed fabric and some simple cotton printed fabrics, they will serve as the perfect canvas for your extra embellishments.
For the men, Aranya offers more muted colours. Shades of beige, blue, grey and green dominate in the panjabis and shirts, but you might find a few brighter colours in the silk panjabi section. You can find tie and dye, block prints and checks in abundance in the men's section. The shirts are made of extremely comfortable cotton. Aranya's men's collection is perfect for those who prefer simplicity and elegance over elaborate razzmatazz. Needless to say, a comfortable and light panjabi is the only clothing of survival in the sweltering heat that is Pohela Boishakh's annual companion.
Some prefer to religiously follow the red and white theme on Boishakh. Others choose to wear a traditional, “deshi” sari, regardless of colour or pattern. Pohela Boishakh is the biggest cultural event of the year, the day we celebrate being Bengali. And at the end of the day, what's more deshi than a handcrafted sari or panjabi from a 100% Bangladeshi boutique, which will bear the craftsmanship that has been handed down for generations? For those who want to preserve the ethnic vibe this Boishakh and don't mind standing out in a unique colour, Aranya is the place to be.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Safa, Imran, Raisa
Make-up: Farzana Shakil