Summer collection by Maheen Khan
Expanding the range of the colour black to include shades like onyx, iridium, abbey and eerie black, Khan reinvents summer wear by deconstructing its all-too-familiar elements and piecing them together in her own way. Sticking to cotton for comfort, the dresses brilliantly capture a bohemian chic in their spaghetti straps and the warm summer air in their ebb and flow. Symmetrical patterns in silver and unique cuts and pleats make for the perfect fusion attires that shoot two birds with one stone: donning style and staying cool in the sun!
If you are worried about cool-toned blacks being too boring, you have obviously forgotten about the power of accessories! Take a cue from Khan's bold suggestions that add a youthful flair of colourful chunks to your necklaces and earrings. The bolder the accessory, the bigger the statement you are making and it all culminates to the final story you want your outfit to tell. Sling an olive green camouflage bag or exude the happiness of a sunflower with a toned-down yellow satchel and you are ready to strike a pose before heading out the door! After all, haven't you heard Gigi Hadid advocate for the world being your runway?
While you may be privy to everything if you simply dress for it (as the saying goes), there is still so much more to this industry than just clothes. Hanging by a thread in the Bangladeshi fashion industry are the threatened livelihoods of women in rural areas who are positively brimming with sartorial skills. It's the Herculean shoulders, or rather, fingers, of these artisans upon which the industry rests and this is precisely why Khan believes it is our duty to recognise the value of their work and reward them for it.
"The artisans of Bangladesh are our responsibility. Their skills are unmatched and distinctive when compared to any part of the world. We must protect this sartorial knowledge that has been passed down to them from previous generations and harness it in modern fashion. It's the only way to keep our identity as a nation alive. As a designer, I'm very committed to this goal in my choices of providing employment to the community, promoting the value of their skills and protecting their livelihoods," shares Khan.
Khan's persistent advocacy for sustainable fashion is another one of her political views that set her apart in the industry. In her endeavour of adopting slow fashion without ever so slightly undermining its glamour, Khan believes in using heritage fabrics and upcycled materials in her creations.
In a newer, cleaner world, fashion is no longer an effort made only in its clothes. It's a united front in its stitches and accessories that tells a wordless story to anyone laying a gaze upon you. With Maheen Khan dictating that story, in her tales of summer wear and beyond, the world is sure to demand a second look. Maybe even a third.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Manoshi and Surjo
Wardrobe and Jewellery: Mayasir, Maheen Khan
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Special Thanks to Dr Nusrat Zaman and Dr Towhidul Alam