Pahela Baishakh has come once again! After a whole year, it has come back with colours, joy and happiness to bless the Bengalis. It will be time again to participate in fairs and festivals.
It will be a time to feast on traditional food. And, of course, it will be time to look exquisite in the colours of Baishakh (red and white).
If we walk inside the big malls or walk across the nearby neighbourhood boutique houses– we will definitely be attracted by the similarity struck in the colours of the clothes put on display. But here is where creativity and art strikes in! Although in any fashion house, the colours of dresses on display are red and white- no two dresses are alike. There is so much detail and work put on each dress that the colour theme is not at all monotonous but the trend and style in which each shop are competing to attract customer attraction brings in a whole new diversity in the collections. Then again, we have a deep attachment with these two colours during Baishakh. It represents our cultural roots and the festive times of Baishakh. This is why the colours and the dresses are even more endearing to us. The rich diversity of the collections by different designers is inevitably conspicuous. A good amount of time before the auspicious event is spent by people looking for the perfect Baishakhi outfit. Motifs come to life and patterns dance gracefully on the traditional Baishakhi attires.
Most women love to be clad in a traditional white saree with red piping. Moreover they love to embellish their impeccable long braids or buns with different types of flower garlands, mainly Bailey flower. They love to put on a desi look which is somewhat different from the everyday fusion look.
The subtle or thin eyeliners are replaced by a double coating eyeliner, mostly winged or fish tailed. A teep (bindi) is adorned on the forehead.
Bangles replace where bracelets used to be. An anklet is fashioned by many, for its tinkling and rhythmic sound and graceful look. This is more or less a typical Pahela Baishakhi look.
As decades have changed, this look has somewhat changed, yet the traditional impressions have been sustained. Although normally women in Bangladesh may not wear such a look to their office, for example they may not wear flowers on their hair everyday- this is the day that they can decorate themselves in a completely Bangali fashion and they also feel very happy to do so and relish every moment of it. That is the reason why such a careful scrutiny is made of collections from different fashion houses before she chooses her final dress or dresses for Baishakh.
Over the years, designers have done a lot of experiment and fusion in this traditional Baishakhi look. The saree now has reflections of other colours such as green, blue, etc retaining the red and white. Well, Pahela Baishakh is a very colourful occasion and those colours are articulately infused into fashion. Many types of art are evident in the saree. Works of block, print or floral impressions are experimented in the white saree with red piping or red saree with white piping. And then there is the choice of materials. From Jamdai to chiffon georgette sarees, from Tangail sarees to embroidered netted sarees, the collections boast a wide range. Exquisite designs make these sarees look even more beautiful. The sarees become a canvas as designers pour in their art. Some sketches rural designs or impressions while others engrave it with more modern designs.
When it comes to Salwar Kameez, a huge variety in terms of art is also evident here. First, there is a choice between long and short salwar kameez. For Pahela Baishakh, most women opt for either long or mid length salwar kameez. Lawns are doing very great this season. Some designers also make a fusion of modern fashion with traditional Baishakhi fashion and come up with long red or white coloured gowns to be worn with colourful dupattas. A lot of embroidery and details are put in this style as well.
Whichever style you choose for Pahela Baishakh, you have to keep the weather in mind. You could imagine yourself or try out the dress before selecting it for the Bengali New Year. If you are buying online, it is also important that you make sure that this is the dress for you. What may look good on the mannequin or online may not feel comfortable or suit you as much. So choose the dress that makes you look good and feel good, and enjoy the celebrations!