Desh Designs

Contemporary fashion from Bengali designers
by Ruhul Abdin

Posted: 01.05.13

One of the highlights of this year’s Alchemy Show at The South Bank Centre was the annual fashion show. Social enterprise Paraa were invited to represent Bangladesh by showcasing the work of new Bangladeshi talent, alongside emerging and established talent from Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Overall, the Bangladesh show reflected the depth and breadth of possibilities for a country that is steeped in a heritage that includes silks, cottons, embroidery and natural dyes alongside a rich craft tradition. Rukia, Jatra and Prabartana collections celebrated design and process while Rukia's range embedded inspirations of rickshaw art from Dhaka. Jatra and Prabartana are both leading brands in Bangladesh, inspired by heritage crafts.
Rahemur Rahman and Nasreen Raja interpreted and honed in on silk materials traditionally used as sarees. Kuhu's sublime hand-painted orange dress reflected traditions and values that show promise for an emerging and fresh approach to fashion.


Rukia graduated from London College of Communication in 2012 in Surface Design. She enjoys all aspects of design and printing but her ultimate interest lies in textile and fashion print. Rukia is inspired by Alexandra McQueen and Matthew Williamson and their bold prints and colour usage.


A. B. Walliuddin Ahmed Chawdhury is a Bangladeshi designer who graduated in 2004 from the national institute of fashion technology. He is inspired by the city culture and traditions, focusing on blending the two. 


Jatra firmly believe in supporting ethical local industries and his practice has helped give hundreds of artists and crafts men and women the opportunity to make a better living. 

Nasreen Raja

Nasreen is a recent graduate from Chelsea College of Art and Design. Her work emphasises, colour and pattern through creating different moods, which are inspired by her childhood memories and cultural experiences from Pakistan and as a British Muslim living in England.


Their task is to introduce and promote the product of handloom weaving and local crafts. Cultural responsibility, ethical production and sustainability are at the heart of Prabartana's brand. The main objective of Prabartana is to provide support to the weavers for marketing of their products and to give feedback from consumers about their choices so that the weavers can be updated about changing consumer choices. 

Rahemur Rahman

He has been influenced by designers such as Christopher Shannon, Martine Roseman and Aitor Throup. Taking inspiration from rappers, lyricists and DJs, Rahemur has achieved the gold award as a proud alumnus of The A Team Arts, and continually mentors students, in order to nurture the upcoming generation of designers. 

Shama Khan

This collection was inspired by the craft of weaving, Shama likes to design for a woman who is certain about her destination.

Kuhu Plamondon

Kuhu studied at the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka Bangladesh. She has a MFA in drawing and painting. Her inspirations lie in the human form and its adornment. It was through figure drawing that Kuhu started fashion drawings. Kuhu works with a process called ‘dye painting’ to colour and treat fabric which take months to achieve.

BUFT Students 
Bangladesh University of Fashion & Technology, this collection was inspired by traditions and indigenous materials. (main image)
Photography: Eugene Lum

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