We don’t have trendsetters. We, Bangladeshis, are devoid of Style gods or goddess; changing the course of fashion and trend as we speak. We don’t see Fashion Police hauling over our Desi award shows scrutinizing or drooling over the celebrity dresses, which brand or designer they are carrying, etc. Along with that, we don’t see our celebrities setting the color of the season or style of the year. Heck, we don’t even have a celebrity to even be called a Fashionista. We are a bland society. We have no style to call our own, which makes me ponder: Do we have any identity?
In this era, all of us want to be stylish; we want to keep up with the new trends, and the fashion icons have a responsibility cater our needs. Icons, as the name suggests, are people who we look up to for styling inspiration; they feature what newly hits the fashion zone or they bring upon a look which revolutionizes the popular community. The Americans have their Disney Divas and Teen sitcom stars giving them their dose of sexy-meet-sweet styles. K-popsters in Korea introduced a new edgy gothic bangs meet baby look. And the English have their royal family to provide them with the elegant styles. While we don’t have a Bangladeshis celebrity of our own who actually introduces a new trend for us.
So what did we resort to? – Since we don’t have a Desi celeb to look up to, we started to look upon foreign celebs for inspiration. Some people, like me, follow Heidi Klum or Selena Gomez for style inspiration while others just took the highway to the nearest trend they can get from Bollywood and/or Pakistani celebrities. We resorted to them so badly that even the local clothing and stores are filled with materials from India and Pakistan, and sometimes a bit more radical like Qatar. The Salwar Kamiz is now mostly dominated by the Pakistani market- which is absolutely soaring right now. Before this, we had the Indian Market of “Anarkalis” and “Masakalis”. Some may argue that we did set our own trend and we follow it, but did we? The answer would be definitely Not. We need to understand what “trend” really means. A style not only set, but delighted by the most. The style which we are accepting on our daily basis. Our local trends like Jamdanis only come up on “gaye-holuds” and we only feel like wearing the tater posh on a “Jateo/ Shokh-Dibosh/Mrittubarshiki” – this is not a trend.
Our foreign inspiration has soared so high that even the markets are drawn onto cater our needs, for their profit. So, eventually, all the potential in our cultural garments are just sitting there and rotting. We do have certain fashion houses promoting those particular trends, but those are not propagated to us properly, due to the lack of “following a particular icon”. We don’t have a celeb to look up to and get inspired by. Those who we have are so much about the “joris and chumkis” and eye burning colour combinations which are considered such big fashion blunders that we all like to ignore it than accepting its existence. We are a society with the potential to drive a new trend but we don’t have someone to come up with it and show that off. So until then, we will probably just remain the style society of the “imported”. And fashion in Bangladesh will be always copy pasted.