New York Fashion Week Unveils the Vision of Raisa Rafique with Sarah as the Showstopper  



Masid Rono, Snr. Newsroom Editor, Barta24.com
Designer Raisa Rafique and model-actress Sarah Alam

Designer Raisa Rafique and model-actress Sarah Alam

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In the grandeur of the fashion world, 'New York Fashion Week' stands as an illustrious dream for designers and models worldwide. However, for most, this dream remains distant, a pinnacle achieved by only a fortunate few after a lifetime of toil. Yet, breaking this norm is Raisa Rafique, a remarkably talented fashion designer hailing from the lesser-explored realms of Bangladesh. In a mere three years of her fashion design journey, Raisa is on the brink of turning this elusive dream into reality. The catalyst for this transformative journey is her online fashion brand, "Raiue," launched just three years ago—a brand now set to grace the stages of New York Fashion Week.

In an exclusive interview with Barta24.com, Designer Raisa Rafique expressed the indescribable feeling of accomplishment, stating, “I will proudly represent Bangladesh at the New York Fashion Week scheduled for September 2024.”

Designer Raisa Rafique

Her fall 2024 collection will be the centerpiece of the New York Fashion Week, featuring not one but two distinctive collections named "ইচ্ছা" and "Gaze."

Raisa shared, “I extend my sincere gratitude to Omar Chowdhury of Soundpace, the charioteer of my dreams. Soundpace is the company producing the show. He is the one who gave me the chance to apply for the show. Given the global significance of New York Fashion Week, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to showcase the rich attire of my country on such a prestigious international stage. Hence, the creation of the 'ইচ্ছা' collection, tailored mainly for the Bangladeshi and Bengali audience in New York. The collection encompasses a diverse array of Bangladeshi garments, including sarees, salwar kameez, jamdani, tassar silk, cotton, and various traditional Bengali fabrics. The 'Gaze' collection, on the other hand, caters to an international audience. As an evening wear specialist, it will feature my couture collection. I am thrilled to represent my country on such a grand stage.”

model-actress Sarah Alam

Raisa is not traversing this fashion journey alone; she brings with her a showstopper from Bangladesh, the renowned model and actress Sarah Alam, who has already captivated audiences through commercials and Amitabh Raza's web film 'Bodh.'

Expressing her enthusiasm, Sarah Alam stated to Barta24.com, “Like every model, I dreamed of gracing a platform like New York Fashion Week. Never did I imagine that such an opportunity would come my way so swiftly. Words cannot capture my excitement for this venture. My sole aim is to present myself in a manner that elevates the recognition of my country. Thus, I am preparing for this in multiple ways.”

Designer Raisa Rafique and model-actress Sarah Alam

Sharing her admiration for Raisa’s brand Raiue, Sarah mentioned, “I have always loved the design of Raisa’s brand Raiue. She designs very different and comfortable clothes. I am thankful to Raisa for considering me as a showstopper.”

Raisa, speaking about Sarah Alam, expressed, “In my eyes, Sarah is one of the best models in this country. One reason she is the showstopper in my show is that she embodies the quintessential Bengali look, a vital element for my collection. Together, I believe we will illuminate the essence of Bangladesh.”

   

Popular singer Khalid passed away



Entertainment Desk, Barta24.com
Picture: Collected

Picture: Collected

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Khalid, vocalist of popular musician Chaime band, has passed away (innalillahi wainna ilahi rajioun).

He died on Monday (March 18) around 7:15 pm. The singer's body is said to be at Comfort Hospital, Green Road.

This information was confirmed by lyricist and composer Prince Mahmud.

Among the notable songs sung by Khalid are– Saralater Pratime, Jatata Megh hole Brishti namey, Kono karonei ferano gelo takey, Hoyne jabaro bela, Jodi himalay theke dukkho ashe, Tumi nei tai.  

The songs of Khalid, the artist of numerous popular songs, were once on the lips of the neighborhood listeners, played in various shops including Bipani Bitan. 

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Rabindra Musician Sadi Mohammed passes away



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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Rabindra Musician Sadi Mohammed passed away. It was initially reported that he committed 'suicide'.

His death was reported after evening on Wednesday (March 13). Shamim Ara Neepa, a family friend of the legendary dancer and artist, told the media. His body is currently at Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital.

When asked about the cause of such death, Neepa said, "He went into a state of trauma after his mother's death." He was not exactly normal mentally. Perhaps he could not bear the pain of losing his mother. This is how it went. He fasted on Wednesday. He had iftar too. After that, I think he has decided to migrate to the country of no return.

It is to be noted that last year on July 8, mother Jebunnesa Salimullah (96) died of old age disease. Since then, this music star was suffering from mental depression due to various reasons.

Mohammadpur Police Station Inspector (Investigation) Tofazzal Hossain told the media that Sadi Mohammad's hanging body was found in the room where he used to sing. He is believed to have committed suicide. The people of the house shouted and did not get his response. Later they broke the door and found the body hanging inside. Police recovered the body around 8 pm after receiving the information.

Sadi Mohammad received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music from Visva Bharati University. In 2007, he made his debut as a composer with the album Mee Saippa Bhorer Shisire. In 2009 his album Shravan Akash and in 2012 his album Sarthak Janam Amar were released. He was also working as director of cultural organization Ravirag.

Sadi Mohammad is the son of a martyred father in the first hours of the liberation war. His father's name is Shaheed Salimullah. In 1971, the house C-12/10 on Taj Mahal Road, Mohammadpur was one of the hotbeds of the freedom movement. Dhaka Metropolitan Awami League leader Salimullah's house used to have regular meetings with the top leaders of the party, Bangabandhu's son Shaheed Sheikh Kamal also used to come.

On March 23, 1971, in that house on Taj Mahal Road, Sadi Mohammad's father Salimullah flew the flag of Bangladesh, that flag was sewn by Sadi-Shibli's mother Jebunnesha Salimullah.

Salimullah's house became the target of attack by non-Bengali Biharis and Pakistani troops on March 26, 1971, due to the flag flying. The whole house was burnt, Salimullah was shot dead. 

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It Was An Experience Like No Other : Azra Mahmood



Azra Mahmood, Renowned Model And Fashion Choreographer
Azra Mahmood in Paris Fashion Week (left)

Azra Mahmood in Paris Fashion Week (left)

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Attending Mugler's Fall/Winter 2024-25 collection showcase at the iconic Lycée Carnot School during Paris Fashion Week was an extraordinary privilege for me and my husband, Dewan Muhammad Sajid Afzal. We were graciously invited by Thierry Mugler's VIP and Media Relations Lead, Aiyda Mehnaz, and it was an experience like no other.

Azra Mahmood's Husband Dewan Muhammad Sajid Afzal

Before delving into the show itself, let's appreciate the historical significance of the Lycée Carnot School, established in 1869. This esteemed institution has nurtured notable figures such as former French President Jacques Chirac, World Trade Organization President Pascal Lamy, theologian Alexander Schiemann, and even members of the renowned electronic music group Daft Punk. The school's architectural splendor provided a fitting backdrop for Mugler's captivating presentation. And standing in such a setting and watching a Mugler show at a major event like Paris Fashion Week is a completely different experience for me.

Mugler's fashion show

Knowing Mugler's penchant for bold experimentation with solid colors, particularly shades of black, my husband and I opted for attire reflecting this aesthetic. I adorned a newly designed saree by the House of Ahmed, featuring a leather blouse with zardozi embroidered sleeves and intricate beadwork throughout. Meanwhile, Sajid, also the CEO of Shanta Lifestyle, donned a striking black silk and velvet tuxedo designed by Mehruz Munir of Zurhem, adorned with glamorous beading on the velvet portion.

Mugler's fashion show unfolded as a theatrical spectacle, deviating from conventional runway presentations. Forty-one models graced the catwalk, initially emerging in groups as curtains gradually unveiled the majestic hall of the Lycée Carnot School. Mugler's signature bold and feminine style shone through, highlighted by the predominant use of black, complemented by accents of red and unexpected prints.

Azra Mahmood

The show's culmination saw all models returning to the runway, unveiling the backstage to the audience—a poignant gesture honoring the often-overlooked contributors behind the scenes. The seamless execution of the event captured everyone's attention, transcending the presence of VIPs and celebrities in the front row, a testament to Mugler's captivating vision.

The presence of celebrities such as Mia Khalifa, Brooklyn Beckham, Nicola Peltz, and Korean superstar Junghua further elevated the ambiance of the event. For me, attending wasn't just about witnessing fashion; it was an opportunity to gain insight into the intricacies of such grand productions and how they differ from those in my home country.

brooklyn beckham and nichola peltz

Mugler's ability to maintain an aura of mystery without overt branding was striking. The punctuality of the show, starting and ending precisely on time, underscored a level of professionalism often overlooked by some of our designers.

Fashion TV (FTV) served as my gateway into the realm of fashion, captivating me with its coverage of Fashion Week events. FTV, alongside Paris Fashion Week, has been instrumental in shaping my journey, allowing me to foster beauty, innovation, and dreams. Embarking on my choreography career in 2004, the culmination of two decades has brought me to the pinnacle of attending such prestigious events as a spectator.

Mugler's fashion show

The sensation of experiencing Fashion Week in person is incomparable, evoking a profound sense of fulfillment and transformation. Reflecting on the quality of our work, I find reassurance in the fact that we stand on par with international standards. Contemplating the possibility of stepping away from my craft, I'm filled with a sense of contentment, recognizing the strides we've made. Our modeling industry has seen notable improvements, even if there's a slight lag in technical aspects, it's marginal in comparison.

This realization fuels my resolve to continue pushing boundaries and refining our craft. The journey from spectator to participant has imbued me with a deep appreciation for the artistry and dedication that underpin the fashion world. As I navigate this landscape, I carry with me the aspiration to perpetuate excellence and inspire others to pursue their dreams.

Azra Mahmood

In the quiet moments after the show, overwhelmed by emotion, I realized the profound impact of being present at such a significant event. It was a deeply inspiring experience, reaffirming my commitment to raising the standards of my country's fashion industry to global acclaim. This satisfaction resonates deeply within me, propelling me forward with renewed vigor and purpose.

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#OddDotSelfie, an atypical protest of female celebrities wearing 'tip'



Entertainment Desk, Barta24.com
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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For a few days, the female stars in the country have been posting photos of them in the social media wearing 'tip' on their forehead here and there, instead of on the middle between eyebrows, where females wear them typically. Mostly they are posting selfies which they are calling #OddDotSelfie.

Seeing them, other women from different walks of life are also doing the same thing.

Why this hashtag selfie all of a sudden!

t is learned that this event started on the social media with the aim to building public opinion to prevent violence against women keeping the International Women's Day (March 8) ahead.

On March 3, theatre personality Sara Zaker posted a message on her wall on Facebook urging people to join the protest. Where she herself published an 'odddotselfie'. She also gave a tutorial how to take the picture. Actors like Jaya Ahsan, Zakia Bari Mom, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Masuma Rahman Nabila, Mithila, Sarah Alam immediately responded and posted their photos in social media.

The remarkable thing is that the tip on the forehead of all of them is slightly displaced from the designated place. They think this inconsistency is basically the language of protest that started on February 27.

The message of the campaign is, "One in every three women in Bangladesh is a victim of torture and violence at home and outside. But the protests against it had never been enough. Because in our society, women are taught to suffer in silence. But we want every woman to break this taboo and raise her voice. Because it is only possible to stop this violence by speaking up without remaining silent.

And so, #OddDotSelfie is a protest against violence against women.

Expressing solidarity with this message, apart from the actress, social media influencers and ordinary women of the country are also participating in the protest.

Apart from actress Sara Zaker, two organizations related to advertising agency Asiatic, Radio Shadhin and Mangaldeep Foundation are working behind this campaign.

Radio Swadhin's RJ Ahona said, "Many people are asking, how can a tip be the language of protest? I think it's a unity. Through this, we are standing up against violence. All women talk about the same thing. That's why we started this campaign.”

Jaya Ahsan, the award winning actresses, said, "We women make ourselves beautiful by tipping on our foreheads. On social media, pictures of smiling faces wearing our tip keep getting likes. But is this the picture of all of us inside the house? One in three women in the country is a victim of violence. Their beauty is soaked in blood. Hence their tip is getting slipped. Their dignity as human beings is eroding. Let's protest against violence against women.”

Actress Zakia Bari Momo's message is, "Violence against women is increasing every year! Now is not the time to be silent. It's time to protest.”

In 1975, the United Nations recognized March 8 as International Women's Day. However, the history of the day is older and more extensive.

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