Fashion designer Rina Latif’s ridiculously gorgeous collection for the fashion show “Threads of Heritage” in Bangkok was a pure crowd pleaser
It all started when Bangladesh’s ambassador in Thailand H.E Saida Muna Tasneem approached her with the idea of showcasing Bangladesh’s textile heritage; a dialogue between the two countries. “I immediately jumped on board,” Rina exclaimed. Without a second thought she entailed into the idea of actualising such a refreshing and exciting concept. “Also, since Bangladesh and Thailand share a common textile in the form of woven silk, I was curious to explore it further,” She elaborated with repletion. Rina believes that the dialogue will be a fruitful one because a conversation always makes more sense and happens to be more constructive when the two parties share something in common.
“The feedback from the show was fantastic,” Rina says in a joyous voice. The show not only managed to generate a buzz but also represented Bangladesh and its culture in an avatar that was unknown to the Thai crowd. “We gave it our all and put out our best show,” she said in excitement continuing to say, “and consequently, the show hit a home run. I’m proud that I was able to do what I set out to do.”
“It’s sad when age old techniques face the threat of a slow demise in the face of progress, however, it is inevitable,” Rina asserts. She further contends that silk will always be in demand because it is part of our culture and that it is our duty to ensure that we do not let it die. She believes that we have certain responsibilities towards our weavers and that we integrate them with the changing times. Our artisans and craftspeople ought to be given high priority and the framework should definitely be more formal in terms of how their rights are being protected. And also, that we need to show a lot more respect for our craftspeople and appreciate their artworks.
“As a nation, we should really start taking pride in who we are. We should start evolving our own sense of style instead of blindly following the culture and trends of our neighbouring countries,” Rina emphasises. “There really is nothing more chic than our hand woven pure fabrics such a cotton, khadi and silk,” says the designer. She believes that in order to promote unique Bangladeshi fashion, we need to establish and enforce copyright and intellectual laws if we are to strengthen our fashion industry. “When there are counterfeits available so readily, a sustainable industry can never develop,” she ends on that note.