UNESCO intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: the story of Bangladeshi Jamdani

Explore the story of designer Bibi Russell from Bangladesh and find out how she came to create her look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, 2018.

By Commonwealth Fashion Council

Bibi Front Buckingham PalaceCommonwealth Fashion Council

The Exchange: Bangladesh

For The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange 2018, designer Bibi Russell created a look that was inspired by the culture of Bangladesh. The look was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 2018, and later moved to the Australian High Commission, London, where it was open to the public in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, April 2018.

Designer Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

Bangladesh: Designer Bibi Russell

Bibi Russell opened the fashion house Bibi Productions in 1995, fusing indigenous Bengali cultural elements into her line. As of 2004, her company employed 35,000 weavers in rural Bangladesh. Bibi strongly believes that fashion can create sustainable development and a better livelihood for craftspeople. She started the ‘Fashion for Development’ initiative in 1996 at the Unesco headquarters in Paris with the support of then Director General Federico Mayor. She has since dedicated all her time and work to support craftspeople around the world and in her native Bangladesh.

Model wearing a blue sari from Bibi Russell's collection by Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

Bibi Front Buckingham PalaceCommonwealth Fashion Council

The story behind the look

Bibi Russell has designed a simple formal outfit consisting of a skirt, jacket, and scarf with matching accessories. 

Bibi Russell's artisans weaving by Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

Jamdani Cloth

The look is made from hand-woven Jamdani cloth, which is unique to Bangladesh, and is considered an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO.

Bibi Russell's fabric by Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

Colours of Bangladesh

Red has been used to emphasize happiness and joy, the beauty Bibi sees in the villages of Bangladesh.

Artisan handweaving fabric by Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

The Magical Hands of the Jamdani Weavers

Through this outfit Bibi Russel wants to give her tribute to incredible Jamdani weavers for their magical work.

Bibi Russell's artisan embroidering by Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

Bibi Russell's collection by Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

Bibi Look Buckingham PalaceCommonwealth Fashion Council

Bibi Jewellery Buckingham PalaceCommonwealth Fashion Council

Bibi Front Buckingham PalaceCommonwealth Fashion Council

Final look on display at Buckingham Palace, 19 February 2018

Bibi Russell's look at Australian High Commission, London by Bibi RussellCommonwealth Fashion Council

Final look on display at the Australian High Commission, London, 22 February 2018

Behind the Scenes of The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange 2018Commonwealth Fashion Council

Credits: Story

This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.

More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at http://eco-age.com/commonwealth-fashion-exchange/

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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