‘I always dreamt of wearing an Aarong jamdani one day at a special event’
Azmeri Haque Badhon, star of “Rehana Maryam Noor,” only the second ever Bangladeshi film to have premiered at Cannes, stole the spotlight at the 74th edition of the film festival in a stunning jamdani saree and silver jewellery designed by Bangladeshi fashion giant Aarong.
The saree worn by Badhon was a 100-thread count beige-olive half-silk jamdani saree adorned by golden “jori” thread. It takes nearly 90 days to craft one jamdani saree of this quality by handloom artisans based near Sonargaon, Bangladesh (a World Craft City recognised for its history of jamdani weaving), according to an Aarong press release.
“Azmeri Haque Badhon has made Bangladesh proud by elegantly representing our jamdani heritage on the red carpet. We are thrilled about the attention and interest it has brought to the craft and to have supported Badhon on her journey to Cannes,” said Tamara Hasan Abed, managing director of Aarong, which is a social enterprise of Brac.
Aarong has historically played a significant role in preserving, promoting, and sustaining jamdani craft by holding exhibitions, fashion shows, and supporting research through the decades. Most recently, at the Jamdani Festival 2019, held in collaboration with several partners, 200 by 200 thread count khadi cotton jamdanis were produced for the first time in over a century.
“I always dreamt of wearing an Aarong jamdani one day at a special event. After reaching out to Aarong about my participation at Cannes, they shared their idea [about my possible wardrobe styling] and the saree, I had no doubt that this is what I would wear on the red carpet,” said actor Badhon.
“I am grateful to everyone at Aarong who had worked relentlessly on a tight timeline to put this together,” she added.
Jamdani is a fine muslin textile craft on which specific floral motifs are famously hand woven to make high end sarees and other women’s and men’s apparel, home textiles and accessories.
The art of jamdani refers to the specific weaving pattern crafted by skilled handloom artisans and has been practised for centuries in Bengal. It has also been recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage craft in 2013.