For the majority of the 21st century, fashion has been dominated by skinny cuts and perfect fits. But fashion being restless in nature, did it ever settle in?
Up in the air, global warming has been influencing the fashion industry for quite a while now, and then, the pandemic got into the mix.
People now love to choose clothing that makes them feel comfortable, confident, and snug. Considering these, oversized clothes are definitely the next big trend in fashion.
Shaharia Reeta, a Dhaka-based interior designer, is a big fan of baggy clothes, as they never fail to give her the promised comfort.
While buying a lot of loose-fitted tops from abroad, Reeta realised the scarcity of branded oversized clothes in our country.
"We do not have any particular brand that is solely designed for oversized outfits, be it shirts, pantsuits, or kamiz. As a result, either we have to buy from overseas, or consider Pakistani Labels which are famous for generous cuts," Reeta said.
Hence, for the love of oversized clothes and to her burgeoning passion for fashion design, she established her titular brand, "Reeta Ameer Prêt-À-Porter", and started selling statement pantsuit pieces.
The French word "prêt-à-porter" quite literally means clothes that are ready to wear.
The journey of Reeta Ameer Prêt-À-Porter dates back to late 2020. Establishing this brand was a pandemic gift to herself.
"I have been planning this brand since 2018. Since this is my passion project, I did not want to rush at all. I took my time and planned everything bit by bit," she said.
In 2021, the brand participated in a popup store at Le Meridien.
"Quality fabrics are the hero element of my design, and fabric is such a feature that you have to feel it to understand its nature. Pictures barely communicate the quality of the fabric. Hence, I try to participate in as many exhibitions as I can so that my customers can experience first-hand the supremacy of my designs," she added.
Perfect for travelling and lounging, Reeta makes bespoke monochromatic pantsuits that merge the formal with casual effortlessly. Aesthetically, they are wondrously unfussy, and transmit an air of sartorial confidence. And yes, even though the designs may appear basic at first glance, they certainly have a luxurious feel.
"The market is saturated with prints and heavily embellished designs. Stepping out of the mainstream, I wanted to work with Pantone colours and zero embellishments," she said.
Regarding fabrics, Reeta only uses sustainable and breathable materials, ranging from cotton and linen to the very fine khadi. All fabrics are imported from abroad.
Reeta loves to experiment with sophisticated buttons. In any given piece by this brand, you would find a small smattering of pop-up buttons, making the design one of a kind.
However, Reeta Ameer Prêt-À-Porter did not start with its signature pantsuits. The brand debuted with loose-fitted Salwar Kamiz then gradually ramped up to its co-ord series.
Loose-fitted items like infamous baggy jeans, oversized sweatshirts, flannel shirts, and maxi skirts have been in the trend for a while now, but oversized pantsuits are a comparatively new concept, and a little tricky to style with.
"A lot of customers express their doubts about the fitting. They ask me if they would look good, or look fat in these clothes. The only answer I give them is that they would look great if they wore it with confidence," she added.
Pantsuits, also called powersuits, come with structured broad shoulders imparting a dominating stature, blurring the lines between masculinity and femininity graciously.
The brand offers a variety of cuts, styles, patterns, prints, colours and designs, offering something for everyone.
Since its inception, the brand has been operating online, Instagram being the fundamental medium for branding.
All of the collections by this brand are research-extensive, specialised in cutting, and solely designed by Reeta. The brand has a small studio at the capital's Dhanmondi for the sampling and manufacturing part.
The prices of the pantsuits range anywhere from Tk4,500 to Tk 8,500.