FASHION & SUBCULTURES

Amesh Wijesekera

Fashion can advocate for social change. If we are to approach fashion as an agent of advocacy, and a medium of expression, the designer’s intent, use of fabric, presentation plays a critical role from concept to execution. Endorsing designerwear of this nature, improves not only the wearer’s persona, but also defies mainstream stereotypes that are prevalent in society. In this context, ARTRA finds designer Amesh Wijesekera’s avant-garde approach to have evolved with his exposure in the international fashion sphere, and it is now complemented by a cross cultural awareness. Amesh, who was featured as ARTRA’s Emerging Artists, Best of 2017 for Applied Art, returns to our pages with a renewed perspective of revolution and change enabled through freedom of expression exercised on fabric, thus enabling novel characteristics in his new collection.

A graduate of Fashion & Textile Design from Academy of Design, Sri Lanka, Amesh moved to London to broaden his horizons as a part of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Talents Programme. His latest collection AMESH TBILISI was showcased at esteemed international fashion showcases including the Berlin Fashion Week 2019, the International Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week 2019 and the Mercedes Benz Tbilisi Fashion Week in Georgia earlier. Made from handcrafted artisan material Amesh pushes the avant-garde further with this collection. In conversation, Amesh mentioned that ‘AMESH TBILISI’ is about giving visibility to the cross-cultural exposure he received both from his Sri Lankan roots and his life in London. His designs are fluid, gender-neutral and dramatic, highlighting a heightened sensibility and emotion about changing the way things are perceived. In an exclusive interview from London with ARTRA, Amesh talks about his design collection with a strong purpose of questioning gendered stereotypes.

Q | Tell us abour your collection AMESH TBILISI.

A | AMESH TBILISI is my first official collection after graduating. I’m based in London and Sri Lanka and the concept was developed combining my experiences in both countries. The cultural clash is reflected mostly through my collection I believe, as I am infleunced greatly by London’s diverse and multicultural character, although the collection is produced and made in Sri Lanka. I wanted to have Sri Lankan elements in the designs because I want to celebrate my roots. All the textiles were designed by hand and then handwoven and hand-knitted by local artisans. The questions I had A | AMESH TBILISI is my first official collection after graduating. I’m based in London and Sri Lanka and the concept was developed combining my experiences in both countries. The cultural clash is reflected mostly through my collection I believe, as I am infleunced greatly by London’s diverse and multicultural character, although the collection is produced and made in Sri Lanka. I wanted to have Sri Lankan elements in the designs because I want to celebrate my roots. All the textiles were designed by hand and then handwoven and hand-knitted by local artisans. 

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7th October, 2019 Applied Art

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