Nathali Abayawardena

Nathali Abayawardena is recognized for her cutting edge fashion design characterized by a discerning perception to generate awareness about socio-cultural issues. A graduate of Fashion Design from Academy of Design, Colombo, Nathali’s debut collection which was featured on Daily ARTRA as an artist feature of the week earlier in January this year, was showcased at the prestigious London Graduate Fashion Week 2018 in June.

Nathali’s collection is characterized for its dynamic and commanding presence as a collection of statement pieces. She recollects that she was initially inspired by the idea of corsets, but her attention was claimed by an overwhelming need to see “beauty in the extraordinary” soon after. Straying from the typical definition of beauty, she was intrigued by the socially inclusive, liberal, tolerant and progressive aestheticism of Scandinavian furniture with its simple, colourful, understated but well-made qualities. Nathali’s collection mimics the characteristic of Scandinavian furniture with the designs accompanied by vibrant hues, curvy framework, volumization and a unique emphasis on geometric shape on the fabric of leather. Nathali also used cutting edge technology to develop her designs, taking advantage of 3D design and pattern making software to enhance her esoteric.

Another significant conceptual narrative Nathali brought to her designs was a strong commentary on the sexual harassment of women on the streets. She claims that the exuberant, bold and robotic aspect to the manner in which the models posed in her clothing was devised to challenge the conventional idea of femininity as modest and subordinate. The models were also accessorized with oversized black goggles aimed at highlighting the innate ability in women to gauge discrimination practised towards the female. We believe Nathali’s socially conscious statement pieces forge a compelling narrative between a brave feminist agenda and fashion design in order to dispel the prejudices women experience in their day-to-day lives at home, on the streets, at work and in their daily lives as a whole. 

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18th December, 2018 Applied Art

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