PRESENTING INVENTIVE APPROACHES TO FASHION DESIGN
Colombo Fashion Week 2019
Colombo Fashion Week (CFW), founded in 2003 by Ajai Vir Singh with a vision to impact, define and revive local fashion, has expanded the boundaries of the industry together with CEO Fazeena Rajabdeen by promoting the works of Sri Lankan designers and fashion through multi-pronged facets. Whilst showcasing Sri Lanka’s fashion design platform to the world, CFW has taken steps to signify local fashion by using a riveting curatorial approach built upon innovation and inventive presentation. CFW held from February 27 to March 2 shifted fashion curation further into focus as they boldly pursued new paths through a selection of designers with cutting edge fashion perspectives.
The Design Exhibition, which took place at the Hilton Colombo lobby celebrated the character of Sri Lankan design and designers. Closely observing how a Sri Lankan identity in fashion is being formed through this platform by designers anew and established, we found the Design Exhibition showcase inventive curation where one saw the intermingling of the present, past and future. While prolific designer Barbara Sansoni showcased how age old can be revamped to inspire the contemporary world, Dinesh Chandrasena presented the avant-garde flamboyance of the modern design ethos. Effortlessly merging and revitalizing trends of past and present, CFW emulated signs of the upward journey of the Sri Lankan fashion scene.
The three locations, Hilton Colombo, Galle Face Hotel, and Shangri-La Colombo assimilated the goal of CFW 2019 to make Colombo a fashion hub. When the visitors commuted within the period of four days, it allowed them to explore the different localities and understand the diversity in the city of Colombo while having local fashion design exhibited strategically in key places at the respective hotel to capture the attention of passersby both local and international. Shangri-La Colombo presented design elements and fashion inspiring culinary curation where chocolate-coated mannequins were showcased at the lobby. This approach paved way for the public to become more aware of fashion, simply through providing larger exposure of different and innovative perspectives of fashion.
The ramp walks created an interesting intermingling of designers from the industry including world renowned designers, successful local designers and emerging talent. When nations participate in the design process of fashion instead of simply occupying their traditional roles as textile producers, assemblers or consumers, they engage in national marketing. CFW became a stepping stone into the global conversation surrounding fashion significantly through this edition. More than 30 designers, both local and international showcased over a period of four days. Some of the international designers included Rajesh Pratap Singh and Sukit Dir. Sri Lankan designers list comprised ‘Charini’ by Charini Suriyage, MAUS by Annika Fernando. Meraki by Sharmila Ruberu, Dimuthu Sahabandu, FH by Fouzul Hameed, ‘Jai’ by Aashkii, Amilani Perera, Lovi Ceylon by Asanka De Mel, La Pard by Dinushi Pamunuwa, La Sari by Nilanka Silva, Brian Kerkoven, and Vathsala Gunasekara. Sonali Dharmawardena showcased her collection that draws from strong heritage crafts and a unique individual style of fashion expression. As a local designer, her ramp show was significant with the designs’ intricate detailing and lively colour coordination on stage.
ARTRA is Sri Lanka’s Art Magazine exploring curated content on Sri Lanka’s visual art, performance art, applied art and written art. Launched in 2012, ARTRA Magazine is a compact monthly art read providing a comprehensive understanding on Sri Lankan artists, art events, monthly art calendars and the Sri Lankan design landscape. In sum, all you need to know about art in Sri Lanka.
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