COLOURFUL, TROPICAL & RESPONSIBLE
Swim Week Colombo 2021 Showcase l Colombo Fashion Week
Surpassing old boundaries and widening beyond the confines of primitive limitations, industrialists, people and society have had to redesign and rethink their means of living, and quality of life while simultaneously questioning their principles, perspectives and productivity. The fashion industry in particular, has been seeing a change for the better. Colombo Fashion Week focused on the concept of Circularity in Fashion for the year 2021, and each showcase presented forth were those that were inclusive of sustainable methodologies and responsible practices. This year, Swim Week 2021 aimed to showcase Luxury Resortwear with a focus on the festive ambience of December as well as destination weddings. Under the creative direction of Founder and Managing Director Ajai Vir Singh and CEO & Director Fazeena Rajabdeen, designers who showcased for Swim Week Colombo 2021 took on responsible practices while addressing the ‘New Normal’ environment, providing design solutions to the consumerist and fashion industry.
“These are interesting and challenging times for any industry, especially so for fashion and apparel when most of the design focus was on occasion wear. Lockdowns robbed that focus, hence a lot of adjusting had to be done. Designers have to study the new environment to create new design solutions in the ‘New Normal’. This season is the second one within this environment and CFW remains committed to mentoring, fine-tuning and uplifting with a key focus on sustainable aspects especially Circularity. The ‘New Normal’ has challenges but it also presents new opportunities and this Swim Week aims to bring a shift in the mindset and responsible positivity into society,” said Ajai Vir Singh on this edition of Swim Week Colombo.
Swim Week Colombo, showcased on the 12th and 13th of November, 2021 at the Shangri-La Hotel Colombo and the Marina, Port City, exhibited the works of local esteemed and established artists including Aslam Hussein, Dinushi Pamunuwa, Tivon and Seema, Charini Suriyage, Fouzul Hameed, Indi Yapa Abeywardena, Divya Jayawickrama and Buddhi Batik. The series of work are inventive and innovatively responsible, each cut and colour made designed with mindful precision so as to adhere to Circularity and Responsibility.
Aslam Hussein’s vibrant and colourfully rich collection of luxury resortwear kicked off the show at Shangri-La Hotel on the 12th of November. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the tropical island of Sri Lanka, Aslam Hussein’s work is a culmination of bold and vibrant patterns, embroidered floral motifs complemented by the unique silhouette. Followed by La Pard by Dinushi Pamunuwa, the collection drew inspiration from the strength of women with the idea of pushing past boundaries and exceeding great expectations. She complements this concept using soft, delicate silhouettes as she conveys femininity. Her patterns are an inventive collaboration between plaid and batik. Designer’s Tivon and Seema’s collection followed, in vibrant fabric, and exciting silhouettes. Inspired by the strength and confidence of Sri Lankan tea pluckers synchronized by the iconic personalities of Frida Kahlo and Iris Apfel. We find, Tivon and Seema’s ‘Karma Collection’ loud and robust, exciting and whimsical. Each piece was a fascinating canvas of art, emphasized by its exciting form and shape. Charini Suriyage’s collection concluded the first day of the showcase with works that drew from the inspiration the magnificence of Jaffna Fort’s corral walls and golden sand beaches and palmyrah groves. Fluid forms, vibrant colours, and intricately designed handcrafted batik prints – the diversely creative elegant silhouettes that Charini designs display a celebration of luxury yet responsibly crafted.
Fouzul Hameed opened Swim Week Colombo Day 2 at the Marina, Port City with a collection of intriguing design styles and colour curation. His collection displayed a varied selection of dip-dyed fabric, an environmentally friendly alternative that was developed from tea and made from natural fibres. Indi Yapa Abeywardena’s collection followed with a sense of exuberant aestheticism, of joy
and romance, its design concept aligning ingeniously to the thematic concept of this year’s showcase. As she incorporated dramatic drapes, luxurious textures and exaggerated trains, her designs were a clever spin on classic silhouettes accentuated through a daring play of colors. Three dimensional embroideries and prints of wild flowers and birds are evident rampant throughout her designs to portray the essence of the island. ‘My Secret Beach’ collection by designer Divya Jayawickrama showcased works that were inspired by the Moroccan culture, influenced by the desert landscapes. She used traditional tribal patterns and presented them with more modern elements, complemented by patterns, colour, cut and form, Divya’s collection used block printing to bring an intriguing aesthetic to her work. Buddhi Batiks concluded the Swim Week Colombo 2021 in elegance and grace. Her works were inspired by the Japanese Kimono and derived inspiration from the orchids of her workshop. Her collection was an amalgamation of bold colours and interesting forms, crossed and infused with subtle hues and fluid cuts. Buddhi Batik’s collection was one of comfortable contemporary resortwear.
The fashion industry has been seen taking leaps to make way for more responsible alternatives and practices. This year’s edition of Swim Week Colombo 2021 focused on Luxury Resortwear with the emphasis on the festive season of December and destination weddings, and in its course, showcased the ways by which luxury too, can be responsible and follow the terms of Circularity. The current ‘New Normal’ presents an interesting scenario for fashion designers, where aspects of sustainability play an important role alongside providing the design solution a fashion consumer expects. Colombo Fashion Week, in its aim to uplift and revive this creative industry and ecosystem continues to make responsible changes. CFW, a developmental platform started in 2003, in a systemic manner, created formats that demand transformation across the key pillars that would define a fashion industry. In its mission, CFW aims to establish, develop and maintain an efficient fashion eco-system that incubates the best of Sri Lankan fashion design.
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