Colombo Fashion Week 2020

Colombo Fashion Week commenced its showcase with a line-up of innovative collections by this year’s emerging designers. Among 13 emerging designers and their inventive designs and responsible concepts, CFW’s first of three days featured Nilusha Madumage, previously featured on ARTRA Magazine’s Emerging Artists November 2019, Edition 49 for her responsible and sustainable designs. From multifaceted clothing to multipurpose concepts, Nilusha expressed similar design notions in her collection at CFW 2020. Resonating with the concept of The Responsible Meter, designer, Divya Jayawickrama’s efforts were reflected in her collection ‘Invisible Empire’ that incorporated sustainable zero waste methods, her designs reversible and convertible. Through the utilization of 82% natural yarn fabric and only one glass of water for dying each garment, Divya’s inventive designs support sustainability without compromising on the value of fashion design. Inspired by World War II, through creative configurations and die and wash effects, Divya’s collection narrates a story of war and conflict. Reflected in the colours and cuts of each design, her collection plays a narrative role in recollecting a time that once was.

Closing the show was Ayesh Wickramaratne whose designs were a cross-culture fusion of African tribes, Japanese and Bohemian. Each pattern and colour, cut and frame was of multicultural influence and exuded elegance. Beginning with draping robes and animal prints, the collection sustains from economic, social and environmental principals indulging sustainable prints, wash techniques, natural dye routes with the use of “less water, less chemical” concept, incorporating earthy colours with the use of linen and BCI cotton blends to bring the collection together. CFW’s Emerging Designer Showcase presented each collection by the emerging designers emanated strength in both concept and their contribution to sustainability.

In re-introducing the established designers on day two of the showcase, Colombo Fashion Week Day 2 began with a reading from Ashok Ferry himself as he narrated the journey of renowned designer Aslam Hussein’s collection. His designs, a work of art themselves were those inspired by the concept of the festival of Holi, bringing out bright and pastel colours, celebrating colour itself; each piece produced through natural dye techniques, repurposing and the practice of zero-waste policies. Colombo Fashion Week introduced Vogue Jewellery, this year, on sleek, flowing gowns custom-designed by fashion designer Sharmila Ruberu of Meraki. Accompanying the collection was award-winning opera singer, Soprano, Kishani Jayasinghe, whose voiced carried out through the audience resonating within the walls and most of all, highlighting the collection extravagantly. As the lights reflected the jewellery, each piece shone out across the onlookers.

Closing the showcase of CFW Day 2 this year was Dimuthu Sahabandu. Dimuthu has showcased at Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) for several years in a row, and his collection ‘Joan of Arc’ at CFW 2018 was featured in ‘ARTRA’s Collections of Artistic Reverie’ in ARTRA Magazine’s April/May 2018 E35, as well as ARTRA Magazine’s Interdisciplinary Art, June 2019 E44. His collection derives its inspiration from ‘Kuveni’ and the aboriginal inhabitants of ancient Sri Lanka, ‘Yaksha’ and ‘Naaga’ tribes. The collection tells the story of this tribal queen and her encounter with prince Vijaya from India and his army of followers on the coppery sands of ‘Thambapanni’. The collection consists of a range of hand-embellished evening wear focusing on the brand's signature fabric manipulations and textile designs. The line-up also included a few one-piece silhouettes designed to be deconstructed and worn as separates after the first couple of wears as a one-piece garment. Upgrading and prolonging the lifespan of these hand-made garments. In experiencing these designs at the showcase, each cut and curve, structure and form was complimented by motion. The performance aspect of the collection contributed to the story of the designs. The pure feminine frame and the design's influence gave way to understanding the personality of 'Kuveni'.

This year, Colombo Fashion Week introduced the 'Responsibility Meter', an innovation to pay the way to a more responsible industry. As one of the five most polluting industries, the fashion industry comes a long way with innovation and creativity while supporting ecological aspects and initiatives. CFW 2020 encourages and introduces a more eco-friendly approach to producing and designing collections, creations, apparel and garments. Each designer at this year's showcase portrayed highly responsible initiatives from practising zero-waste policies to utilizing natural dyes, multipurpose clothing and repurposing fabric. As the world and society undergo reconstruction economically, socially and ethically, CFW measures responsibly in three distinct ways: environmental wellbeing, societal wellbeing and organizational wellbeing. Through this, ‘RE: Responsibility In Fashion’, paves a new future of fashion.

16th August, 2020 Applied Art