By Pavani Jayasinghe Munagamage
Celebrate Colombo presented by So Sri Lanka launched on 3 August and is completely taking over the city of Colombo and its most lavish hotels for Asia’s first-ever fashion week dedicated to swimwear and resort wear.
The launch of CFW Swim Week Colombo began with several events bringing together the four different industries of art, fashion, food, and music into the spotlight to create one united venture in dedicating one whole week to “Celebrating Colombo”.
The self-made motto behind this one-week festival put together by brilliant minds working together, such as Ajai Vir Singh and Jatin Kampani together with many more, is to showcase a demonstration of peace and a return to normalcy after the Easter Sunday attacks, in hopes of playing a key role in the rebuilding and uniting of Colombo and all its communities.
The three main days of CFW took place on 8, 9, and 10 August, with one taking place today (11 August) as well, providing a platform to showcase the latest designs of nine Sri Lankan designers along with seven emerging designers and five international designers.
Celebrate Colombo is also a collaborative effort supported by Sri Lanka Tourism in hopes of reviving the country’s image which was unfortunately blemished by the recent Easter attacks and in bringing forth a creative festival which will function as a tourism product that will hopefully influence and attract more international travellers to immerse themselves in a creative experience.
Included are some highlights from the events that took place till Thursday, 8 August.
Opening party and launch of a food festival
CFW began with the opening party and was launched with a food festival at Park Street Mews. To kick-start the celebrations, guests, family, and friends flocked to Park Street Mews on the 3rd surrounded by good company and a lot of wine with the help of Wine World as its official lifestyle beverage partner.
The food festival included partner restaurants and hotels along with a variety of events throughout the night.
CFW Fashion Films Festival
Following the food festival which marked the launch was CFW Fashion Films Festival. Back again to come together and showcase the power of creativity, CFW Fashion Films stands today as a platform to merge creative talents of designers and young film directors to communicate outstanding visions and creative depth.
The concept of the festival began with seven different young film directors being paired with different fashion designers to bring out their vibrant and creative ideas to create a one-minute film clip which was then judged by a panel consisting Ajai Vir Singh, Jatin Kampani, and Vimukthi Jayasundara, and ended with the announcing of one winner.
This year’s Fashion Films award winner was Chathura Goonatillake, who represented the brand Meraki. He received a return air ticket to Istanbul, courtesy of Fashion Films’ partner Turkish Airlines. The other film directors were Shameem Ismail, Yasodhara Kariyawasam, Mohammed Mubasshir, Rajika Thilakarathna, Gayan Ruchiranga, and Ravindu and Madu Rumesh. Each movie made looked to amalgamate the designerwear of different designers with the Celebrate Colombo theme to form one piece of a fashion-blended mix of the spice and sweet of Sri Lanka.
Photo essay by Jatin Kampani – The Dandelions of Colombo
Next in line was the unveiling of the extraordinary photo collection of the famous and distinguished Jatin Kampani. The collection was titled “The Dandelions of Colombo” and presented a unique photo essay exhibit which showcased everything that makes Sri Lanka what it is, in a different light.
Each picture was taken in specific places around Sri Lanka and captured each and every aspect of Sri Lanka which usually goes unnoticed by the public, as now, the uncommon has become common. The photo exhibits, which were all in black and white, were of the themes of celebrating the spirit and heart of Colombo and are now placed at Shangri-La Colombo. The exhibit will be available for public viewing until tomorrow (12 August).
The One Won exhibit
Continuing the line up of art incorporating the theme of Celebrate Colombo, The One Won exhibit was the result of a collaboration between 40 artists voluntarily coming together to showcase a united Sri Lanka.
This art exhibit is a never-before-seen, high-scale project which combined together established and emerging artists in Sri Lanka to bring forward the theme of Celebrate Colombo and its spirit and heart through the strokes of brushes and pencils.
The message One Won gives is both simple and mesmerising: “Together, we will win.” Some of the breathtaking artwork was presented by artists such as Anoma Wijewardene, who created “The Golden Rule”, which was a print on canvas, Chathurika Jayani, who created “City and Night”, which was mixed media on canvas, and Kingsley Gunatillake, who created “We Focus”, which consisted used and burnt books, wood, glass, and Android phones.
In other words, this was trying to depict that maybe celebrating Colombo as one is not to be done just through fashion, art, or music, but through coming together as one in unity.
Artwork was brought together and portrayed by different artists all over the country and across all identities of gender and ethnicity, to ultimately showcase a Sri Lanka that is ONE and a Sri Lanka that has WON.