By Pujanee Galappaththi
With the world changing and traditional gender roles taking a back seat, the sky is the limit for the modern woman.
Thus, a lot is expected from contemporary womenswear.
It is required to be classy, elegant, stylish, comfortable, and not restraining.
Creating fashion that doesn’t confine to traditional fashion norms has become a trend.
It is apparent that the Sri Lankan fashion industry has taken this hint from the world and is now catering to the limitless needs of women’s fashion.
This week, we spoke to the founder of one such innovative brand that blends comfort with sophistication, Abiti.
Abiti was created by business partners and life partners Hasini Chathurika Weragoda and Channa Sandaruwan Ranaweera. While functioning through social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, they also have an outlet at No. 799, Pannipitiya Road, Battaramulla.
Abiti is a comfort wear store that offers a range of batiks and linens in a variety of vibrant colours and sizes. Ranging from dresses, pants, jumpsuits, skirts, and shirts to tops, Abiti has something for everyone.
Abiti Founder Hasini Chathurika Weragoda shared her ideas, wisdom, and experience with us.
Unlike most clothing brands, Abiti does not categorise their items in terms of work wear, party wear, or casual wear.
The folks at Abiti are strong believers of the versatility of outfits and believe in the notion that most women just prefer a comfortable piece of clothing that can be worn for everything.
“A modern woman spends most of her time on the go, so comfort is one of the key requirements when creating a design. So we always aim to create comfortable, durable, and classy clothes with breathable fabrics,” said Weragoda.
All items sold at Abiti are created in-house with the help of their team. Speaking of the creative process, Weragoda stated: “First, I decide on a colour and a design. Then my team will come up with a sample. Immediately after this, we go into production.”
The batik pieces at Abiti are designed in-house as well. They purchase coloured fabric (which we were told is mostly produced locally) and then create sketches of the pattern before drawing the pattern on the fabric. After this, the usual process of batik designing is used to come up with the designed cloth, which is then made into a spellbinding item of clothing.
When asked about the inspirations behind their collections, Weragoda stated: “Most of our collections are inspired by nature. The colours we use, the designs, and even some collections are themed by certain elements of nature such as the ocean.” Abiti mostly uses linen, cotton, and cotton blends and ensures the use of 100% biodegradable fabrics for their clothes. “We are a tropical country, so I believe we have to design clothes that can beat the heat. This is why I use fabrics that can withstand humidity.”
When asked about the most popular item of clothing among Abiti clients, Weragoda said: “Our most popular item of clothing is the batik shift dress. This is a loose-fit dress and I think it is loved by most of my clients due to its versatility. Most of my clients are busy women with a lot on their plate, so they find this extremely comfortable and multifunctional. It can be worn to any occasion and greatly complements any figure.”
The batik shift dress is a staple in every girl’s closet according to Weragoda. It makes for easy office wear and also a very stylish summer look. We asked Weragoda to give us some important fashion advice when putting together a flawless summer look, and she said: “I believe the best advice I can give is to not overdo it. If you are wearing a dress with a heavy batik design, use simple jewellery and select warm and pastel colours, but don’t hesitate to add your twist to it.”
She was also kind enough to list five outfit looks that will go great with the batik shift dress: “It can be paired with loose hair and flats, with heavy hoops or tassels, with heels and dark lips for a wedding, or even with hairbands and sneakers for a more casual look.”