Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) Summer 2021 Days Two and Three were a smashing success with designers the likes of Fouzul Hameed, Dinushi Pamunuwa, Charini Suriyage, Himashi Wijeweera, Conscience, and Amilani Perera on Day Two, and Aslam Hussein, Nilusha Maddumage, Ayesh Milendra, Asanka de Mel, and Sonali Dharmawardena for Day Three.
The designs showcased kept in mind the theme for this year, “Circularity in Fashion”, promoting sustainable clothing and slow fashion, whilst promoting the craft industry in Sri Lanka. Here are some highlights from the two days.
Envoy Global Wedding Collection – Fouzul Hameed
This season, Fouzul Hameed’s collection is about celebrating life. The Global Wedding Collection, inspired by diversified cultures within Sri Lanka, highlighted the wedding attires from traditional to ethnic wear to Indian to European looks. The collection was equally blended with unbeatable quality and craftsmanship and artistically matched with premium accessories to intensify the mystique look.
The exotic wedding collection is created in wool, linen, and silk fabrics. And to go in par with the splendour of nature, black, blue, and off-white colours are chosen to create these unique pieces to make the groom look extraordinary.
His impeccable and luxury collections are geared to meet the needs of contemporary and fashion-conscious urban men who seek unmatchable total clothing solutions of everyday essentials, attention to detail, and the essence of fashion to give them a vibrant look.
Swirling Twilight – Himashi Wijeweera
Himashi Wijeweera’s design label “HIMASHI” was first launched at CFW’s Emerging Designer showcase in 2018 and this was her third year participating in this category. The brand offers resort and occasion wear for the modern woman, by incorporating romantic yet contemporary detailing and sleek lines, and seeks to embolden women with confidence and ease. Handmade beeralu has been used as the most significant part of the garments in different colours.
Her core aesthetic lies in her use of traditional handmade beeralu lace, which was seen on the runway under her collection named “Swirling Twilight”, inspired by the colours of the sky during twilight. This collection consisted of both structured and drape silhouettes which bring forward very feminine looks.
La Pard – Dinushi Pamunuwa
La Pard is a luxury batik clothing brand specialising in lingerie, nightwear, eveningwear, and resort wear. The brand infuses the batik craft into contemporary designs in order to bring luxurious clothing to consumers.
This season’s La Pard collection is inspired by and dedicated to the founders’ maternal grandmother, Irangani Rathnayaka, a strong and independent lady who loved nature and animals and cared for everyone around her and reflected a modern woman well before her time. Her interest in knitting brought forward the lace pieces, which are a new addition to La Pard.
Her passion in sewing clothes for herself, her daughters, and granddaughters meant that she practiced slow fashion in a time where it wasn’t a necessity. This is a key focus of the brand, and inspired pieces have been made from different fabrics and their off-cuts, to reduce wastage. The batik is soft and dainty with splashes of colour signifying sparks of joy. The silhouettes are inspired by styles in her pattern-making books, and developed for the strong, independent woman of the modern world.
Aslam’s signature style is creating high-fashion looks which add visual drama through his unique ability to turn simple fabric into stunning couture creations, which was visible in his collection this year. His craftsmanship as a designer lies in skilfully engineering fabrics to create visually dramatic clothing, bringing an air of sophistication and finesse to the wearer.
Aslam Hussein’s collection showcased tonnes of elevated suiting styles ranging from minimal to ornate and dramatic, involving silhouettes that are structured, sharp, and defined; putting together bold patterns, fresh materials, and exciting new silhouettes to give an old staple new life.
Agara – Nilusha Maddumage
Nilusha Maddumage launched her label “Agara” at CFW’s Emerging Designer showcase in 2018. Since then, she has been known for her excellent patternmaking skill and ability to manipulate fabric and narrate not just a fashion-forward story but also one of conservation.
Nilusha also has a unique talent for stitching squares of fabric together into seasonless, high-fashion clothing with barely any cuts needed. Her process of designing and producing zero-waste fashion involves repeatedly folding and stitching the fabric while carefully arranging geometric shapes to fit as though it were a jigsaw puzzle.
The concept for her collection this year was created by a contented life – breathing, saving, surviving, and sharing were perfect people-conquering tools. Under the inspiration of the sense and created concept, the destroyed earth protects and shares after the third generation. The green colour, water, trees, and sand were dreamy. The story she told with her collection was of space walkers who came to Earth to survive, and they followed back and protected the earth.
Her creations were versatile, multi-use, and sustainable, yet stylish statement pieces.
Photos Lalith Perera