- Fashion designer Nipunika Fernando shares her take on Karma Collection’s hand-printed dress
By Venessa Anthony
Nipunika Fernando is a fashion and costume designer, known for creating casual, event, costume, and avant-garde wear. Her designs focus on sustainability and Sri Lankan design elements. She believes a person’s style is an expression of themselves, and considers this when creating custom pieces for clients, ensuring that each client receives beautifully made, personalised garments that they can treasure for years to come. Nipunika views clothing as a method of storytelling, as people make conscious decisions about what they wear depending on their mood, personal style, and environment.
She received her Bachelor of Design from LCI Melbourne in 2019, majoring in fashion and costume design, and minoring in graphic design, for which she also received the Dean’s Award of High Distinction. Nipunika Fernando has showcased her designs on two runways for the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, for the years 2018 and 2019. She has also worked in wardrobe and costume design for theatre and continues to create costumes for short films. Her brand Naikava aims to add a Sri Lankan touch to everyday wear using traditional motifs and silhouettes.
The Morning Brunch reached out to her for her expertise on how to style her favourite dress. While choosing one locally made piece to style was a challenge, she eventually settled on the asymmetrical hand-printed dress by Karma Collection, a boutique store. Fernando showed us three ways this gorgeous piece can be styled for any occasion.
One way to dress down any dress is to layer it with a crop top or fitted t-shirt. I’ve layered it with an off-shoulder crop to keep with the beachy, summery feel of this dress.
White platform sneakers for a casual feel also take some height off the length of the dress. Rather than a handbag, I’ve opted for a belt bag to match the crop top and sneakers.
For a dressy but not over-the-top look, I’ve brought the dress straps to the front and belted the waist. Simple white sandals and a woven handbag help tone down the dress while keeping it classy.
Big tassel earrings bring some fun to this look, and a matching scarf over the handbag ties it all together.
To really dress this look up, I’ve tied the dress as a halter and added nude heels to show off the asymmetrical hem.
Styling this look with gold statement jewellery allows the dress to shine without being distracting. I’ve chosen a thick choker over the halter neck, large gold stud earrings, a statement ring, and a gold armband to fill up empty space at the arms.
Finally, top it off with a red lip and a chic bun for an occasion-worthy look.