HSBC CFW RESORT SHOW Unveils a Four-Day Showcase

Colombo Fashion Week (CFW), which introduced its Resort edition as a single day event in 2012, is now a four-day showcase  from the 1 to 4 October. The show will unveil the best of resort wear fashion including fifteen ‘Bright Spark’ shows at the start of the week leading up to twenty main shows by established designers. The ‘Bright Spark’ shows will also unveil the collection from Peronie Nadine Stefel who is the first ‘Bright Spark’ designer to be awarded the fund created by CFW in its ongoing effort to develop and support up-and-coming fashion designers.

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Commenting about the show, Ajai V Singh, President, Colombo Fashion Week stated, “The creation of resort wear as a season is vital for us as we can play on our strengths and make us shine by the grace of God. Resort wear is a growing category and we want to lead its growth in this part of the world. We can’t do much in terms of fashion with the Fall and Winter seasons, so for designer businesses to grow we need a second season along with Spring and Summer. Two years ago we found that resort wear worked well as our second season. With continuous innovation, we will keep driving this category to greater heights, creating more opportunities for Sri Lankan fashion designers and the industry.”

CFW is one of the three main Fashion Weeks in Asia which have been running for more than 10 years. It is also one of two fashion weeks in Asia which has introduced a dedicated resort wear season in its annual calendar, in addition to its Spring/Summer season. In just two years it has grown to become a four-day event and has shown an ever-increasing growth pattern. The HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show is unique because it takes place at a resort and this time Jetwing Blue and Beach in Negombo will play host to the highly anticipated event.

U by Upeksha at the CFW Resort 2013 Show

Singh further added, “There’s a valid reason for promoting resort wear, it’s not just part of our efforts to make Sri Lanka a destination for fashion entertainment, it’s part of our plan to make an international impact in the fashion industry. As our plans for CFW’s growth continued to unfold CFW became part of Asian Fashion Week (AFW). Five Sri Lankan designers who showcased their work at CFW, were selected to show their collections at AFW in Indonesia.  Sri Lankan designer, Sonali Dharmawardena even had the honour of opening Asian Fashion Week this year. Colombo Fashion Week is now being recognized internationally for the impact it is making on the local fashion industry and every aspect of fashion in Sri Lanka.”

Along with 17 established Sri Lankan fashion designers, there will be three international heavyweights at the HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show who will add an interesting dimension to the show. Abraham & Thakore, a designer duo and label from the Indian fashion industry which has won accolades and recognitions around world, will be showing in Sri Lanka for the first time. Harare, a label owned by Caroline Fuss will also show at the HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show. Caroline showed at New York Fashion Week just last week and was well received by the fashion community. The third international designer to be featured at the show includes a CFW loyalist and the show’s best international ambassador; Bibi Russell. She is a world-renowned fashion designer and icon who is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO.

In addition to several ramp events this not-for-profit annual event stays true to its vision of developing and uplifting Colombo’s fashion design industry through its behind-the-scenes mentoring process and workshops.  This year at the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week workshop will be held on the 4 October and will focus on a theme titled, ‘The use of indigenous textiles in fashion’. Designers Bibi Russell, Harare and Abraham & Takore will also join the workshop to share their knowledge and experience.

Yoland at the CFW Resort 2013 Show

Every year, as part of the CFW plan, new additions are made to the seasonal CFW calendar.  This year CFW Resort will see designer Pop-up stores being created with the support of TATA housing. TATA housing held a competition among final year architecture students and the designs of two students were selected and awarded. A total of 15 Pop-up stores for each designer brand will be set up at the venue, Jetwing Beach, enabling guests to see the latest collections in a well-designed retail environment. As part of the Fashion + Food series of CFW, a Michellin star chef from Paris and an internationally acclaimed Malaysian chef will be at the event. The chefs will provide delightful cuisines every evening, bringing in a design element to the show from the culinary arts. There will be special menus available on 1 and 2 October, the day of the ‘Bright Spark’ shows and the menus will continue to evolve till the show comes to a close on 5 October.

Issued by    :    Arc Worldwide Sri Lanka; a part of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc.

Perine for COCO

Fall is certainly making its way into Colombo. Forget about being a tropical island and embrace the autumn shades of burgundy, plums, navy blues, blacks, khaki and maroons as new clothing collections brings to you Fall inspired selections.

The event launch
The event launch

Perine for COCO is no different in that sense but that’s where the similarities begin and end. The line is a creative collaboration between Cotton Collection’s Managing Director Niloufer Anverally and Sri Lanka’s most successful international fashion model, Perine Fernando.

The collection includes edgy basics, from slim flowy skirts to draped stylish blouses. Asymmetrical cuts and draping are design elements one will find throughout this entire collection. “I’m a busy working mum living in New York and for me, I need to be both comfortable as well as fashionable. I like to be able to mix and match the pieces of clothing I have in my wardrobe and this collection is an extension of myself in that sense,” said Perine at the launch. “You are able to wear these pieces as they are with a simple pair of blue jeans or a pencil skirt for a morning out or afternoon lunch and then accentuate the look and glam it up for the evening and night with added chic shoes and jewellery. When I leave the house, I always carry an extra pair of shoes with me so that I can transform my day look into a night look in a jiffy.”

Look 1
Look 1
Look 2
Look 2

Let’s not forget the fact that the collection is a combination of very basic clothing attire. With twists and drapes, these selections emanate an understated unique and distinct look. “I always look for comfort, quality and a good price point. With the collaboration of Cotton Collection, I have been able to incorporate all of these into the line. The essence of my style can be summed up as effortless sophistication and this is apparent because as said, they can be mixed and matched with other pieces in the collection as well as other staples in your own wardrobe,” she added.

Look 3
Look 3

Highlighting her contribution to the line, Niloufer Anverally said that the collaboration was very fruitful. “COCO is casual, cool and carefree and we were able to bring that element into light even with Perine’s designs. These pieces are casual yet chic and simple yet elegant and beautiful.”

The Perine for COCO collection was launched and is now available at Cotton Collection.

 

About COCO

Renowned for being a youthful and carefree range under the Cotton Collection brand, COCO partners with celebrated fashion designers from Sri Lanka and the fashion capitals of the world to craft fresh and exciting collections. Perine Fernando is based in New York, and through this line she brings her unique style and a wealth of fashion knowledge to Sri Lanka. COCO embodies the essence of Cotton Collection which is a fun loving and casual clothing store which blends vibrant colours with casual design to offer a refreshing and vivacious look for young women. Designed exclusively for Cotton Collection, Perine for COCO is a limited edition line that features an eclectic mix of pieces and embodies effortless sophistication.

Colombo Fashion Week Resort Show 2014

The third edition of the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week Resort Show will be held from 1 to 4 October in Negombo. CFW has proved to be the backbone of the Sri Lankan fashion design industry, celebrating its 11th year with the launch of its third annual show focusing on a collection of resort wear outfits. This much anticipated seasonal fashion showcase that has been well received by the fashion public in both Sri Lanka and the region; is to take place at Jetwing Blue and Jetwing Beach. The unique annual Resort Show will also focus on a variety of new features this year.

Commenting of CFW’s vision behind the show, Ajai V Singh, President Colombo Fashion Week stated, “Resort is a growing category around the world, and it’s new. I personally feel Sri Lanka is very well positioned to take a lead to create a regional resort wear pivot. This year, CFW Resort Show is a four day showcase of the brightest Sri Lankan fashion talent, we are very proud of that and excited about the new opportunities we have been able to create for Sri Lankan designers. At CFW we are determined to take the Sri Lankan fashion industry from strength to strength.”

The HSBC CFW Resot Show 2014 head table
The HSBC CFW Resot Show 2014 head table

The HSBC CFW Resort Show will celebrate the historic town of Negombo, where the first HSBC CFW Resort Wear Show was held. Negombo, a vibrant town that is home to the oldest fishing industry in Sri Lanka, lies amidst a colourful cultural and historical setting.

“We are pleased to once again be the resort partner for this extremely special and unique event, which continuously adds value and enhances Sri Lankan fashion. This time around, the CFW Resort Show quite rightly heads to the beach – and the beaches of Negombo provide the perfect venue to showcase the diverse creativity, talent, and commitment of our upcoming young designers. We look forward to the best HSBC CFW Resort Show yet!” stated Ishanth Gunawardene, Head of Sales and Marketing, Jetwing Hotels.

New items featured at the show will include a series of ‘Bright Sparks’ shows which were launched earlier this year with talented young undergraduates from a variety of Sri Lanka’s leading fashion institutes. A series of pop up shops will be featured prominently at the show for the first time this year. Pop up shops will be designed to create a sale point for items which will be showcased at the event. The shops will be designed by young architects who will compete for the opportunity to create the ultimate shop design.  This year, Jetwing will add excitement to the show by featuring two internationally renowned chefs (Daniel Hebet and Kenneth Loke) who will create a series of culinary masterpieces at the event. The show is to end with all the glitz and glamour of its legendary after parties this year.

Issued by   :      Arc Worldwide Sri Lanka; a part of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc.

CRAFTALIVE

Craft Alive Logo

In a continuous effort to develop fashion designers who bring design innovations to crafts, the National Craft Council (NCC) in partnership with Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) recently announced the unique ‘CRAFTALIVE’ initiative. NCC and CFW will host their first ‘CRAFTALIVE’ show on 28 August against the backdrop of Independence Square.  In just over a decade, CFW has established itself as the backbone of the local fashion design industry and is collaborating with NCC to further promote crafts and fashion in Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the initiative, Buddhi Keerthisena, Chairman, The Crafts Council of Sri Lanka stated, “At the National Crafts Council we are continuously striving to empower men and women in crafts as this industry is the backbone of many rural economies in Sri Lanka. We want to ensure that arts and crafts remain relevant and in existence in our country and this is why we are very proud of our partnership with Colombo Fashion Week. This initiative will not only highlight our unique crafts but will give Sri Lankans an opportunity to showcase their work globally.”

Ajai Vir Singh, President, Colombo Fashion Week
Ajai Vir Singh, President, Colombo Fashion Week

Ajai Vir Singh, President, Colombo Fashion Week further added, “Together we have created a platform to showcase a fusion of crafts in fashion. We named it ‘CRAFTALIVE’, as our aim is to give added impetus to crafts. Our first show will take place against the backdrop of one of Sri Lanka’s most significant national monuments, which is a first for the fashion industry. We believe that this will give us a differentiated platform that will boost the craft industry and showcase a unique line of fashion.”

The first ‘CRAFTALIVE’ show will showcase six renowned Sri Lankan designers who have been featured on the catwalks of Colombo Fashion Week.  The stellar line up of designers includes Ramona Oshini, Indi Abeywardena and winner of the 2013 CFW Gen Next Designer Award, Sharmila who will debut her label ARRA. Also being featured at the event, ‘U by Upeksha’ offering a fresh design perspective along with Darshi Keerthisena will also show her collection of handcrafted batiks blended into high fashion. The collections will showcase a blend of beeralu, lace, metal and brass crafts, jewellery, rush, palmyrah, batik, handloom, fabric painting and wooden crafts. ‘CRAFTALIVE’ is also part of Shilpa Udana, which showcases the talents and skills of Sri Lanka’s award winning artisans and craftspeople from across the country. Operating under the theme of ‘Sustaining Livelihood and Revival of Traditions’, Shilpa Udana uses exhibitions, festivals and awareness programmes to promote and empower craftsmen and women in Sri Lanka.

Incorporating the rich heritage of traditional arts and crafts available in Sri Lanka, ‘CRAFTALIVE’ aims to empower young artisans through fashion design in order to create individual creative products and collections.  The Crafts Council of Sri Lanka is headed by its Chairman Buddhi Keerthisena, under the aegis of the Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development and Ajai Vir Singh, President, Colombo Fashion Week. The council strives to promote collaborations and the unique integration of fashion and crafts that will enable Sri Lankan designers and craft artists to develop distinctly exceptional fashion and lifestyle products.

Issued by         :           Arc Worldwide Sri Lanka; a part of Leo Burnett Solutions Inc.

On behalf of     :           HSBC Colombo Fashion Week   

Redpierrot

Duleeka Rathnayake
Duleeka Rathnayake

One certainly can’t get enough of beautiful batik, silk and handloom designs. Incorporating all these textures and styles is the new fashion label Redpierrot, the brainchild of Duleeka Ratnayake. A qualified designer having graduated from the University of Moratuwa’s School of Design, she loves experimenting with both silks and cottons to create her original designer batiks and nature inspired vibrant handlooms. The following are excerpts from an interview.

What or who inspires you, as a person and as a designer?
I am inspired by late British designer Alexander McQueen who had a unique sense of style. I am also inspired by Mrs. Yolanda Aluvihare, who is one of my favourite Sri Lankan designers. I learnt a lot about the industry from her when I was completing my internship after university. As a person, I am inspired by the endless bounties that nature offers.

Inspired by nature
Inspired by nature

Have you always had an artistic flair?
As long as I remember, I have always liked to draw and paint things that caught my interest. I started drawing as a child and my love for capturing the beauty of nature is an integral part of who I am. I love to use bold colours and patterns which I often borrow from natures greatest gifts – flowers, birds and especially butterflies.

What or who has inspired you and how easy/difficult is this to translate into clothes?
I grew up loving nature and her colour palette has been part of my inspiration. My work is also inspired by the wonderful traditions that are representative of the culturally and historically rich Kandyan era. Combining rich cultural dimensions with an equally diverse array of colours is a challenge which I enjoy very much.

For every woman
For every woman

Would you say that your designs are for everyone? Women of every age?
I design clothes for modern women who appreciate comfort and style. My designs transcend traditional boundaries.

What drives you and what do you like to do in your free time?
My hobby is and has always been fashion designing. I am very lucky that now it has become my chosen career. In my free time, between designing and running my boutique, I love to experiment with cooking.

Family or career first?
Buddhism teaches us to walk the middle path. I will always try to balance my career and my family.

What are your future plans?
I have long road ahead. Eventually, I want to expand my work and explore new design techniques and innovative ways of doing things. These days, I am experimenting with new techniques for different kinds of material.

What’s the inspiration behind the name Redpierrot?
The Redpierrot is a small yet strikingly beautiful butterfly found in our home gardens. It was the inspiration behind the very first saree I designed when I was studying fashion design at the University of Moratuwa. Having completed the design, I realized that it was a unique branding opportunity and ‘Redpierrot’ was born.

One of a kind
One of a kind

What makes your designers unique and unlike others on the market?
Handloom material and custom made garments may not be a new concept. However, my designs are exclusive and created using eco-friendly and sustainable material. I also like to design my clothes based on themes from nature. Women of all ages come to my boutique for custom designed sarees and other garments and it shows that people appreciate what I am doing.

Redpierrot is located at 17/4A, Stratford Avenue, Gandhara Street, Colombo 6.

*As published on the Ceylon Today newspapers*

Monet’s Midnight Stroll

For Fall-Winter 2014/15, Georges Hobeika, inspired by the timeless work of Claude Monet, paints a woman of grace from the fantasy of dreams.

The main gal
The main gal

Ever since he first showcased a collection in the fall of 2010 in my hometown, I’ve been an ardent lover of his work. I believe he truly knows how to capture a woman’s shape and curves, and design evening gowns and dresses that highlight as well as accentuate their beauty in an elegant way. I’ve also come to notice that unlike mos designers whose work is far too extraordinary and extravagant for anything but the catwalk, Hobeika’s designs are classy, chic and simple.

Red haute
Red haute

I’m crazy over the colour palette for this year’s fall/winter collection. It’s far from being ideal for the season and as always the stunning detail in every design blows my mind. I have a fascination with designers whose work involves a great deal of detail. Georges Hobeika is one of them and I think he does it exceptionally well for a man.

A little bit of this and that
A little bit of this and that
Midnight blues
Midnight blues

Even though he’s apparently a late bloomer when it comes to being a fashion designer, he has the ability and creativity to capture a woman’s beauty and balance it perfectly with grace.

Georges Hobeika
Georges Hobeika