Bought myself a new sunshine yellow notebook from the Barefoot Gallery. I run through notebooks like baby’s on diapers so I ran over to Barefoot cuz they have some of the most colourful ones in town. This one cost me just Rs. 675. That’s less than $6. Of course it took me a good while to pick this because there are multiple choices in terms of colours. Anyways. .I’m happy with it and can’t wait to put it to use 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.