Luxury Resort Fashion at Port City : Swim Week Colombo day two
By Shafiya Nawzer
Colombo Fashion Week is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated fashion events in Sri Lanka. When Olu Swim Week Colombo was announced this year, I was personally quite excited. This year’s theme is Environment is luxury, focusing on luxury resortwear catering to the upcoming December season of festivities, destination weddings, and travel.
For the first time, Swim Week Colombo took place at the Marina at Port City, Colombo overlooking the majestic Indian Ocean. Founder and Managing Director of CFW Ajai Vir Singh said that they have partnered with the Port City this year to show the world that Colombo has re-opened and is ready for business once again, following the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The finale show was set up in a desert-like landscape with the gorgeous backdrop of Sail Lanka yachts, the Colombo skyline, and the stunning sunset. Day Two kicked off with Fouzul Hameed of Hameedia, Indi Yapa Abeywardene, Divya Jayawickrame, and Darshi Keerthisena showcasing their collections. The venue was transformed into something on par with all the hype of the event, the atmosphere and location together was truly magical.
Divya Jayawickrama is a fashion designer who graduated in 2019 from the University College of Ratmalana. Well known for her radical pattern and textile development, Divya’s bold and fresh manipulations, constant and meticulous research go hand in hand with her ambition to create something new and modern.
The collection was called ‘My Secret Beach’ which portrays elements of Moroccan culture and draws inspiration from their desert landscapes. Using earthy colour patterns, silhouettes, and designs throughout her showcase. This has been created by converting Moroccan tribal patterns into modern tribal designs. Her iconic block printing method has been used in the creation of her garments in the form of simple lines, to create eye-catching silhouettes and batiks in a range of silks.
Keeping the environment in mind, she has been following a zero-waste method to ensure that the garments are created sustainably. A mix of modern silhouettes adorned with bold prints paired with flawless cuts helped to make this collection a success. It was modern clothing designs and fabric in dark shades. The designs were a marriage of modern western and classic silhouettes. The collection was simple, stylish, and classy.
Opening the collection for the night was Hameedia by Fouzul Hameed. They made quite a grand entrance with the models arriving onto the runway from the Sail Lanka yacht. Fouzul has carved out a niche for himself in the fashion industry by focusing on menswear and has over 30 years of experience. His impeccable collections are tailored to the needs of contemporary, fashion-conscious, urban men who seek unmatched clothing solutions with an eye for detail and appreciation for the essence of fashion to achieve a vibrant look.
This season Fouzul’s collection presented a mix of luxury and casual resortwear. The designs are created with natural fibres and a variety of colours. A natural dye obtained from tea waste which is an environmentally friendly alternative has been used to give life to the unique colour palette of the pieces. The dip-dye technique has been used to up-cycle clothing adding a fun outlook. From stylish dapper suits to laid-back plain shirts,
Fouzul, a designer who is in tune with the fashion aesthetic of the modern man, has the unique knack of giving his customers just what they need, in terms of fabric, cut, and style. The overall collection was perfect for a day by the sea, a holiday, event, or a wedding; making it functional and stylish.
Indi Yapa Abeywardena
Indi Yapa Abeywardena houses her designs through several clothing lines. The House of Indi is her innovation, one of Sri Lanka’s biggest names in fashion-forward brands, known for artistic design made from materials that are ethically sourced.
Indi’s collection drives inspiration from the desire to travel and resume social connections and create positivity for the environment we live in and its community. Exuding a sense of joy and romance, adopting dramatic drapes, luxurious textures, and exaggerated trains she updates classic silhouettes by using a daring play of colours. Three-dimensional embroideries and prints of wildflowers and birds are evident throughout her showcase. Her romantic flowing dresses are the perfect choice for a magical destination wedding.
Her cleverly draped slinky silhouettes made the models look like goddesses. Elegantly tailored outfits in crisp colours with accent design created a dramatic entrance on the runway. Eye-catching statement sleeves made this collection stand out. Indi’s craftsmanship and vision as a designer lie in skilfully engineering fabrics to create visually dramatic clothing, bringing an air of sophistication and finesse to the wearer.
“As all of us have been through extremely tough times, we are ready now to get the party started, to travel the world and have a magical wedding. The joy and romance are the feeling, collection tries to depict. We have chosen florals again for the resort, with three-dimensional embroideries, also prints of wildflowers and birds,” Indi stated.
Her design, aesthetic of using stylised drapes to create silhouettes that are very feminine and flattering. The fabrics with intricately detailed designs of flowers were utterly breathtaking. Personally, Indi’s collection was my favourite of the night. She outdid herself within an extremely short period of time and tight schedule, yet she delivered a show-stopping collection that everyone aspires to get their hands on.
Darshi Keerthisena is the CEO and Creative Director at Buddhi Batiks, a leading proponent of the batik craft in Sri Lanka. Darshi is noted for infusing contemporary fashion into the traditional Sri Lankan batik craft and for elevating batik. The season’s luxury resort collection was inspired by the Japanese kimono, K-drama, and motifs derived from orchids in the garden of the Buddhi Batiks workshop.
Bold festive colours mixed with subtle hues; displaying an easy feminine vibe that comes together in comfortable contemporary resort wear. Darshi had created abstract prints in blue, green and black with a pop of pink, making this an extremely wearable collection. She has presented an outstanding batik collection. Abstract art in times of blue-green and black with a lot of pink wearable silhouettes. The styles were subtle yet aesthetically pleasing, the highlight is each piece is versatile and can be styled in different ways. The sarees stood out to me, with their detailed design and stunning outlook.
All in all, it was a wonderful show of exquisite allure, fashion, and style. Each designer had put in a lot of hard work for their showcase. That is a wrap to Olu Swim Week Colombo 2021.
Pix by Amitha Thennakoon and Venura Chandramalitha