Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) was first hosted in 2003 and since then has worked towards the upliftment of the fashion industry. With the New Year, new prospects are at the forefront.
By Sonali Kadurugamuwa
Colombo Fashion Week is South Asia’s only international fashion week with designers from ten countries showcasing their collections. In collaboration with three major Fashion Weeks; Miami, Russia and Malaysia, the launch will host three nights, thirty fashion shows, thirty designers and thirty-five models both local and international, along with some of the leading names in the global fashion arena, making this year’s Colombo Fashion Week not only an event of glamour but also a commemoration of Sri Lanka’s continuing rise onto the regional fashion showground, with South Asia fast becoming a luminary presence in the vogue industry.
It had begun with months of convincing the international market that there is talent in the country and bringing forth orders from other countries to be designed by local designers. The President of Colombo Fashion Week, Ajaiy Virr Singh has been encouraging budding young design students to work with local textile and materials produced by local fabric artisans to connect with the collections best suited for spring-summer and resort wear ranges of clothing, with emphasis on an ethical range of fashion as well.
CFW will launch FASHION FOR GOOD, the ethical fashion day of the event, making it the first ethical fashion platform of South Asia, where Ethical Designers from South Asia will showcase on this day. Colombo will be heaving with yet another episode of fashion showdown capturing the fashion design industry of Sri Lanka. Interactions with international designers, exposure for Sri Lanka’s focus in being the hub for spring-summer and resort wear collections for the international market, insight for young and established designers and more importantly to create a spotlight to portray the progress of the country’s fashion retail infrastructure through the awareness of ethical fashion concepts – are amongst some of the main interests during the course event.
February 4, 5, and 6, 2011, at the Hilton Colombo, will feature an accomplished platform of Colombo Fashion Week becoming a buyers’ meeting point with Sri Lankan and international designers alike. It also has the potential to be the heart of a high profile fashion destination of South and South East Asian Spring-Summer and Resort wear, from the world over.
The many appreciated names attending CFW include Bibi Russell, former fashion model and more recently a role model for many aspiring designers in her promotion of empowerment of fabric weavers in her motherland of Bangladesh, Agatha Ruiz De La Prada, a lover of art and a designer that pays homage to colour and organics as components of her concept that “embrace the smallest details of life” in her creations, Suneet Varma a prominent figure in setting his designer trends through capturing richness of culture and “defining moments in fashion history” to reflect in his collections, which were recently adorned by Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine Zeta Jones and Mariah Carey on the red carpet, Rizwan Beyg well-known Pakistani fashion icon and Kanchana Thalpawila for KTbrown, who was selected to showcase her designs at Miami, Russia, Dubai, Karachi and Malaysia fashion weeks. Similar to past years of Fashion Week, as Sri Lanka was chosen with a representative (designer) to showcase her collections internationally, selected representatives from other countries will style their very own productions at Colombo Fashion Week.
According to Ajaiy Virr Singh, Colombo Fashion Week, “is a vertically integrated not-for-profit multifaceted platform, which aims to uplift the fashion design industry of Sri Lanka through a multi prong approach by creating an infrastructure for Sri Lankan designers to be commercially successful. This involves related industries as well.”