Saturday, 28 March 2015 00:00
Every woman loves to look her best at that special occasion and she knows how hard it is to find that perfect dress. Despite the endless array of clothes in stores, they always look ordinary, gaudy, drab, ill-fitting or are the wrong colour!
Viola, a fashion design student at Raffles Design Institute, hopes to bridge this void in the local market by launching her own evening wear label after graduation. “Every woman should have a designer dress at least once in her life. In Sri Lanka the market for evening wear is still limited but since the war ended, mobility has increased and people have become more sociable. I see more women paying attention to dressing up and looking good at social gatherings,” says Viola.
Fabrics and accessories have been part of Viola’s life since her childhood. Inspired by her seamstress mom, Viola soon began sketching her own designs and pestering her mother to stitch them for her. “I’m so impatient. I just can’t wait to see the sketch transform into a real gown,” Viola said.
Viola’s mom is a seamstress good at sari jackets but not modern gowns. There have been moments when Viola’s mom could not piece together her sketches of modern dresses. This made Viola join Raffles to learn the skills needed to become a professional fashion designer and a dressmaker. “I’m proud to say that I can put together a long flowing gown from scratch. I’ve learnt the skills of dressmaking and that’s what I like doing.” she said.
Her love affair with fabric that drapes easily and is soft and flowing will be the signature trademark in her designs. “I’m in love with flowing fabric; it just gives you a soft, elegant and romantic entrance. With heaps of ideas, moods and occasions, I just can’t stop my imagination to create beautiful, stylish and elegant gowns for Sri Lankan women, but the very first dress of my label will be custom made for my mom and I know it’s got to be her favourite colour, blue.”