‘Island Craft’: Inspiring fashion from rural Sri Lanka

Saturday, 5 November 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The third annual Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) scheduled for this November, consists of a fascinating line-up of events including a series of fashion shows.

Among these, one of the most inspirational and interesting fashion shows of the festival is the Island Craft fashion show.

This fashion show features handloom, batik and beeralu lace and other crafts from across the island, and highlights the creativity and skill of each artisan community through couture collections with contemporary design input from Academy of Design.

Currently the handloom weaving artisans in Marthamunai, Ampara and Eruvil, Batticaloa are preparing newly designed textile collections for the Island Craft fashion show at the upcoming SLDF.

In the North, another group of artisans are preparing for the show in Mulaitivu with the help of the Norwegian Embassy Cultural division where AOD has conducted a design and skill development program for 20 women and introduced them to knitwear and this too is due to be showcased as part of the island craft fashion show at the festival.

Batik artisans from the central province and beeralu lace makers from Dikwella, are also preparing special collections for the fashion show. The unique textile weaving industry in Divulapitiya, Gampaha, where the use of machine thread in the handlooms to create exquisite textiles is seen, is another fascinating segment of the show.

In addition the Island Craft fashion show will also include dazzling collections from Sri Lankan fashion designers - Dharshi Keertisena, Kasuni Ratnasuriya, Terin Gabbalage, Kandygs, Yolanda Aluvihare and Prabath Samarasooriya.  

SLDF is due to be held from the 16 – 20 November and the outcomes of all the above projects are to be showcased at the upcoming Design Festival at the Island Craft fashion show, exhibition and a specially curated pop up store.

SLDF is conceptualised and organised by AOD (www.aod.lk) – The Academy of Design, Sri Lanka’s pioneering and inspiring design campus that offers international creative and design education while serving as a dynamic catalyst of the local creative industry growth. AOD organises SLDF in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka and key industry stakeholders including the Joint Apparel Association Forum – the apex body the Sri Lankan apparel industry. Other key partners include the Mount Lavinia Hotel – Festival Host, Textured Jersey – Official Fabric Partner, Trade Card – Official Software Partner, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics – Official Freight and Logistics Partner and Sri Lankan Airlines – Official Airline along with Knowledge Partner – British Council, Sparklink Travels, Bates Strategic Alliance PR, Social mIdea, Norwegian Embassy and Addikt Design Movement.