India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Fashion
April 01, 2017

These 5 Sri Lankan Designers Are Redefining Ceylon Fashion

Text by Tanisha Choudhury and Sadaf Shaikh

Get to know more about their label, design aesthetics and vision for the future

SONALI DHARMAWARDENA

Tell us about your label
“Batik is a heritage art form, with little to no effects of modernisation infiltrating it. I feel privileged as an artist to be able to use it in its purest form and translate it into products that are very contemporary. With the Sonali Dharmawardena label, no two pieces are ever the same. We work only with natural fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen. We recycle a lot of the wax that is used in the process, and our treatment plant helps us to be responsible about the environment. In fact, our business model provides livelihood for many women artisans.”

Inspiration
“Each season is driven by my mood, by nature or where I am in my life. I am spiritually inclined and for me work is prayer. So it’s great when someone feels the same energy when wearing our clothes.”

Favourite pieces
“Each piece serves a very specific purpose in the wardrobe. The sari is eternally graceful and ours are very artistic. The sack dress is a versatile option that can be dressed up or down. I am also excited about our range of blouse pieces that can be mixed and matched with different saris, or be paired with other garments.”

Association with PR by Annika Fernando
“I have learnt over the years that Annika is not only a meticulous and committed professional who has an amazing eye for detail but also someone with an innate understanding of art and style. She saw my work, and helped it evolve from art into a retail brand with products.”

Exhibiting at Bungalow 8
“It’s great to have one’s work stand next to vintage jewellery, sought-after antique memorabilia, and distinctive decor pieces. It’s great to be able to reach out to people who truly understand our style and appreciate our work.”

Favourite Indian designers
“I admire the work of Masaba Gupta and Naeem Khan.”

Next: Anuk by Samaadhi Weerasinghe

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