5 Sri Lankan fashion labels to look out for
Bungalow 8 and PR Sri Lanka are bringing the best of Sri Lankan fashion to Mumbai
Bungalow 8 founder Maithli Ahluwalia’s chance encounter with Annika Fernando in Sri Lanka has led to the collaboration of easy Mumbai and Colombo styles in a 3-day pop up event.
Annika is the founder of PR, a fashion concept similar to Mumbai’s Bungalow 8, where designer items are expertly curated, reflecting their signature style. The synergy in the concept has culminated in the launch of the pop-up event where designers from Sri Lanka will exhibit their work and give us a taste of the burgeoning Sri Lankan fashion scene. “In Sri Lanka we are so used to different levels of Indian fashion coming to our shores in stores, with festivals and so on. The reverse is not as common. Even if it has been done, to do it with a partner like Bungalow 8 has meant that we are not just throwing designer clothes on a rack, we have opportunity to offer an experience,” says Annika on the collaboration.
You can expect designers and labels like Sonali Dharmawardena, who uses traditional batik and gives it an unexpected spin or KUR, that evokes old Ceylon with handmade Dutch Lace in breezy silhouettes. Then there’s Annika’s sister’s Papillon du thé , a jewellery brand that is chic modern, with a hat tip to the traditional Kandyan dancers, among others.
Before you head over to the pop-up, here’s a quick review of some of the names you can spot there:
ANUK is a ready to wear brand designed by Sri Lankan designer, Samaadhi Weerasinghe and the core philosophy lies with bringing simple silhouettes to life with fine fabrics. ‘Lazy elegance’ is the key word, with versatility in styling one of the top reasons why you shouldn’t miss this one at the pop-up.
Papillon du thé is designed by Sri Lankan - German gallerist Saskia Fernando. The label combines statement jewellery with the unique stones and manufacturing techniques local to the area. The designer focuses on ethically handcrafted jewellery created by artisans in workshops across Sri Lanka.
KÛR is a women’s ready-to-wear brand launched in 2009 by New York-based Sri Lankan designer Kasuni Rathnasuriya. The label focuses on handmade Sri Lankan craft, in particular Beeralu lace and batik. The designs reflect the designer’s own sense of freedom and serenity.
“Far from mass-market but compelling to the few who have some intellect and gumption as well as style,” claims the label and it seems about right. Each piece in the collection is reportedly made from a single piece of fabric, thus minimizing seams. This pulls the focus on the cut and drape of the garment, rendering it subtly sensual.
MAUS was established in 2013 by the PR founder herself Annika Fernando. Their philosophy is centered around high-end designs with a focus on construction and a commitment to ethical manufacturing. “A Sri Lankan brand made for the world,” the label’s aesthetic complements the local tropical climate in mind and is effortlessly chic. All MAUS products are made in Sri Lanka.
The Bungalow Eight – Annika Fernando exhibit will be held at Bungalow 8’s store inside Wankhede Stadium, North Stand E & F Block, D Road, Churchgate, Mumbai, from Friday 31st March-2nd April. For more information, write in to firstname.lastname@example.org