Come February, there’s a date that every fashionista makes in her diary. This year taking place a little later than usual, the much anticipated HSBC Colombo Fashion Week 2012 makes its entrance on February 24, 25 and 26 at the Hilton Colombo for the fifth consecutive year.
|Ajai V. Singh addressing the news conference held to announce the event. Pix by Nilan Maligaspe
Turning the fashion spotlight on our island, the HSBC Fashion Week has steadily earned a place in the region’s fashion calendar, aimed as it is at developing a South Asian fashion hub, while also being a platform for Lankan designers to hit the big time.
In the five years since its inception in 2003, the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week has steadily grown into the backbone of the Sri Lankan fashion design industry. It is fast becoming the South Asian hub for spring and summer wear, promoting commerce between regional designers and retailers.
Twenty local fashion designers, among them established names in the industry, some promising homegrown talent and dynamic newcomers will showcase their collections on the ramp. Audiences can look forward to exciting talents such as Darshi, KT Brown, Yolanda, Fouzul Hameed, Sonali Fernando, Ramona and Upeksha on the ramp this year alongside popular local brands String Hopper, Arugam Bay, Middle Finger, Avirate, KUR, Conscience and ODEL. This year, the newcomers on the big stage are Lilian, Koco and Gehan, chosen by the organizers of HSBC CFW.
And bringing their own flair and an international flavour to Fashion Week are designers Bibi Russell, Rizwan Beyg, Samant Chauhan, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Manoviraj Khosla, all of whom have presented some noteworthy collections in Colombo in previous years.
Joining them and much looked forward to at HSBC CFW this year are Pepa Pombo from Colombia who is well known in the ethical fashion industry in Latin America, James Ferreira from India whose style encompasses the neoclassic, fresh and contemporary, Gartanno Navara from Italy whose edgy and modern style has earned plaudits and Jason & Anusha, two contemporary names from India.
President HSBC Colombo Fashion Week and the man behind it all Ajai V. Singh said to provide commercial opportunities for local fashion labels and designers, HSBC Colombo Fashion Week has collaborated with five retailers this year. Trunk, Cantaloupe Boutique, Aakshii, Melache and Cotton Collection to create a designer/retailer programme for fashion consumers of Sri Lanka.
British Council which is the knowledge partner of HSBC CFW will bring down William Green from the ramp of London Fashion Week to exhibit his work at the CFW this year. Nina Jafferji, a makeup artist from New York will work with Ramani Fernando and her team to enhance the glamour of the event.The partners and associates of the HSBC CFW are HSBC, Colombo Jewellery Store, the Hilton, Colombo, Sri Lankan Airlines, Spa Ceylon, Avirate, DHL, Heladiv, Hameedias, ODEL, British Council, Ramani Fernando Salons, Friends & Partners, DHL Grey Colombo Film Production Video Image Pvt Ltd, Dulux, BMW, Pantene, Deccan Aviation Lanka and Shift- the Creative Digital Agency.
Wijeya Newspapers- The Sunday Times, Daily Mirror and HI!! are the print media sponsors for the event.
Fringe shows for bright sparks
As part of its new designer development programme, HSBC CFW 2012 will launch their ‘Bright Spark’ Fringe Fashion Show this year. This follows the introduction of the ‘Gen-Next’ Award at last year’s HSBC Colombo Fashion Week.
HSBC Colombo Fashion Week, has always focused on helping new designers come to the forefront.
“We needed a formal system to unearth new potential designers from schools and other avenues and hence the Gen-Next award which was introduced last year. This year we start the ‘Bright Spark’ show which is a fringe event to showcase promising young talent in the fashion schools in Sri Lanka. The aim is to bridge the gap for students before they graduate to the main CFW platform - a stepping stone,” says Ajai Singh, President Colombo Fashion Week.
The Fringe Shows will be at 4 p.m. at the Tea Lounge- Hilton Colombo on February 24, 25 and 26. The main shows of Fashion Week start at 7.30 p.m.
The young designers are products of the Lanka Institute of Fashion Technology, Academy of Design and the University of Moratuwa. Suzette Schokman, Sonali Kaushala Wanigasuriya, Kaushini Ranaweera, Nayana Weliwette, Sajeenali Wijayasundara , Udani Nilaweera , NavodaThenuwara,Shamara Alles, Akhila Karunaratne and Amarsha De Silva from Lanka Institute of Fashion Technology (LIFT), Nithya and L o n a l I from the Academy of Design ( AOD) and Lesha S. Hettigama and W.K. Mihiri Bandumali from the University of Moratuwa.
The Gen-Next award will be given to a young designer who will be selected by a panel including local and international designers. Last year Dimuthu Sahabandu won the award and had the opportunity to showcase at the high-profile IPL fashion show in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.