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A Weekend of Style

Fashionistas and the style conscious of both sexes filled the Grand Ballroom of the Colombo Hilton when Ajai V. Singh with his key associates Dirk Flamer Caldera and Prasad Bidapa out on the cat-walk the work of twenty eight designers from home and abroad for the seventh successful year. Among the International designers were several big names who made their statements of slick and trendy ensembles for both men and women, the pick of whom were Tarun Tahilani, Rohit Bal and Rizwan Begy.

From our own designers outstanding was the Yoland Aluwihare collection in black, caramel and champagne. Yoland has firmly put Sri Lanka’s talent in the designing field on the world fashion map and this time she showed much maturity and progress with her original designs. Not only Yoland but several others showed their versatility in keeping with the couturier world including Kanchana Talpawila’s distinguished collection under the Katy Brown label, specially with the stunning blacks she put on the ramp. Also bringing batik art into new spheres was Dharshi Keerthisena introducing it into swim suits and neck ties for men.

Several others from both the international and local forum brought a fresh breath of air with their creations among them Ramona Oshni with her contemporary casuals and her creations in luxury resort wear geared to the friend-sets for the coming spring summer season. Kasun Ratnasuriya used Beeralu lace as the maintrim, while Begy with a drama filled effect loaded his styles with crochet and pearls for his extravagant collection, which was beautiful but most of it quite impracticable on which one of our top designers Nayanatara Fonseka’s comment was that this was coiture. Also much appeal featured in Chaturi Samaraweera’s clothes under the Anaya label - Sarani Gunawardene perhaps the youngest among the designers made an impact with her "Once Upon a Time" collection which pushes the boundaries of surrealism, with her use of hot pink, lime green and yellow with creams, browns and black.

There were exciting styles for men from LICC Jeans, and Hameedia’s under the Fouzal Hammed baton with Fahad Sheriff presenting an interesting line for men which included belts, wallets and shoes, and string hopper with conscience a eco-friendly line.

The jewellery segment was represented by Colombo Jewellery Stores whose head today is Akram Cassim which dazzled the eye and sparkled on both male and female models whose white linen attire was as good as any of the clothes done by this Coterie of big names in the fashion world.

Both men and women who graced the event made a positive statement of style with many of the women in impeccable elegance barring for a few. Among them was in the fifties diva in a bare shouldered puff ball skirted white dress which brought the acid comment from a spectator who said the outfit looked like a white pumpkin on a black stick. A white dress was also the choice of Azzara Azeez which was full skirted and had lace trimming with the top of the dress and the long sleeves in lace.

Otara Gunawardene, former top model made two appearances on the ramp, the first to promote her own Embark range from Odel with her much published day Niko to promote a new range and to bring distinction to the Rohit Bal finale by opening his segment in a show stopper gown in gold and amber.

The male models from Sri Lanka and India brought elan to their clothes, but the same cannot be said of the females even though some were exceptional.

And the Colombo Fashion Week sponsored by HSBC came to a close with success, with many looking forward to CF week in 2011.

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