It was an evening of glamour and sparkle when CJS, the popular Colombo Jewellery Store celebrated its 90th anniversary with a lavish function held at the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Colombo. Jazz was the theme, and aptly suited to mark the year CJS began its journey in 1922.
Black lace over-layers on white table cloths, Victorian lamps with lace trimmings, and a fabulous jazz quartet set the tone for this elegant evening. The invitees - friends of the family, loyal clients and business associates were treated to an evening of jazz music, dance, a jewellery fashion show, and a most sumptuous six-course dinner.
Chairman of CJS Akram Cassim whilst paying tribute to the store's founder, his grandfather Thaha Cassim and his father, said that he hadn't done this momentous journey by himself, but followed in their footsteps, never compromising on quality. From his grandfather he said he had learnt about glamour and fashion and from his father about gratitude, courage and inner strength.
Clearly proud of its illustrious heritage, CJS can boast of distinguished clients from royalty, to Hollywood and Bollywood stars, sports personalities, business tycoons, and media moguls.
Colombo abuzz with fashion
There are possibly more well-dressed people per square-metre here than anywhere else in Colombo tonight. The annual extravaganza that is the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week has been dubbed 'Sri Lanka's bold answer to the world of high fashion'. The three-day event which will have its grand finale tonight at the Colombo Hilton brings together designers from all over the world.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Bibi Russell, one time fashion model and designer extraordinaire from Bangladesh said "Colombo is the only fashion week I come to because there's so much talent and so much potential here." It's the first time she'll be using sarongs in her collection, which she says will feature bright, vibrant colours like orange and red and draws some playful inspiration from three wheeler art.
Her dear friend Gaetanno Navara from Italy, who made a splash at the Milan Fashion Week in 2011, was another one of the designers to attend the launch. "I'm very happy to be here," he says, adding that the collection he will be showing is of an international standard and could belong on a catwalk anywhere in the world. Indian designer Samant Chauhan is taking it one step further. He has enough faith in the event to debut his new collection here - "We haven't even shown it in India yet," he explains, expressing his admiration for the work done by CFW President Ajai Vir Singh and his team.
"We have to raise the bar further, and I'm confident that we've already gone up a few notches," Ajai says. He's particularly excited to have Perine as their spokesperson because "I think that brings a very strong international yet Sri Lankan element to the whole thing." A wonderful fringe programme, the generally high calibre of the Sri Lankan designers and a stronger ethical fashion day are among the things Ajai is most proud of. "All these make Colombo Fashion Week very unique compared to any other such events in the region right now."
Today, CFW’s final day, will also be a day or recognition, he says, explaining that for the first time they will be giving away a lifetime achievement award along with several other awards recognizing participating designers. "This Sunday we will have ended an amazing fashion week and set the stage for the next one to come," he said.