Lankan designers at Rithihi

Rithihi, one of Colombo’s well-known saree boutiques will host five of the city’s hottest designers from February 21 to 25 to showcase their new collections, among them Ninel Fernando, Himali Delapala, Prabath Samarasooriya and Anupama Nawalage.

Ninel Fernando who teaches textile design and traditional arts and crafts at the University of Moratuwa partners with Rithihi to launch a line of ethnic silver jewellery under her label ‘Ninela’. She works with two families in rural areas to create her works of art, and says that unlike gold-valued for its rarity- silver has its value in its craftsmanship.

A part-time lecturer in Fashion Design at the Raffles Institute of Higher Education, and also artist and designer Himali Delapala will present Kaleidoscope, 15 sarees designed for women with bold personalities unafraid to wear what they want. She cites art nouveau as her muse and wants her designs to be worn to express.

Silver artistry: Ninel’s striking designs

“Sometimes fashion restricts people from exploring. My work is for those who want to step over those boundaries,” she says. Himali sources her material mainly locally, with yarn being the material she uses for her designs.

Prabath Samarasooriya works with colour. He is showcasing his ‘Jaffna Collection’ under his label ‘Prabath’, inspired by the hues of the island’s North-Eastern territories.

Anupama Nawalage works with the Dumbara weavers to create her range of bags and scarves that will go on display at the exhibition. The seven families that currently work with her are the only such weavers in the country practising the craft, and specialize in motifs of unique geometric forms, shapes and patterns. She’d like her work to be worn by wearers who would appreciate the effort behind each piece, some of which take days to produce.

Along with these four designers, Nelun Harasgama’s collection will also be on display at the exhibition from February 21 -25 at Rithihi, 19, Alfred House Gardens, Colombo 3.

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