Galle Face Hotel hosted Day 2 of CFW’s Olu Swim Week on August 9 with the outdoor venue providing the perfect setting. The sounds of the waves hitting the shore blended with the music, as the models walked down the runway in their colourful swim and resort wear. The first collection by Sonali Dharmawardena kicked [...]


CFW: From splash of red to white for peace


Galle Face Hotel hosted Day 2 of CFW’s Olu Swim Week on August 9 with the outdoor venue providing the perfect setting. The sounds of the waves hitting the shore blended with the music, as the models walked down the runway in their colourful swim and resort wear.

Sonali Dharmawardena: Sea of red. On our ST Magazine cover a model strikes a pose in a creation by Indian designer Nivedita Saboo

The first collection by Sonali Dharmawardena kicked off with male models standing on the roof with red scarves around their necks and bright red sarongs, making them look like superheroes. The colours of the collection echoed with golds, oranges and even the occasional green pieces that stood out among a sea of red.

Next to take the stage was Aviva, that had very practical swimwear that sparkled with sequins. Wraith’s collection followed, and was akin to walking down a flower patch with floral designs taking centre stage. The last showcase of the first half was Pigeon Island, that had the audience transported to the island itself with its shark and sea turtle prints.

Koca by RN, took the stage after the break, with a diverse collection incorporating cheetha redda, sheer fabrics, lace and silk.

La Pard stood out for its beautifully crafted batik, vivid patterns and elegance. The collection that Dinushi Pamunuwa, the designer, showcased this year saw black, white and browns that were derivative of animal prints. The glittery pieces added to the elegant striped, and animal like pieces making the brand pop out, like a shiny beacon.

The collection presented by Verandah was bright and pattern heavy and had sea creatures and ecosystems on its swimwear. Maus was the last brand to take the stage, a collection that had some interesting checkered patterns and their new bags in collaboration with Rice and Carry.

Verandah: Bright and breezy

La Pard: Bold animal prints in black and brown

Maus: Checkered Look

Aviva: Sparkling swimwear

Pigeon Island: An island feel

The third day of CFW Olu Swim Week at the Shangri-La Hotel Ballroom on August 10 kicked off with EKA, designed by Rina Singh – a pastel dream collection with vivid patterns.

Aqua Blu: Vivid blue designs

Next up was the 100% linen collection by Fouzul Hameed that saw cream coloured jackets, blue patterned shirts paired with light pants– practical and wearable kits from the menswear specialist.

Stefel by Peronie featured romantic rose patterned swimwear on both white and black backgrounds. Her white sari with a rose pattern, was definitely a showstopper.

The last showcase of the first half was Indian designer Nivedita Saboo whose collection stood out with its well-made coats, bright vivid patterns, sheer elements, embellished tops and asymmetric cuts, taking the evening to a whole new level!

Credited with pioneering the concept of ‘resort wear’ and ‘eco-friendly’ garments in the Indian fashion industry in 1995, designer Wendell Rodricks’ collection, ‘Notes from the sea’ saw many sheer pieces – everything you would want to wear over your swimwear to the beach or the pool.

Rumpunch burst onto the runway with their patterned, bright and very Sri Lankan collection. An embodiment of island spirit – featuring bright colours and bold prints, the collection aims to capture Sri Lanka’s diversity, with not just its patterns, boldness and style but also its vibrant energy.

The ramp was barely lit, as the models entered wearing pieces of the Mystical Monsoon collection by Meraki. The dark colour scheme and mood of the collection was similar to the eye of the storm, with browns, dark greens, fiery reds as well as ominous hooded figures capturing that atmosphere.

The last collection of the night Aqua Blu saw beautifully cut vivid blue patterns, creations in white and ocean themed designs on the ramp, providing a fitting finale.

Stefel by Peroni: Dramatic rose patterened swimwear

EKA: Delicate in pastel shades

Wendell Rodricks: Sheer look

Meraki: Dark and ominous

Fouzul Hameed: Practical and wearable

By Ruqyyaha Deane

The Taj Samudra was the venue for a poignant tribute show last Sunday (August 11) presented by international and local designers after nine days of celebration of food, art, music and fashion at Celebrate Colombo by CFW’s Olu Swim Week 2019.

Finale: CFW Founder and MD Ajai Singh on stage with the models

The ‘Tribute to Colombo’ runway had designers Buddhi Batiks, Tarun Tahiliani, Charini, Abraham & Thakore, Indi by Indi, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Maus, Nivedita Saboo, Hemant Trivedi, Sonali Dharmawardena, Koca by RN, Suketdhir, Jai by Aashkii and Dimuthu Sahabandu showcasing just three pieces each which in their eyes represented the unity and resilience of Sri Lanka.

With white dominating to represent peace and unity, it was interesting to witness how each designer incorporated the essence of Sri Lanka whilst preserving their identity.

Buddhi Batiks opened the show with a lovely silk batik collection that played with colours of white, light blue and red with added details of doves, the Town Hall and the word ‘Peace’ in Sinhala, Tamil and English on the print.

Working with white and warm yellow, the Jai by Aashkii collection highlighted the tropical water lily in her interpretation of peace and unity.

The three pieces spoke of the modern woman – a jumpsuit, the saree and the vintage look with a classic dress accessorised with a dramatic hat.

Indian designer Hemant Trivedi worked solely with embroidered white fabric presenting an ethereal collection of shalwars, sherwanis and kurtas.

Using ruffles, feathers and tulle, Tarun Tahiliani created three dramatic and elegant pieces with moving messages of ‘United we stand’, ‘We will rise and be one nation’ conveying his message of peace and unity.

Buddhi’s colours of peace

Charini: White and flowing

Hemant Trivedi: Ethereal designs

Jai’s touch of warm yellow on white

A creation by Nivedita Saboo

White and tulle for Tarun’s message for unity


Pix by Priyantha Wickramaarachchi and Indika Handuwala

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