International Designers AT CFW

Mar 04 2024.

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Spanning just over two decades, Colombo Fashion Week has earned a reputation as one of the leading fashion weeks in Asia. Due to this, during each season there is a clutch of international designers who showcase their collections at CFW adding an international dimension to the show.  This year six designers will be at CFW, namely Abraham & Thakore, Afsana Ferdousi, Manoviraj Khosla, Payal Pratap, Charlotte Allen/Klements, and Samant Chauhan.

Afsana Ferdousi a designer from Bangladesh describes her collection as  “Emotional Weaves in Khadi Textiles”. She explains further by saying “it is a captivating collection that weaves emotions into our beloved handloom khadi. Each piece encapsulates a chapter of the human experience, giving voice to nameless emotions. From love’s caress to sorrow’s touch, joy’s dance to contemplative stitches, khadi becomes a canvas for sentiments. Adorned with traditional Bengali clay tepa doll masks crafted from recycled newspapers, every garment invites wearers to explore their inner emotions through the artistry of Bangladeshi khadi textiles.”

Ferdousi has derived inspiration for this collection from the beautiful heritage of handloom khadi textiles and the rich tapestry of human emotions. Using fabric manipulation techniques, Ferdousi aims to capture the depth of emotions, creating wearable art that celebrates tradition and individual expression. Adorned with traditional Bengali clay tepa doll masks made from recycled newspapers, each garment encourages wearers to connect with their inner emotions through the artistry of khadi textiles.

Opining on responsible fashion, a buzzword in the industry Ferdousi says “Responsible fashion, to me, means creating and consuming fashion in a way that minimises harm to people, animals, and the planet. It’s about making thoughtful choices throughout the entire lifecycle of a garment, from sourcing sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing to reducing waste and promoting fair labour practices. Responsible fashion is not just about what we wear, but also about the values and principles behind it, aiming for a fashion world that’s kinder and more sustainable.”

Also showcasing at CFW is Charlotte Allen from Britain whose label is called Klements. Her Ghost collection is part of her collaboration with London’s Burgh House and comprises a printed collection of silken womenswear made in London, with hand-painted prints. Commenting on how she balances commerce with creativity Charlotte says “we keep our garment shapes simple but ensure our prints are unusual and eye-catching.”

Explaining her sustainability credentials Charlotte explains “We make locally in London in very small batches to order, working with mainly natural fibres such as silk or organic cotton. Any spare cloth never goes to waste, we make scrunchies, cover note pads or tote bags. We make our pieces beautifully and slowly with the idea they should last for decades. We don't try to follow trends, instead aiming to create timeless special, keeper pieces.”

No strangers to CFW, Indian designer duo Abraham and Thakore also return to CFW where they will showcase their latest collection Body Language.

Inspired by a simple question
How do we communicate today? The designer duo ask if our contemporary world going through a communication revolution. Chat GPT is gaining steam and the emoji is almost as powerful as the written word. Abraham & Thakore reflect on this pertinent question. They explore this through the multilingual medium of textiles. 

The collection embraces braille, morse code and ‘conventional’ text. You can find creations that invite you to feel letters, wear binary codes, and make witty, non-verbal statements.

As one of the pioneer design brands in India Abraham and Thakore place emphasis on sustainability. They have been working with sustainable materials, and craft processes and engaging with producers who have a small environmental footprint. Most importantly they believe in creating fashion products with longevity and in a style that transcends short-term trends.

In response to why they keep returning to CFW the duo reply “Sri Lanka is always inspiring. From its culture, natural beauty and creativity, we always find something to learn.”

The international designers will showcase their collections on 7th, 8th and 9th March 2024.



Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is a journalist specialising in travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also the Deputy Editor for Hi!! Magazine. An intrepid traveller, she likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook,¬†Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno [email protected]



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