Marlon Rae Unveils new collection at Global India Couture Week

Dec 18 2023.

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Sri Lankan fashion designer Marlon Rae, the founder of fashion label Maluba showcased his collection for the first time internationally at the Global India Couture Week 2023 held in Delhi, India. Marlon cut his teeth in the fashion industry in Sri Lanka when he showed his work at Colombo Fashion Week. Driven by an admirable work ethic, Marlon took up any offer to design clothes especially for advertising campaigns. While doing this he was also working on his personal fashion collections. His foray into the Indian fashion landscape with his collection titled A Dancer’s Dream exposed him to many new experiences which will only enrich his future work.

Q How did the opportunity to showcase at GICW come about?
Prasanna Padmanathan from Colombo Fashion Council had been following my work for a long time and after identifying my potential he asked me if I would like to show at GICW in India. I felt this would be a good opportunity to showcase my work abroad and told him I would be delighted to do so.

Q How different was the show in India from the shows in Sri Lanka?
The experience was very unique to what I had experienced before. There were many supermodels on the runway. Also, there were many other international designers from countries such as the Philippines, India and Dubai. It was a very professional high-end production which I felt honoured to be a part of. It was a dream to walk with my supermodel and muse Archana.

Q What was the inspiration behind this collection?
I wanted to show something that was unique to Sri Lanka. I used to be a Kandyan dancer and the beauty of the dance including its costume and the setting of the perehara inspired me. Additionally, the unique Kandyan dance flower played a role in inspiring me. Sri Lankan designer Andre Estefan guided me with the hand-drawn print and we used a colour palette to depict various aspects of the perehara such as the various colours of the fire which is part of the fire dancers’ ritual. 

Q How did the audience receive your work?
The press, especially were interested to know more about the collection, the prints and the minimalistic silhouettes I had used. Most of the other designers came and congratulated me on my collection. 

Q How would you describe your collection?
My collection was called A Dancer’s Spirit and contained 25 outfits.  
Each garment was brought to life through a combination of the hand-drawn lines in the print and the fabric. The silhouettes echoed the graceful drapes and intricate knots of the Kandyan dancer costume in fiery reds, deep flames, and shimmering golds.

Pix courtesy : Marlon Rae


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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