Colombo Fashion Week, Triumphant!
After the Tamil Tigers tried to crash our party with their very rude air raid, it wasn’t just the Sri Lankans who were resilient—Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis all bonded with Sri Lankans and representatives from a variety of nations in the hope for PEACE.
Just like the irritation of an oyster becomes a pearl, the interruption of Colombo Fashion Week ’09 only made everyone feel more strongly and celebrate more emphatically.
Bibi Russell, whose show was meant to be the finale on the previous night, started the show with her collection called “Design for Life”. What a celebration! With bright colors and dancing models all exuding life and the pure joy of being—including a few in red with hand woven red AIDS awareness ribbons.
Of course, all of her designs are handwoven and handmade, using natural materials sourced in her home country of Bangladesh, where her goal of Fashion for Development continues to inspire me, years after I learned about her while working for Young Asia Television. And this year, I got to work closely with her and see how much she truly embodies her ideals. When she had a chance to speak after her show, she spoke only of positive concepts and working together for the good of all.
The next collection to continue the previous night’s interrupted show was “Spiritual” by Shobhaa De. Beautiful music shifted the mood to a magically meditative one, with a voice over which I suspect was Shobhaa De herself, reading from one of her novels. Lotus flowers, candles, all complementing the simple and elegant clothing also made from natural materials. She took the stage afterwards and also spoke of resilience and strength, peace and hope.
The rest of the night continued the celebration at such a pitch, a second intermission had to be added. The music was rockin’ and kept the tempo moving, (well done Aviva Bidapa!), the designs impressed and the crowd, at full capacity from two nights worth of audiences coming together, reveled in it all.
If terror was what the air raid was meant to evoke, they failed miserably. They seem to have ended up inspiring and bringing people together instead. Which is why Colombo Fashion Week 2009 ended TRIUMPHANTLY!