Fashion Backward is the new Fashion Forward

Despite the inherent obsolescence that inevitably comes with changing fashion trends, the greatest creations live on and on. Though it may seem that designers are always looking for ‘the next big thing’, history proves that improvement may sometimes be the mother of invention. 

So begins a torrid love affair between the past and the present, local traditions vs global trends, practicality vs frippery. Fashion has become fluid and is no longer constrained to ideas of a particular time, region, or culture. Instead, it is a source of international inspiration for the industry to build on.

One such source which has found fresh popularity in the global design society is the humble sarong: a local wardrobe staple for as long as history remembers, with essentially every man from village farmer to the president himself having at least one hanging in their almirahs. More recently, the garment’s new iterations have led to a global resurgence with brands like LOVI at the forefront, with their patent-pending forms that feature pockets, belts, aglets and more.

And then there’s the sari. Six yards of heritage, believed to be the very archetype of immemorial vestimentary practices. But the sari’s story is now one of versatility and dynamism. An aesthetic that has been reborn through beautiful interpretations and modern renditions by brands such as FMLK and House of India. Today, a sari doesn’t have to be a set performance, bound by customs and identity. It can simply be whatever you, the wearer, need it to be. A jumpsuit, a dress, casual streetwear, or evening elegance.

When you think of fashion capitals of the world, your mind probably leaps instantly to the famed quartet that is Paris, London, New York, and Milan. But they’re not the only cities with such influence. Among the rising stars, it would be unwise not to acknowledge Colombo – a distant, often forgotten, younger cousin. Full of design history, packed with artisanal workmanship, brimming with sustainable textiles, and imbibed with a sense of style that’s charming, edgy, and vibrant. Which is why Sri Lanka has produced garments for major fashion brands for decades.

As Colombo develops into an emerging fashion capital, its legacy designs and cultural pieces will undoubtedly live many lives, bringing about an even brighter future for the creative city. So, gain a new appreciation of just how far back its style history goes, and how modish it’s remained without ever getting stale. Perhaps even adopt a few timeless ensembles to call your own.

And in the heart of this city beckons a retail centerpiece that is soon to be launched on Galle Face within the new ITC Hotel and its residential Sapphire Residences . Promising an unparalleled experience of luxury shopping that bridges the new and the old, with international high-end brands and showstopping local fashion labels in this uniquely Sri Lankan architectural marvel.

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