Image:
Instagram.com/amesh_wijesekera

Sri Lankan designer creates big waves in the fashion industry

By:
Manisha Singh (@yourwishpoetry, @bulamentalhealth)

Designer Amesh Wijesekera cultivates modern, gender inclusive designs for his brand Amesh by merging the delicate craftsmanship of hand-looming along with unused fabrics found in local markets.

His pieces have recently garnered international attention, praising his brand's ability to spark change in the fashion industry.

Wijesekera takes inspiration from his homeland which is known for its fabric craftsmanship, that creates vibrant and bold cultural pieces.

He utilizes his drive to design along with his passion for Sri Lanka’s rich culture, to create modern, colourful, loose-fitting clothes that are diverse and inclusive.

He showcased his first pieces at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sri Lanka, and the Graduate Fashion week in London, where he won awards at both shows.

After this, Wijesekera went on to display his collection at Berlin Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, and also was featured in Vogue Italia. 

Wijesekera’s work is not only deconstructing gender stereotypes, with him stating that "the shapes aren't overly feminine or overly masculine. It's at the borderline, where it could be anything. It's all about how you style it, your personal [expression] and your identity."  

Wijesekera’s brand is eco-friendly and creates a positive impact in his community.

He works closely with an almost entirely female work force made up of local craftswomen in weaving villages. This special collaboration creates unique,  handmade pieces.

He states that these local artisans “have all the knowledge on the craft and craftsmanship and [he] brings the new ideas with the designs." Wijesekera’s work has “always [been] centered around making use of everything in Sri Lanka," and each design is made from locally sourced, unused fabrics. 

Wijesekera’s latest Spring-Summer 2020 collection called “Flower Boys,” has broken barriers, featuring “male models dressed in fuchsia embroidered shirts and low-cut knitted vests.” He also shakes things up by working with models of various skin tones. 

Amesh’s dedication towards creating a more progressive and inclusive community is driven by Wijesekera’s own identity. He states that as “being a queer person, [he] knows the everyday struggles in [Sri Lanka], and his passion has inspired many others to create change, follow their hearts and be themselves.

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