From the wardrobe of princess Kuweni to that of the boss ladies (and gentlemen of course) of today, the fashion scene of Sri Lanka has changed and evolved drastically throughout history.

This metamorphism happening in the fashion arena of this tiny paradise island is in some cases keeping up with the trends and shifts in the global fashion world and in some instances is in tune to her own beat.

The story of the emergence of clothing in Sri Lanka is unclear but undoubtable the art of dressing has gone through many transformations through time. From the occasional foreign involvement in history and the fashion influx that follows, to the exposure to globalization and mass media, the fashion industry of Sri Lanka today is a melting pot of many traditions and styles from all corners of the world.

With time the fashion movement of Sri Lanka is moving forward at a staggering pace and is starting to flourish as an industry with a cause.  

With the surge of new e-commerce platforms and the inflow of international retail experiences we islanders, are not so behind in playing catching up and embracing what’s “IN” in the global fashion domain.

But whatever trends and Fads that come and go, the Lankan fashion scene will always have a constant, her island culture and her roots.

By today the fashion capital of Sri Lanka is beaming with store fronts bearing the names of international and local high end fashion labels and is home to many fashion events spanned through the year. With exposure to such, the local consumers are getting increasingly conscious about the details of fashion which was not the case a few decades ago.

Not just the influx in to the country but many Lankan based designers and brands have started to make a name for themselves in the international arena, and  slowly but surely Sri Lanka is turning in to a fashion destination giving rise to opportunities for young creatives to blossom and thrive.

When considering the global domain, fashion is divided in to a few segments such as, Haute Couture and Couture, Ready-To-Wear/ Prêt-à-Porter, Diffusion, Bridge and Mass market –The one we know the best!

But when it comes to the Lankan scene these divisions are a little bit blurred. We are yet to embrace fully the concept of fashion brands and designer labels. We are so used to the concept of fast fashion or SMEs when it comes to our fashion needs that they have become what we know and adore.

We still have a long way to go, but here are a few key global trends that Sri Lankan brands should consider embracing: 

Sustainability the authentic way – even though the movement of sustainability and responsible fashion has become a trend of a sort, we islanders have had this concept as a part of our day to day lives throughout generations.( don’t trust me? Go Ask your grandma) but when it comes to everyday fashion and particularly the fast fashion movement we need to embrace sustainability more. Words such as recycling, up cycling and thrifting should be given more importance and should be accessible to people to embrace.

Tech meets Fashion- The global fashion movement in the future seems to be leaning towards increasing tech and fashion collaborations and producing something innovative.

Material revolution– circling back to the concept of sustainability we Lankans should venture in to the depths of the island and its history to find more sustainable and accessible novel materials that will help the local economy as well as the environment.

Bye Bye to fast fashion and hello to individuality- yes we do see a movement of people trying to go against the current of fast fashion and to establish an individuality now a days, but we still have a long way to go!

Metamorphic designs/ utilitarian fashion– By today, fashion is not just an object of beauty, it has much more to do than just the esthetic appeal. From cloths that have solar panels to outfits that can be worn in different ways, metamorphism is “in” folks, and we islanders need to pick up!

 Embracing minimalism- Gone are the days when people thought more was more!

Tradition + Modernity- Need to explore the possibility of merging traditional modern creativity.  We are an artistic bunch, aren’t we?

The fashion industry of this island has many more new and potential avenues that we need to tap into to bring it to a global scale. Also the local brands, designers and influencers need to watch out for the newest trends, movements and shifts that’s happening outside our little island and work on incorporating them in our design process in a way that it will be palatable for the local audience.

Fabrics Made with Love

The tale of prince Vijay’s arrival in Sri Lanka then known as “Rathnadeepa”, not only marks the beginning of the written history of Sri Lanka and the birth of the “Sinhala” race, but also gives the very first account of the fabric industry that had already been established among the inhabitants of Rathnadeepa.

As mentioned in the “Mahavansa” When Prince Vijaya landed on the shores of Thambapanni he was greeted by the sight of Kuweni, The Yaksha princess of Lanka, working on her weaving wheel. – “Kapu Katimin siti Kuweniya

With a history of more than 2500 years, the hand weaving industry of Sri Lanka has come a long way from generation to generation, to where it is today. Due to modernization and the increase in demand, by today hand weaving has been mostly replaced by more modern mechanical methods and only a handful of places still use the age old technique.

A while ago while travelling to Anuradhapura we stopped at a roadside tea house and to my sheer luck, next door to this The kade was an artisan’s studio where a cheerful Nanda was hard at work on her weaving wheel. She was a kind soul who was more than exited to explain to me the process of hand weaving and everything involved. Her words told me how much she loved this process and how proud she was of her creations, rightfully so.


She also shared with us that by today she was the only one who knew how to weave by hand from the area she came from, where a while ago there were so many artisans that hand loom become the main source of income of that community. She told us how many had given up on this trade in order to find more stable jobs where-else. This was even more apparent from all the abandoned looms hovering in the background collecting dust forgotten, without anyone to use them.


The revival of hand loom fabrics have started to make a mark in the fashion scene of Sri Lanka lately, with many high end fashion brands taking an interest in incorporating these fabrics and techniques in to their collections. But will that be enough to save this age old art form from being engulfed by the modern methods and disappearing?

National Textile Museum – Kuala Lumpur

Imagine unleashing a hyperactive kid inside a candy store!!…. Now crank up the crazy a few levels up!…  What you get is “me” inside the National Museum of Textile in Kuala Lumpur!!

I’m a fashion fanatic! I love everything that has anything to do with fashion, I live fashion! And I also love travel as much as I love fashion! So when I search for things to do or places to see at “where ever i’m shipping myself to next”, I never forget to pull up a few fashion related places/ or activities to balance the crazy in me.

whether it’s a museum or a workshop or even just a traditional authentic fabric shop, if its anywhere near where i’m at, you WILL find me there! Every time I end up coming home with a head full of ideas and a bag full of fabrics (so much for my minimalist travel goals!)

The National Textile Museum in Kuala Lumpur was one such precious findings of mine, while planing my trip to Malaysia. This museum is truly under rated compared to other tourist attractions in KL, as many don’t even know of its existence. But trust me when I say, visiting this museum was one of the best things I did in KL. It may only be appealing to a certain genera of crazy ( such as “me”) but I do feel it has something to make everyone happy. And if you are not as crazy as I am about fashion and textiles, you can just drop in for a swift glance through the galleries and you will be done in less than half an hour. Located in Merdeka square the museum is not that hard to find, nor is it off the normal tourist route so you won’t be making any detours. And best of all entry is free! (so basically its regret proof!)

To get to the museum you can ether directly take a taxi, use the rapid-KL bus route or the “Hop on Hop off ” bus (stop number 17).

The museum is housed in a beautiful heritage building of Neo- Maugal style architecture, which is a combination of  elements from Maugal – Islamic style architecture and British architecture. Just the building alone can give an art lover a rush!


The museum is mainly divided in to 4 galleries and one small gallery that houses special exhibitions.

  1. Pohon Budi gallery
  2. Pelangi Gallery
  3. Teluk Berantai gallery
  4. Ratna sari gallery
  5. Saindera Gallery- which houses special exhibitions.

From textiles, traditional dress forms to jewelry, the content of the museum displays the history and diversity of the textile industry of Malaysia in a very comprehensive manner. It also showcases how techniques from different cultures can influence each other to create a unique and beautiful culture of its own.

The most interesting aspect of this museum for me is that they have displayed many of the traditional processes in “step by step” form so anyone interested can learn and understand the process in depth.

Step by Step – Batik 


The Ratna Sari Gallery houses a collection of traditional jewellery and adornments that belong to the different ethnic groups of Malaysia. Ranging from head ornaments, crowns, beaded shoes to Kamarbands the pieces on display showcases the impressive craftsmanship of this ethnically diverse country.


Throughout the museum you will come across mannequins displaying the different traditional costumes of Malaysia bringing life in to the textiles.

Traditional hand embroidery techniques, Sarawak beading techniques, Baba and Nyonya beading techniques, traditional motif designs, gold thread embroidery, weaving patterns are just a few of the traditional textile related art forms that can be observed throughout the museum.

And as it turns out we were lucky to come across a special exhibition on ethnic head dresses that was on display in a small room on the top most floor of the building. The artistry of there unique traditional head ornaments were breath taking and mesmerizing.

If your curiosity towards Malaysian culture and costumes has  been awoken, a more comprehensive explanation can be found in one of my previous articles which you can read here.

According to the brochure, the museum is open daily from 9.00 am till 6.00 pm. I was extremely luck to be there at a time when there was hardly anyone inside the museum other than me,  the unfortunate souls i dragged there by force and 1 or 2 rushed visitors who couldn’t care less. This gave me all the freedom in the world to run around like a crazy kid to my hearts content!!

So if you are someone interested in learning about textile and fashion history of Malaysia do visit the National Textile Museum and be inspired by all that it has to offer. And even if you are not interested in such thematic museums do drop by just to get the feel of it, you never know you might end up falling in love with textiles.

Until next time,

Safe travels

Sri Lankan Brides- Kandyan Bride

Clad in an “Osariya” and draped in traditional jewelry, the Kandyan bride stands as a window in to the soul of Sri Lanka. She represents the traditions, culture and beliefs of the Sinhala Buddhist of this island nation.

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Bride and Groom from the early 1900s in front of the “Poruwa

The main attire of a traditional Kandyan bride is the 6 yard saree draped in the Sri Lankan traditional way called “Osariya”. The common colors used by brides range from white to biscuit brown and any shade in between. This wedding saree could be a simple saree with gold or silver thread work or a heavily embroidered saree piled up with rhinestones, sequins and pearls depending on the brides choice. Today the brides opt for the more modern approach or the ready-made saree called “made up osariya” which consists of 4 parts namely, jacket, the shoulder drape (Pota), the Neriya a peplum shaped piece which is tied around the waist and the wrap around skirt.


The most attractive element of a Kandyan bride is her Jewelry. She has to bear the weight of about 26+ pieces of jewelry (NO kidding) from head to waist on her special day!.

Her hair will be in a low bun and the bun will be decorated with white color flowers, flower buds and different ornaments such as the traditional “Konda kura”.




The Brides’ head is then decorated with the “Nalal patiya” which is a head ornament with three long chains attached to a middle pendent. The middle pendent is kept at the center of her forehead and two of the chains go along the side and one along the middle of her head. On the day of the wedding the brides’ mother will place the “Nalal patiya” and pin it to her hair at a given “nakatha” (auspicious time) as an act of giving her blessings. This piece of jewelry is considered as one of the most important pieces in the Kandyan jewelry culture as once it was worn by kings and royalty on special occasions and it is used to distinguish the bride from others since only she is allowed to wear it. Till date young unmarried girls are discouraged from wearing it before her wedding day as according to local beliefs it brings bad luck upon her. Apart from the “Nalal Patiya” two circular shaped pendants that represent the sun and the moon  called “Ira, Handa“are also pinned to her hair on either side of the middle chain. They are thought to symbolize the hope for an eternal happy marriage.

The earrings worn by the Kandyan bride are called “Dimiti” and they are long hanging earrings with chains of pearls suspending from a upturned cup shaped base.


The most significant part of Kandyan bridal jewelry is the set on necklaces which traditionally consists of a “Karapatiya”, paddakkam necklaces, palakkan necklace, pethi male and agasti male. It is believed that the reason to wear so many necklaces is to word off evil eye from the bride.


Karapatiya is a choker necklaces of a sort with a large pendent in the middle.


A kandyan bride is supposed to wear 7 pendents (Hath male) on her wedding day and this includes the pendent from Nalal patiya, karapatiya and 5 pendents from the padakkam mala.  According to local beliefs these 7 pendents represents the blessings from seven generations of kin. All seven of these pendents are in most cases the same in design and traditionally these pendents would be in the shape of a swan or a pair of swans interlocked  called hansa pottuwa but this design can change from set to set.

Hansa pottuwa


The padakkam necklaces are a set of  5 necklaces with pendent which have minor size differences and with different length chains.

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Palakkan necklace is a long chain necklace with gold beads at even intervals.


Pethi male is the longest of the bunch and is made up of intricately carved floral designs. It is said that it represents a flower garland.


Agasti male is a long necklace made with agate stones but today brides opt for a variation called gedi male which is made with  different colored stones and pearls. Some even opt to wear both.

The Kandyan bride wears two types of bracelets namely seli walalu and gedi walalu. Seli walalu is a broad bracelet with intricate detailed carvings and can be embedded with gem stones and the gedi walau is made up of a string of beads. Other than the bracelets the bride wears the “Atha mudu walalu” which is a hand ornament  with a central pendent to which 5 chains are attached. Each of these chains are attached to a ring that goes on the fingers of the right hand of the bride.


Traditional brides wear an armlet made with small box like structures high on her arm which is said to ward off the evil. But today most brides don’t opt to wear it.

The last piece of jewelry worn by a Kandyan bride is the “Hawadiya” a chain like ornament which is draped around the waist on one side.  The design and details of this piece can vary largely with some being simply a chain with beads and some being a complex set of chains intertwined with different motifs.


The Kandyan bride is not only a treat to once eyes but a rare insight in to a tradition that has been passed down through centuries and numerous generations. She is a living representation of the essence of Sri Lanka and all that she is made up of.  So if you do come to Sri Lanka do try to crash a wedding party to witness this beauty in real life 😛

Feel free to comment down below what your thoughts are on the Kandyan bride and tell us about a bride that has stolen your heart !!

Until next time,

Happy travels.

Color Pout All Day Long!!!

Whether it’s a red pout or a purple we all LOOOOOVE our lipstick!! Some of us even rely on it to look presentable 😉 the right lipstick color can add so much character to a look and give us an instant confidence boost that we all deserve. BUT… what’s the one problem we all face regarding this magic confidence booster?

THEY DON’T LAST FOR LONG!!! Whether it’s a big brand product or a drug store product it never lasts long after applying!! Yes each brand has its own holding time but as a whole I still haven’t come across any product that can last for a considerable amount of time without any changes. So every now and then I have to engage in the tiring task of touch up.  And sometimes the situation is so that I can’t even do that. You can’t be dabbing your lips in the middle of a formal meeting.. can you?

A few days ago I faced this problem while attending a wedding.. By the time I entered the venue the awesome red pout I had was gone.. Disappeared.. Vanished. just Leaving this “ghost” of the original color… Not pretty at all!! Sooooo… I did a little bit of research about how to make your lipstick last longer after applying and these are a few easy tricks that I found that might help.


Who knew that you should exfoliate your lips before applying lipstick! (At least I didn’t) so basically you should exfoliate your lips lightly using may be a soft toothbrush to remove those dead skin before you go on about applying your favorite color.. (But don’t overdo it, because exfoliating too often may lead to dryness of lips. Do it may be once or twice a week)


Once you’re done with your exfoliation moisturize your lips with a lip balm and remove the excess balm. Removal of excess is crucial since if your lips are too oily the lipstick want stick.

Powder them lips

After you are done applying the lip liner and filling the lip with lipstick place a thin 1ply tissue on your lips and then using a soft brush dust a little bit of powder on top of the tissue. A minute amount of powder will go through the pores of the tissue and on to your lips to fix the lip color. Don’t apply too much powder or else it will form clumps and look dry after a while. One you are done with powdering apply a thin coat of lipstick again to seal the deal.

Stay Alert

Yes! STAY ALERT!! Don’t bite, lick your lips or wipe your lips or do anything that might transfer the color from your lips.

And most importantly,

Treat your lips right…

If your lips are dry, cracked or damaged the chances of lipstick lasting long on them are slight. So keep them lips healthy!! Use lip balm regularly, use only lip products that suite your lips and most importantly once your back home clean your lips properly to remove the remaining color. Also follow the basics such as Drinking water, avoid excess amounts of salty food that may lead to dryness of lips, avoid licking your lips (believe it or not licking dries your lips), and avoid pealing your lips (A habit that we all are not proud of).

Follow these easy rules and let your lips shine!!

Note- This is not a fault proof method sadly. So yah you will have to do touch ups with time. But it want be as much as before. That’s a relief right?

Hope this post is helpful and if you have any tips on this subject feel free to comment and let us know what you think…