Sri Lanka’s fashion scene is changing. Traditionally, retailers considered the country as a manufacturing hub, meaning its designers fell under the radar. Now, local newcomer Amesh Wijesekera, Sri Lankan fashion designer, has become known for his colorful designs combining local handwoven textiles with dead-stock fabric to create distinctive pieces. Their work is all about celebrating a new version of Sri Lanka and the representation of South Asian beauty.

Wijesekera’s vision is a modern take on artisan handloom fabric, a Sri Lankan heritage craft not often seen on international runways. Sewn into loose-form coats, jackets or trousers, Wijesekera’s designs fuse his heritage with Western silhouettes and are made to be worn by anyone irrespective of gender as seen at his runway shows.

A model walks the runway at the Mercedes-Benz presents Amesh Wijesekera show during Berlin Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019

Amesh Wijesekera Berlin Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019

He never really understood labels in general. He just want to create beautiful shapes and colors. Whoever wants to wear his can wear them either women or men. He consistently showcases models of darker complexions, who are friends or people he has scouted on his own. “(They are) never from agencies,” he said. “I am a dark brown person with frizzy curly hair and that is all part of my identity; my idea of beauty.”

_D5K2535_20190115101515790_20190115102300.jpg Amesh Wijesekera Ready To Wear Fall Winter

Models walk the runway during the finale of the Mercedes-Benz presents Amesh Wijesekera show during Berlin Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2019

By collaborating with local artisans in almost every element of his designs hand-looming, knitting, crocheting, printing so, he is able to support a centuries-old craft and think sustainably. When he creating a collection, he go to their homes in the weaving villages and work together. They have all the knowledge on the craft and craftsmanship and he bring the new ideas with the designs.

Spring-Summer 2020 collection

A shot from "Flower Boys" SS20

Spring-Summer 2020 collection, “Flower Boys” The shapes aren’t overly feminine or overly masculine