A living mannequin | Sunday Observer

A living mannequin

'A model should be a living mannequin'
'A model should be a living mannequin'

Tall, lissome, golden skinned and strikingly attractive Harini Silva wowed the jury at the Top Model of the Year 2018 to bag the ‘First Runner Up’ title bringing recognition for Sri Lanka in the global modelling arena. The contest was held at Meraki Resorts by Sunrise Resorts and Cruise in Hurghada, Egypt. Harini had to vie for the coveted title with 40 other contestants from all over the world. Miss Peru was crowned as the ‘Top Model of the World’.

Having won the local ‘Top Model of the World’ in September 2018 where approximately 20 models competed for the title, Harini embarked on a course of training under her mentor, Sri Lanka’s ‘Angel of Fashion’ Brian Kerkoven. She was also guided by her other mentor Kamin Hewavitharana.

“I would not be where I am without these two gentlemen” says a grateful Harini. “They have given me so much of their time, knowledge and experience. Their encouragement and belief in me are great strengths to me”.

The contest was held on December 15, 2018. For the final round Harini paraded in a long, figure hugging gown of dull gold in a design which was very Egyptian. The dress created by Charith Wijesekera set off golden good looks to perfection.

According to Harini she never dreamt that she would bag the ‘First Runner up Title’ and her joy knew no bounds when she was declared the ‘First Runner Up’.

“It was a great learning experience “. This was my first international contest and I was nervous about contesting with foreign models as I had never done it before. But then I gave myself a shake and told myself I had done my best to face the challenge and I will give it my all. My self confidence soared and I faced the contest knowing I had done the maximum I could”. It did really pay off for this girl whose passion is fashion with the winning of the ‘First Runner Up’ title.

A fashion model should really be able to show the clothes she models to their best advantage says this 21-year- old whose passion is fashion. A model should be a living mannequin is Harini’s opinion.

For Harini, walking the ramp did not fall into her lap. She had to work hard, make a firm commitment to her chosen career and sacrifice much.

Fashion modelling had been Harini’s vision and mission from the time she was a child. Her inspiration and role model had been her mother Krishanthi, a former Beauty Queen who won the Miss Asia pacific Pageant in 1984.

When she finally decided on her career Harini was still a chubby teen. She embarked on a rigorous program to slim down. I found it hard to believe that the slim, young lady seated before me had ever been chubby.

Hanging out with friends, it was very hard just to stick to a coffee or lime juice while others were savouring mouth watering delicacies and teasing and laughing at Harini. But grit and detrmination is very much a part of Harini’s character and she stuck to her guns. She achieved her goal – a slim figure well complemented by her height.

In 2017, Harini started training with Brian Kerkoven. She also worked with Kamin Hewavitharana. Since taking to modelling she has walked the ramp for many a prestigious fashion show including Colombo fashion Week (CFW), Mercedes Benz and fashion shows by Moratuwa and Kelaniya universities.

Harini holds a Diploma from the Academy of design (AOD) and has worked as a Creative Designer at Volsquare. The diploma and work stint has undoubtedly enhanced Harini’s outlook on fashion and modelling.

Grooming, diet, discipline and exercise are vital for a model says Harini.

Harini has been a national swimmer and has represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Schools Swimming Championships twice and also at the Asian Swimming Championships. Her coach is Manoj Abeysinghe of Killer Whale Aquatic Club.

In dress, Harini prefers dresses and a more feminine look. She sets her own fashion trends and prefers loose, flowing lines in her clothes. Tropical designs and ethnic jewellery are very much in vogue in her wardrobe. She dislikes shorts and jeans - an unusual trait in a 21 century youngster. She is also careful about the cut and style of her clothes and makes sure there is no over exposure in what she wears.

“You do not have to follow fashion blindly. You must wear what makes you look good and feel good”.

According to Harini one of the most important things she has learnt in her modelling career is that black or dark complexions can be as beautiful as fair complexions. "People have a wrong idea about dark complexions - they think people like models should be fair. This is not so – dark complexioned people can be very beautiful.”

Harini is a past pupil of Gateway College. An only child, she lives with her business woman mother. Harini and her mother are very close and she says that her mother is her guiding light, strength and role model in her life.

Asked what advice she would give aspiring models Harini said, “You have to have a passion and commitment towards modelling. You have to have the correct training and guidance. Doing video shoots or posting pictures on Facebook does not make you a model overnight. Hard work, sacrifice and dedication is what pays off in the end.”

For relaxation Harini loves to listen to music, melodic house and progressive music being her preferred genre. This genre is mainly instrumental. She also reads especially books and magazines connected to modelling and fashion. As an only child she also loves to hang out with her friends. As a well balanced young lady committed to her chosen career and her striking looks Harini Silva is bound to make waves in the world of fashion and modelling.

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