Kavita on a fashion journey to Colombo | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Kavita on a fashion journey to Colombo

Kavita with her designs at a show in Singapore
Kavita with her designs at a show in Singapore

Kavita Thulasidas who is of Indian origin, is a Singaporean fashion designer and is the Creative and Managing Director of Stylemart Bridal Collection Pte Ltd in Singapore since 1999.

She studied in Perth Western Australia at Prebyterian Ladies College and moved to live in France and returned to Singapore in 1998. Kavita has designed ranges for many celebrities from Hollywood to Bollywood stars and from royalties to politicians around the world.


Kavita Thulasidas  

This evening, Kavita Thulasidas will present her latest collection at a major show at the Hilton Colombo, organised by her friend Anita Dorai, a Singaporean based in Colombo, together with several business partners in Sri Lanka.

On Friday as Thulsidas landed in Colombo, we caught up with her for a chat, where she spoke about her first fashion show in Colombo, her latest fashion inspirations and her plans to open up a store in the city.

She was joined by Anita Dorai, the presenter of the show, who is also a Singaporean of Indian origin who has long been an ardent fan of the glamour industry who now calls Sri Lanka home.

Anita is married to businessman Prithiv Dorai and has plans to stage many fashion and other showbiz productions on a regular basis in Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka has so much culture from the past, from mythological stories, to colonial buildings. It has lush thick forests and fertile lands with so much possibilities as well as a fast paced growing city. The past mingled with so much hope of possibilities for the future. All this contrast was so thrilling and I drew my inspiration for this collection from that experience,” Thulsidas she said in an interview with the Business Observer.

Excerpts from Kavita Tulsidas’ interview:

Q: How did you become part of this unique fashion show to be held in Colombo?

A: Anita and I are old friends from Singapore and she invited me to feature my collection in Colombo. She has attended many of my shows in Singapore and was keen to bring a homegrown flavour of Singapore to the Colombo fashion scene.

Q: Colombo is not yet a fashion hub compared with other Asian cities. Why did you think of taking up this challenge? And how do you see the changing trends/potential here?

A: The fashion scene in Colombo is a new niche market with fresh prospects. It’s in its formative stages. It has a lot of potential and the challenge makes it even more exciting. After doing fashion shows in Singapore for over 25 years, I feel it is time for the Stylemart brand to launch itself regionally.

Q: Where do you get your inspirations when you are designing your collection?

A: In a creative industry inspiration comes from within. It is a reflection of my experiences and thoughts. Through books and travel, visiting historical places, that’s what inspires me. I admire the architecture and stories of an era; it feels like a travel through time. I meditate and I turn to nature to relax. All of this keeps my creative juices alive.

Q: For this collection, where did you get the ideas from? Why did you choose them?

A: I came to Sri Lanka for the first time in Dec 2017. I was with a group of friends who came for some charity work here in Sri Lanka and I must say I was very intrigued and just loved Sri Lanka. It has so much culture from the past, from mythological stories, to colonial buildings. It has lush thick forests and fertile lands with so much possibilities as well as a fast paced growing city. The past mingled with so much hope of possibilities for the future. All this contrast was so exciting and I drew my inspiration for this collection from that experience. Drawing from experiences of the past to create new possibilities of a promising future is my inspiration for our collection The Threads of Time.

Q: If you take Sri Lanka, what are you most inspired with? How much can you take from our culture, for your future collections?

A: The Sri Lankan culture is a potpourri, an amalgamation of many different cultures both from the east and west. I love that blend of old and new, east and west. This cross culture gives Sri Lanka a unique identity of its own. It brings out the best of both worlds. It’s an identity that is a mix of old world charm, of class and sophistication yet true to its cultural identity and modern in its outlook. We can draw so much from them.

Q:Which celebrity have you enjoyed working with the most, and what did you design for them?

A: There are a few Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities that I have had the opportunity to dress. Some have by chance found my store or by recommendations when they are on vacation or through event sponsorships. But these are few and rare in Singapore. Many royalties and influential politicians are my clients; I don’t try to ride on their popularity so I won’t name them. I don’t think it is fair since they are my clients.

Q: What are your must-haves in your wardrobe?

A: Cocktail dresses and a pure handloom silk saree is a must in my wardrobe.

Q: Sri Lanka is a major apparel manufacturer, supplying to leading global brands. How do you think the local industry should take the maximum advantage of this plus point?

A: There is a lot of skilled labour in this part of the world, and supplying and manufacturing for international brands creates a work culture that puts effort and importance on good finishing and quality.

Q: How do you think Sri Lanka can promote its own brands?

A: We need to be proud and embrace all fractions of the community and culture that we call ours. We should be proud of our own and not try to mimic the West; it’s only then that we can create a style and an identity for Sri Lankan brands.

Q: Despite major advancements in business and technology the fashion industry is yet to take the advantage of it. How do you think technology can be used to change the next generation of fashion designers and the industry?

A: Fashion technology has already taken over in so many aspects and it will continue to advance.

Q: Our countries are now having all sorts of trade agreements with other countries? Do you think these can be supportive of new joint ventures between or among fashion designers in the region?

A: Yes absolutely and hence I am here too. I am hoping to have a store presence here in Colombo soon.

Q:How can we think of more industries related to the fashion industry in the future?

A: Accessories, beauty and magazines are all part of the fashion industry. Home-ware and furnishings and interiors, is also a big part of the fashion industry today.

Q: Any last advice for talents and brands out there on how to leverage technologies and platforms to grow their businesses and market reach?

A: Create your own identity and don’t mimic the west. We have rich culture and tradition behind us. Acknowledge it and embrace it to create an identity that is your own. Yes use technology, everybody does, but don’t leave behind the Art in design. There are no short cuts only hard work can win. 

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