Yolanda Aluwihare, creates seven yards of beauty inspired by nature

Using the age-old tradition of batik and hand painting, Yolanda Aluwihare creates contemporary art and design on silk. She speaks about the creative process that entails in an elegant saree that reflects seven yards of beauty.

A bold and innovative design inspired by nature worked on a silk saree. Opposite page, bottom left: Yolanda Aluwihare pays great attention to detail while painting. Bottom right: contrasting colours for a mix and match.

Using only pure silk, which Yolanda Aluwihare describes as the “queen of fibre”, the design is first conceived as an inspiration that she has drawn from nature. The five elements, formation of the clouds or various colours and shapes of coral be- neath the ocean are some of the sources that have inspired. Generally, the designs are abstract and are first drawn freehand on paper and then traced on to the fabric.

Having first started designing as a hobby in 1970, Yolanda never dreamt that her label would become a household name in Sri Lanka as well as many other parts of the world. “It was sheer hard work, determination and teamwork, which I believe brought my label to the top of the competitive world of fashion. I have to be grateful to my staff who has been working for years, they are the ones who gave me all the support to make my dream come true.”

While the colours, scenery, nature and art in Sri Lanka have inspired her, having been exposed to European design, art and architecture have also influenced her creativity that has resulted in a global style with a distinctively Sri Lankan identity. Colours are mixed and matched with great care, at times subtle pastel shades while on other instances bright and dark colours.

Once the painting of the saree is completed, it is art on seven yards of pure silk. Yolanda takes great pride in her achievements not only for her-self but also for her country.

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