Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Jungles and Jewels

I know I claim to be "born amidst the jungle" but no, my mother was not on a wildlife safari when her water broke. While being alive to tell that tale would have been way more epic than the truth, I was unfortunately born in a fairly metropolitan city that happens to be surrounded by jungles on the island of Sri Lanka (formally Ceylon for those that haven't taken Geography since the 80's) which I had the pleasure of visiting recently.

Anyone that has been to the island will tell you, without hesitation, that it is one of the most beautiful places they have ever seen. While the humans, as in most countries, are still trying to get it straight, all other living things seem to live in a beautiful state of symbiosis. Depending on the area, you can see coconut trees, rice paddies, monkeys, birds, elephants- all living and breathing peacefully together.

Natural beauty is definitely a factor that captivates tourists, but please believe- no one is flocking to this paradise island the get the inside scoop on the latest fashion trends. Sri Lanka has a good-sized textile industry, meaning there's a strong chance that  the tag on at least one of your shirts reads "Made in Sri Lanka". For that reason, the clothes in stores around the country consist of the 2-year-old overstock from off-brand clothing designers aka  nothing to report on Weirdochic.

What I found much more fascinating that the "current" trends at the local mall were the traditional costumes that are not seen anywhere else.

This, for example, is a group of Kandian dancers on their way to perform at a wedding. While they perform at several types of events, the costume is always pretty similar to this. How any one can make monkey ears look dope is beyond me but for that, I am infinitely jealous.



On the other end of the spectrum are the clothes worn in the comfort of a home. It's hotter than the Devil's private parts for most of the year so anything too heavy is impossible. Because one can get dresses like this at any street corner, my creepy obsession with the colors and patterns was met with confusion and concern by the people wearing them.



Remember- Sri Lanka may not be on the fashion week list any time soon but beauty and inspiration are everywhere so it's definitely worth a peek.


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