Menushi Jayathilake started her degree in Fashion and Textile at Academy of Design (AOD), being thankful to her wonderful lecturers who encouraged her in doing the best in every step of the pathway during the past three and a half years of college academics. The unforgettable college life of Menushi turned out to be a home of creative community based on diverse interests, talents and backgrounds through new perspectives and opportunities in advancing her interests on learning fundamentals of design by creating her final year major project collection by thinking freely on what she can do and cannot do with excitement of no doubt. End of the day, Menushi’s work made her look back on the achievement gave her satisfaction along with extreme happiness.
Questioning about her final year collection the main target was to create a ‘Women’s Wear Collection” with the style of being bold, bright and silhouette pieces that can be interchanged and layered. The inspiration was derived from an interesting fashion subculture found in Congo named as “Les Sapeurs” seen in Richard Mosses’s photo documentaries that inspires the “Congo Military Men” who used mix-match garments with military jackets, sweatpants, and hoods.
The two areas of interest came together with soft tailoring and detailing fusion with contemporary athletic trends to construct the silhouettes, with color and print which instantly updated and uplifted the collection to make it look more innovative, exciting and visually stimulating.
What was the first step to start your career in the fashion industry?
“I always loved art as long as I remember”. I was not very inclined to studies or to be studious, but I was always into the creative side as a young student, leading to my notebooks to be filled with random sketches and scribbles. I was also encouraged by my family, especially my grandmother who drew my interest in designing side through sewing and creating lace helped me further develop my interest in the field with no doubt. The philosophy “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you. But you decide what you are- Italian fashion designer, Giovanni Versace” made me be who I am in creating my own sufficient designs.
Also, when it comes to fashion it is not a field of study where you have to sit and learn its all about to be outside seeing and experiencing new things around you to get inspired and stimulated in finding new techniques to be applied onto the silhouettes to bring an endless exciting experience.
What are your interests in fashion?
My interest in fashion is to develop the chance of interpersonal skills such as sewing and making skills with the guidance of proficient Software’s made me achieve the maximum outcome of developing my key skills such as drawing, researching, print-making, styling and creative thinking by making me go crazy with fashion in terms of “You can never be overdressed or overeducated-Oscar Wilde”
The designs are no doubt good enough; who and which things were your inspiration while creating the designs?
There are many artists who inspired me to pave the right pathway in creating the designs deriving from the topmost recognized designers to Vaughn paintings, Wolfgang Weingarten Typography and few Menswear Collection helped me to get the right inspiration through creating the silhouettes with relevant color palette and prints to bring out the chosen theme look to frame up the clients with a purpose of marketing the silhouettes through an immense confidence and interpretation skills.
Do you think fashion and culture are connected to your collection?
Yes, I think my designs are made to go on and on with the Sri Lankan and Modernized culture which interprets the needs of cultural practices, beliefs, values and ethnic differences that marks out exclusive ethnic conflicts, in turn, influenced me with different ideas, to have the necessity in not limiting myself with restrictions followed up by the customs and traditions throughout the years related to my current trend inspirations.
Looking at the collection “What could you have done differently”?
I wouldn’t have done anything differently but I would have appreciated myself in elaborating the designs more from the current standard to still bring out an implacable finish.
Designer Tip- “Do what you like and like what you do, if you don’t love what you do you’ll never be able to succeed in your career”
Brand name- DONA SHI
By: Harthika Ganeshan