Scene-stealing creations! | Daily News


Scene-stealing creations!

Karma Collection Unawatuna - bags of fun for all age groups
Karma Collection Unawatuna - bags of fun for all age groups

Tivon and UK Interior designer Seema’s funky and fun Karma Collection at No 53, Leyn Baan Street, Galle fort and stunning Indigo shop in The Dutch Hospital, are inspirations from their amazing travels and visionary fashion collaboration. Seema created Crepe-ology and many other exciting new brands in the Galle Fort. Their latest collaboration that opens this week in Unawatuna, is a wonderful mix of both of these shopping experiences, with inspiring new gifts to take home as special memories, to pass on the karma of a wonderful trip.

Tivon, who swirls beautiful hand-embroidered dresses around the new shop, while he talks about where he gets his ideas from, makes me feel like a scene out of Pretty Woman, as he says try this darling it matches your colour combination, brings out your personality and vivacious spirit.

He explains that for him curated fashion is key along with the happiness of his clients as they say, ‘Wow! I didn’t know I would look good in hot pink,’ is for him the real rewards of the job for this amazing entrepreneur, whose ability to be daring started when he was small growing up in the village. “Village life simplicity makes one clear and honest about what works and what does not work and you should never sell something that makes a person look or feel bad.”

Colourful jewellery creations

He explains, as he shows me around the new collection that he describes as Boho Chic including the colourful jewellery creations that he gained ideas when he went to Colombo in grade 6, where he studied and loved the arts and sciences.

“I really enjoy working with different people darling” he says making me try on another daring pair of vibrant yellow earrings with tussles. “I love creating unique and beautiful things for people with a sense of adventure and fun.” I learn how he created his first jewellery collection for a wedding, when he was only 14 years old. He discovered, in the process of making a series of one-off beautiful pieces, that he loved mixing colours and different materials together to create a radical new looks that made the bridesmaids and the bride the stars of the day. Tivon says, “I started my working career with Saskia Fernando in Galle Fort in her Gallery at No 1 and loved learning from her international style and ability to see new ideas. From here, I moved from paintings into fashion for TPV and then KK Collection - two popular boutiques in the Galle Fort.”

Tivon, realising his gift for working with people and finding the fashion outfit that suited them, started to create his own collections and felt his next step must be to open his own business. “I really believe in the importance of good karma, having grown up the hard way. One understands that the only way to really go somewhere with your life is to channel positive energy, work with great people and have confidence in your vision however bold and out there. Working with beautiful fabrics, amazing Galle artists and artisans from all over the country, is so much fun I often have to remind myself that this is work, but it is hard when one is so passionate about every small detail including the lovely packaging”.

Tivon also realises that if we are all to be at one with nature, fashion needs to be sustainable, use natural fabrics and be the work of master craftsman, as handmade products carry the good karma of the makers unlike mass produced machine made things that feel lost in the industrial process of being a million dresses that all look the same. As a shopper and travel guru, you feel, as you walk around each space, like you are part of the process, a sentiment which has sadly been lost in the industrialised west.

Right partnership

Tivon explains, “The secret to success is finding the right partnership and I could not have a better one than with Seema, who was already in children’s fashion and a highly respected interior designer. We are a great mix of East and West with our eye for stunning new ‘up and coming’ talent, and love of customer service, which makes people want to return often, because all the products are either unique or bring out the clients personalities.” Seema is hot on quality and making sure that everything is finished to the highest level and meets international standards and Tivon who is all about working the shop floor and talking to people every day about the collection, it helps him predict where fashion is going for the next season. Anticipating the new trends and colours in the clothing industry has made the duo unbeatable, and so they decided to risk all earlier this year to launch everything you could possibly imaging in just one colour blue and as a result called their next venture at the Dutch Hospital Indigo. For them both, the blue of the tropical Sri Lanka sea and sky harks back to when Indigo was one of the hardest colours to create; being organic and not chemical, one feels a natural attraction for it. Tivon says, “It is incredible what you can create in blue, from duvet covers to curtains, cushion, rugs, table runners and dresses, to set off your Indigo interior designs we have blue covered from every imaginable angle”.

They recognise how much people love the ancient citadel and its UNESCO World Heritage values, which are reflected in everything they do, from the quality of jewellery, bracelets and other gift items, which include their hand-carved elephant painted dishes, decorated with tropical flowers and patterns. The concept of the third shop was to bring out the vibrant tropical colours of Sri Lanka and provide visitors with gorgeous evening wear to put on after a day at the beach, so they could enjoy in style an evening out. Tivon, who loves to add fluff and fun to everything he does, developed different size colourful pompoms to make a classic bag funkier and key-rings more fun. “I quickly learnt from our customers, that they like to meet the designers, see the owners and get advice on what suits them, as shopping should be an interactive experience in which you make suggestions, so the buyer, dances out of the shop with things that really suit them. Sometimes a plain outfit on a rack looks a million dollars on a person, but without this interaction clients often miss a magical dress that would make them look a million dollars”. Their boho chic approach has resulted in many reviews and a place that people love to come, for a fun afternoon or evening out.

Memorable gifts

“Through listening to my clients, I have tailored our collections to flowing dresses, tropical fantasy jewellery and colourful gifts, such as the simple wooden plates, which they can take home and use as wall decorations, as well as centerpieces for their dining room tables.”

Tivon loves each of the shops for different reasons and says that his clients, like him, are passionate about history and chilling at the beach and so, when the Dutch Hospital had a space in it overlooking the ancient trade route, he jumped on the opportunity to capture the real spirit of the ancient Silk Route of The Sea, by creating the first ever-Indigo fashion Shop. This was also a huge challenge at the start, as he had to pull together textiles and designers from all corners of the world to capture everything containing indigo blue. Like creating a beach concept it was a bold move and yet another well-researched decision when you analyse it, as his years of experience now show visitors to the fort that blue and not red or black are clearly Asia’s top selling colour. If someone wants to have a theme for a room, Indigo is perfect choice when you want your home to be a little slice of paradise.

Karma Collection Unawatuna opens this week at No 33, Walla Dewala road, Unawatuna and Tivon and Seema, who have branched out into chic travel wear are fingers crossed sure to draw in the crowds with this fabulous third shop, as Tivon feels that together they have integrated a great lifestyle collection that truly picks out the sand, sun and sea concept. Like their clients, they love to feel the sand between their feet and have clothes that will get you into the swing of a great holiday from the moment you hit the beach. Their customers, who love both fort and beach, will find this third shop a delightful combination of the two Galle Fort Collections, only with a tropical twist that every traveller will be intoxicated by.

Tivon explains as he hands me more stunning hand embroidered pieces with reds and blue tassles to try on, “We have gone for something bubbly and fun, with 1920s style tassel string dresses in different colours, sexy shapes that fit all, perfect for the popular beach parties that Unatwatuna is famous for. They have also created small counter gifts like the hand-carved painted elephants and bold accessories for bags. Whether hung from a bag or suitcase, they will turn a simple accessory or outfit into something different and wow. “Our philosophy with Karma Colletion in Unawatuna is to use superb quality, organic cotton, excellent finishes and our skilled team of Sri Lankan artisans. Tivon’s unique beach ware design ideas are produced with skilled local housewives providing great extra family incomes and a plethora of work for artists both famous and up and coming. Their secret - “Everyone is a VIP client”. Tivon, Seema and the team want you to find something you love so much you will pass on this love and good Karma that inspired them to join forces in the first place and create Karma Collections. They will make you feel from the moment you walk through the door the very essence of being a pretty woman, regardless of your age, shape or size.”

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