Words: Tina Edward Gunawardhana
Designer Amesh Wijesekera advocates a shared wardrobe as he unveils a gender-fluid collection.
The triumph of feelings of empowerment over personal struggles laid the foundation for British born Sri Lankan design prodigy Amesh Wijesekera’s new collection ‘Flower boys’. Unveiling his SS2020 collection reveals “this has been a collection I have always dreamt about”. I am intrigued by the name of his collection. “Flower boy is a term I used to describe my inner child” he explains. “As a young boy I often found myself being silenced and tamed.
I could never understand why we had to live according to what society dictates and not according to our dreams and fantasies. I felt I had to live by the rules and that is something I never wanted to do”. Having faced the brunt of physical and mental abuse at an all boy’s school in Sri Lanka which he describes as being “a toxic environment”, purely because he grew up “feeling different”, for Amesh life turned better when he moved to the Academy of Design where he found freedom to express himself and as he says “I found my tribe and knew I could be my authentic self.
It was at the Academy of Design where I felt most safe and creative as I felt such a sense of freedom”. Those dark days of bullying had left an indelible mark on Amesh as he says “the endless bullying, ragging and attacking leaves physical and mental scars on its victims. Children have to be taught to be more tolerant and accepting. Above all they should be encouraged to celebrate our differences”.