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Monday, April 16, 2012

Sophia Kokosalaki supports Sri Lanka's lace-making ladies

Sophia Kokosalaki has collaborated with Asos on a collection of chic, affordable and ethically made clothes: Kore.

Kore, which means 'daughter' or 'maiden' in Greek, and features Kokosalaki's signature draping and ruching, her cool way with jersey, and a slightly retro wave print, makes sense on many levels.



The second part of the line is about to drop at ASOS. The first was in january 2012.
The collection is about a long-term collaboration between the designer and a community co-operative workshop in Sri Lanka. The collection works to provide a stable income for the all-female local who produce it and the co-operative also reinvests in the community though training and welfare programmes.
The lace trims and panels on the dresses and tops are handmade by the women in Sri Lanka.

"Issues concerning women have always been close to my heart, having grown up with a mother who, as a journalist, was a strong advocate of womens' rights," explains Kokosalaki. "After visiting Sri Lanka, our first support project under Kore is to work with the lace-making ladies to provide a regular income for them and their families. It is also important that Kore helps keep traditional handcrafts alive and viable in an increasingly mechanised world. It is our aim to build on these two major aspects in the future," she continues.

Lace making was first introduced to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century and developed by the Dutch towards the middle of the 17th century.

As a result, many of the lace-making terms used in Sri Lanka are derived from Portuguese. For example, biralu is the Portuguese word for wooden bobbin, while the word renda comes from the Portuguese reinda, meaning pillow lace.

See how the lace industry after the all destructing tsunami is developing in Sri Lanka.


Bobbin lace finds its origin in Italy and Belgium, Flanders around the 1560s. In Brugge there is a museum on bobbin lace and the tourist industry in Brugge is all about exporting this bobbin lace.

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