Compact Traveller by KÛR
The story and SS19 collection ‘Compact Traveller’ by KÛR is a collaboration between a New York based, Sri Lankan designer Kasuni Rathnasuriya and Shannon Wise, a musician, lead singer, songwriter, and bass player from The Shacks.
KÛR is a contemporary womenswear clothing line launched in 2009. The product is based on Dutch handmade lace which is a unique craft preserved in parts of Europe and the coastal region of southern Sri Lanka. Made by the traditional craftswomen with family heritage.
The SS19 collection was recently presented during New York Fashion Week.
In this interview we speak with Kasuni and Shannon about the recent, fantasy, dreamy like photoshoot, the SS19 collection, and music.
"I met Shannon at a restaurant, and we immediately clicked together. She was one of the most attractive persons I’ve met".
— Kasuni Rathnasuriya
What was the concept for this photoshoot?
K: Shannon and I are working on our own crafts in two different platforms such as music and fashion. We wanted to bring our contemporary backgrounds to create beautiful artwork. It’s more of a fantasy and a dream when two creative individuals come together to create artwork without boundaries and integrate mutual skills and ideas. It’s more of interpreting "Fashion and Music" combo in a visual art form.
How did you meet Shannon and how was it to direct a musician in the fashion photoshoot?
K: I met Shannon at a restaurant, and we immediately clicked together. She was one of the most attractive persons I’ve met. The moment I heard that she is a musician, I visualized the images. I saw the unique beauty in her. As a musician she has a great taste for clothes, she loved the concept, and I didn’t have to direct her much. It was so mutual, both of us knew what to do. She was very supportive and kind.
How would you describe the SS19 collection by KÛR? Who is the woman wearing the styles, what does she do in life, what is she dreaming about in your opinion?
K: SS19 collection “Compact Traveller” represents a hybrid collection of business casual and leisure looks. Most of the looks are injected with Sri Lankan handmade lace which is made by craftswomen with family heritage. The collection symbolizes the strong and confident woman who is professional with an affinity for work, travel, and exploration. She is an independent woman with a creative mind. In this photoshoot, Shannon represents the leisure looks in a more contemporary way.
Having experience of living in different cultures and parts of the planet how does it affect your approach to fashion and creativity?
K: I am a Sri Lankan living in NYC, and I travel a lot. The diverse background I have helped me to understand people and their values. Whenever I meet a creative individual, I learn something new.
The fact that I know there is an infinity of creativity around us makes me humble, and that is good for my craft.
What does the word KÛR mean?
K: KÛR stands for initials of my full name :) I wanted my clothing line to be simple yet unique, and to reflect my own vision of what I see, hear and feel.
"I didn’t have a lot direction from the Designer on how to pose or what to do. I feel pretty comfortable being photographed, especially when I get to just chill and play guitar!"
If you would choose a song from The Shacks latest album that fits the mood of the photoshoot which one would it be and why?
S: I think that our song “Haze” would fit the mood of this photo shoot pretty well. It is a sleepy, dreamy song that reminds me of lounging around my house, which is where the photoshoot took place.
In one of the images, you hold a bass guitar. Does it happen that you also play bass? HOw did you start your music career?
S: I grew up in a family of musicians. My dad had his recording studio above our apartment when I was little, so music was a part of my life from early on. I first learned to play piano and guitar, and later I picked up bass. These days, I am the lead singer and bass player for my band, The Shacks.
What is the most important thing in life that one should never seize experiencing in your opinion?
S: I think that the most important thing is to always be loving and accepting of yourself, and to do the things that make you happy.
What music do you usually listen to? Which are your favourite albums from last year?
S: I listen to all kinds of music, I don’t have a favorite genre. But, some of my favorite albums last year were: