colombo 6 stratford avenue
Start your trip with lunch at Kopi Kade, Colombo’s foremost coffee specialists who also serve contemporary Sri Lankan food in an uber cool designed café. Cross the road carefully (it's very busy!) and head south to the upmarket homewares store of Gandhara which has a range of sophisticated Sri Lankan and international products with a nod to European styling.
But inside Gandhara is the real reason you’re here – another one of Colombo’s top-notch concept stores, The Design Collective. This well laid out store showcases more than 40 of Sri Lanka’s finest known and upcoming designing talent with a focus on female designers. You will find unique designer fashion ranging from swimwear to formal-wear (an alteration service is available), one-off designer jewellery (usually gold-plated silver and semi-precious stones with most designers available for custom orders), stylish handbags and purses, hand-made soaps, cards and much more. Brands include Navya, Nika by Rukshani, Nithya, Kantala Brands, Jai by Aashkii, Nimansé, Ruwini Jayarathne, Yathra Design and Buddhi Batiks.
Next door above Café Mocha (which also has decent coffee and light lunches) is Aaryaa, another Sri Lankan designer with comfortably stylish clothes, leather shoes and stunning range of gold-plated silver jewellery.
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