By FARAZ ALI
Last nights Emerging Designers Show at Fiji Fashion Week came abruptly to an end, as three designers needed to be removed from the programme for various reasons. The shorter show, however, was certainly full of potential, with designers leaning towards a more urban Pacific look. Indeed many of the garments presented could very easily be seen on the streets of any of the Pacifics major cities.
Here we present our opinion on the highs and lows of last night:
Rako Designs by Letila Mitchell
This was definitely a good effort by Mitchell who employed basic silhouettes embellished with subtle Pacific prints. It was not a stand out collection, but certainly a good start for the young designer and a great platform from which to develop her passion. The menswear was unnecessary and lacked any redeemable design element. We would suggest that Mitchell develops her skill in womens wear and takes greater risks next year.
AZA by Ali Zulfikar
I have no words to describe the elegance of this show. Never before has a designer of Indo-Fijian clothing presented such an opulent, glittering, inspiring collection at Fashion Week. It was a kaleidoscope of colours and gold embellishment, as well as detailed embroidery. The models just seemed to glide down the runway in absolute richness and boldness. Beautiful chiffons, silks, georgettes and velvet flooded the runway for an awe inspiring show. The men were not left out either, with striking velvet jackets and vibrant skinny leg pants being the high light. I know that I would like to own the newspaper jacket which was too fabulous for words! Our favourite collection of the night by far.
Rachran by Randeep
Unfortunate choice of colour and design. The jarring green, reminiscent of Kermit the frog, did no justice to these young designers efforts. The zig zag bottom crop top was a particular low light of the show.
DeeElle by Delores Hennings
Monochrome fabulosity! The shift styles, the polka dots in contrasting black and white, the stripes, and the mesh all came together to create a cohesive, strong, urban collection which I would love to see out on the streets. Fantastic, practical, everyday statement garments. However, my absolute favourite garment was the two piece, fully sequined, monochrome number. I also loved the gown that came out in the same fabric, but the two piece outfit was surprising and fabulous!
S.T.I.C.H. Fiji by FNU
A showcase of students efforts. Good job guys. Keep pursuing your dreams.
Amilalai Designs by Ami Petero
We found it difficult to find anything we liked in this collection. It seemed that in many cases, the word tacky was used to describe the garments. Also, there was no common thread in the collection that connected the various garments to each other. We would encourage the designer to find their voice, conceptualise a collection, and then go for it.
PNGianKALA by Sarah Todd
We felt like we had been transported to a fabulously fashionable Port Moresby of the future! We loved the way Todd so readily and with great passion embraced her Papua New Guinean heritage in prints and brought it forward into a modern street wear collection. He colour composition, the asymmetrical lines, the printed leggings fabulous!
VAKA Fiji by Rosie Semisi
There is a global trend in fashion right now of wearable art literally the printing of art works onto garments to be worn. The wearer basically becomes a walking canvas. It is fresh, funky, and a trend that will be around for some time. Semisi gets this trend and she has not tried to replicate it, rather she has interpreted it in a truly Pacific way. We even loved the Jackson Pollock-esque print that was lightly featured on certain garments. It was young, funky and relevant. Ladies, please, if you know whats good for you, go buy a VAKA Fiji piece this season!
VA.GA.YA by Yolla Johns
A very commercial collection that we thought that might have been better suited to the Resort Wear Show the night before. The design element was average, but definitely sellable. We imagine this designer will go on to stock in resort stores around Fiji.
SugarRose by Ashly Daunibau
Potential was the word thrown around after the show. Daunibau showed us a mixed bag of wearable garments, but again, the show lacked clarity of direction. Perhaps a bit more focus will assist her should she choose to show again next year.