The Fiji Times »Fiji Fashion Week: the show goes virtual

As ironic as it is, Fiji Fashion Week’s first virtual show gave designers a more intimate setting in which to express their style and products.

Moved to cyberspace by the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions, FJFW is hosting its first online show this week with broadcasts on Fijian TV and social media platforms simultaneously with the corresponding digital initiatives on The Fiji Times and Communications Fiji Ltd.

Originally scheduled for May, the FJFW 2021 edition, sponsored by Palmolive, was to last a week with educational tours, cultural exchanges and charitable initiatives in addition to three nights of performances.

Despite earlier optimism that was followed by postponement, FJFW realized at the end of April that the second wave of COVID-19 would be longer than expected and that a change in modality pace was therefore needed.

Ellen Whippy-Knight, who herself had to travel from Australia to coordinate and direct the shows, realized big changes had to happen.

“Everyone was moving online and I followed fashion shows all over the world that had also gone virtual and were doing it in quite innovative ways. I realized that this shouldn’t be symbolic and that if the team embraces the collective vision, we could do something amazing for our designers, ”Ms. Whippy-Knight said.

For three weeks, videos from 13 collections were shot in iconic tourist destinations and distinctive locations in Suva.

A combined team of 50 media production experts, models, hairstylists and makeup artists and designers as well as FJFW’s finance and operations team have walked Viti Levu through the changing phases of border restrictions.

A model with one of the 8 designs by Moira Sauvalu. Photo: FIDJI FASHION WEEK

Two collections were photographed in Australia by Fijian designers.

Hosanna Kabakoro, a Cakaudrove girl in her sophomore year at FJFW was among 13 whose designs were shot on the coral coast at the plantation village of Myola.

Inspired by the style of the streets of Suva, Kabakoro said she was upset watching her show that aired on Day 2.

“Seeing the show on TV and watching the work of not only my team, but also the FJFW planning and creative team, film and production crews, model and makeup crews, was everything. simply spectacular, ”Ms. Kabakoro said.

“I think many thought that going virtual was a huge risk and a gamble. It was clearly evident tonight what a beautiful concept each designer brought to the table. Everyone was able to really showcase the beauty of their clothes in a much more intimate environment, allowing people to feel very connected to each other, to their clothes and to their collections.

Tourism and Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya attended the viewing party for Nadi-based designer Tracey Farrington, who presented her first collection of luxury Fiji Made clothing on day two.

He said fashion clothing in Fiji has created an expression extending beyond mere fashion as the industry connects customers to a part of our unique culture and tradition that is symbolic. “In my role, I am constantly reminded of how well-regarded Fiji is when it comes to fashion and the impact that Fijian fashion designers and retailers have created,” said Koya.

“In culture, innovation, fashion and creativity we have a unique advantage, we have great Fijian designers and brands – Duatani, NV Designs, House of Mausio, Robert Kennedy Fiji, Kuiviti Pacific and Hupfeld Hoerder Designs among others – which bring together a sense of belonging to create unique products.

Tourism Fiji Managing Director Brent Hill was also in attendance at the Farrington event and said he was a proud client of the Fijian fashion brand. He hopes that over time the tourism and fashion industries can increase the amount spent in Fiji by tourists, which in turn will grow the Fijian economy and diversify.
and providing jobs and pathways for Fijians.

“I loved the show last night. It was so good to see Fijian fashion being its own thing and being colorful and suited to our conditions which are unmistakably island-style, ”said Mr. Hill.

“From a Fuhu tourism point of view, I always want to support Fiji.

“I want tourists to come here, to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of our fashion, our household items and our handicrafts and to bring them home and to continue to develop our own identity there. global scale.

“So, I loved it. I bought parts and am very proud to wear FijiMade.

  • LICE MOVONO is a freelance journalist and public relations consultant.

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