Ironic as it is, Fiji Fashion Week’s first virtual showThis has allowed designers to express themselves and their products in a more personal setting.
FJFW was this week moved to cyberspace by COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown. showWith broadcasts on Fiji Television, on social media platforms simultaneously and corresponding digital initiatives on Communications Fiji Ltd. and The Fiji Times
Initially scheduled for May, FJFW 2021, sponsored by Palmolive, was intended to be a week-long affair featuring educational visits, cultural interchanges and charitable initiatives, in addition to three nights show.
FJFW realized that the second wave COVID-19 was going to be much longer than expected, and therefore a change in modeality was necessary.
Ellen Whippy-Knight, who was originally meant to travel from Australia to run the shows, realized that big changes were needed.
“Everyone moved online and I followed fashion shows all over the world which had become virtual as well and who were doing it quite innovatively. I realised it didn’t have to be tokenism and that if the team took on the collective vision, we could do something amazing for our designers,”Ms Whippy Knight said.
Three weeks of videos from 13 collections were shot at iconic tourist locations and special Suva locations.
A crew of 50 media production professionals, models, hair stylists, and designers, along with the FJFW finance team, travelled around Viti Levu during the changing phases border restrictions.
Fijian designers shot two collections of clothing in Australia.
Hosanna Kabakoro is a Cakaudrove girl in her second year FJFW.
Inspired by the style on Suva’s streets, Kabakoro said she was overwhelmed when watching her showThese aired on Day 2.
“Seeing the show on television and watching the work of not only my team but the FJFW planning and creative team, the camera and production crews, the models chair and makeup teams, was just spectacular,” Ms Kabakoro said.
“I think many thought that going virtual was a huge risk and a gamble. It was clearly evident this evening what a beautiful concept each designer has brought to the table. Everyone has been able to really showcase the beauty of their garments in a much more intimate environment, allowing people to feel very connected to each other’s designers and their clothing and their collections.”
Faiyaz Koya was the Tourism and Trade Minister at the Nadi-based viewing party designerTracey Farrington, who presented her first Fiji Made Resort Wear Collection at Day 2.
He said Fiji fashionWear created an expression that goes beyond just fashionBecause the industry allows customers to connect with a small part of our unique culture or tradition that is symbolic. “In my role, I am constantly reminded about how well regarded Fiji is when it comes to fashion and the impact that Fijian designers and fashion retailers have brought to existence,” Koya said.
“In culture, innovation, fashion, and creativity we enjoy 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 amongst others — which bring together a sense of place to create unique products.”
Brent Hill, chief executive of Tourism Fiji was also present at Farrington. He said he was proud to be a customer of Fiji. fashion brand. He hopes that tourism will continue to grow over time. fashionTourists can spend more in Fiji if they are employed in industries. This will help diversify the economy.
Provide employment and pathways for Fijians.
“I loved the show last night. It was so good seeing Fijian fashion being it’s own thing and that is colourful and adapted to our conditions which is undeniably islander,”Mr Hill said.
“From a tourism Fuhu perspective I want to always support Fiji.
“I want tourists to come here, be pleasantly surprised by how good our fashionWe continue to build our identity globally by purchasing homewares, artisan products, and homewares.
“So, I loved it. I bought some pieces and I’m very proud to wear FijiMade.”