The London Pacific Fashion Show preview event
Last night we were invited to an exclusive preview of the forthcoming Pacific Fashion Show. Over a dozen designers and several dance groups from the south pacific are in town to put on what looks set to be a dazzling display of their unique culture, showcasing the region’s artistic talents.
The event is in aid of Help for Heroes Band of Brothers. The Band of Brothers offers life-long support and opportunities to servicemen or women who have become wounded, injured or sick during, or as a consequence of their service in the current conflicts.
Over 3000 soldiers, both males and females, originally from Fiji are all currently contracted to the Ministry of Defence in the UK. “Due to operational commitments in the Gulf and in Afghanistan, many have suffered severe injuries whilst some lost their lives as they were killed in action.”
Fittingly we were gathered at The Wellington Barracks in St James Palace, overlooking the Royal Buckingham Palace, and were joined by Lt Col Jalland who presented medals to each of the main contributors to the show.
His Excellency Fiji high commissioner, London, Mr Solo Mara, introduced the designers, namely Shona Tawhiao, who is a Maori fibre artist and designer based in Avondale, Auckland. She is particularly skilled at traditional Maori weaving, and finds inspiration from all forms of Maori art.
Lindah Lepou’s work can be described as a fusion of New Zealand/Samoan heritage and French haute couture, coining the term, “Pacific Couture”. Linda’s work has travelled all over the world to represent New Zealand and The Pacific, in many international beauty pageants such as Miss Universe and Miss World, and has been invited to show in International Events, New York Fashion Week, Dubai Fashion Week and The Louvre Museum in Paris.
Jeanine Clarkin, who already has an A-list following in her home country of New Zealand, uses contemporary Maori images with a mixture of textiles to create her signature style.
Sistah S’pacific, also from New Zealand, uses precious materials from the pacific, mixed with recycled and found materials, such as shark’s teeth, bone, cloth, semi precious stones, hair, coconut shells and seeds to create her hand-crafted body adornments and costumes. Four of Fiji’s top local designers are among the 13 designers set to showcase their craft on the catwalk at the main event this Friday. The show will also feature work from award-winning Fijian designers Adi Koila Ganilau McBride, Hupfeld Hoerder and Coral Coast-based Robert Kennedy. Also displaying their work will be Jackie Naylor, Mele Kohncke, Natasha Lewis, Kabure Blake, King Af’a and Akirka Chic.
Guests were treated to entertainment from dance group Oneroar who performed traditional synchronised Polynesian dance routines.
Extending their hospitality, we were also served a delicious buffet of South Pacific cuisine.
The main event is due to take place on 5th October, 6-9pm, at The Salvation Army Theatre, Oxford Street, London. Tickets are £25 and all profits will go towards the Help for Heroes Band of Brothers charity.
Photo: Martina Lukešová