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Big Festival To Portray The Art Of Fashion

Big Festival To Portray The Art Of Fashion
A model showing a design by Rachel Fairfax. Ms Fairfax has been in fashion for over ten years and has showcased her work in Australia as well
May 12
11:03 2018

The month of May will probably be the busiest for the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival—not only for the or­ganising team, but also for the designers, the models, the make-up artists, the photogra­phers and other industry stakeholders .

With many other elements incorporated into the festival, the festival is more than a fashion show.

It is Fiji’s peak industry platform aimed at bolstering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the creative arts sector.

With features such as the ‘fashion mall’ and the ‘shop now’ on the live streams, our 24 de­signers, as well as the locally-based companies showcasing their products in the fashion mall, aim to take their businesses to the next level.

The organising committee sees it as an op­portunity to help facilitate the strengthening of the industry with its stakeholders.

As the build-up to the festival continues, the committee talked to two designers all set to feature at the festival—both of whom belong to the ‘Moana’ category of visiting designers.

This week, we are featuring ‘RFX Designs’ by Rachel Fairfax who now resides in Australia, and ‘Retima House’ by Renuka Kumar who lives in New Zealand.

Both Ms Fairfax and Ms Kumar were born and grew up in Fiji and have very close ties with Fiji and the Fijian fashion industry.

‘RFX DESIGNS’ by Rachel Fairfax

Tell us a bit about yourself and your back­ground?

“My name is Rachel Fairfax, I have been in the fashion industry for the past ten years as a designer.

I am Fijian and have been showcasing my work in Fiji for the past ten years.

I have also showcased in Sydney, for Mercedes Benz fashion show, for resort wear. I am mar­ried, and have three daughters, who inspire me everyday.

My husband is a very generous and support­ive man, always encouraging me to do well. Without the support of my family, it would be very difficult to continue my love for fashion design.”

How did you first get interested in Fashion?

“Growing up, I always loved fashion and shoes. This much was pretty evident from a very young age. But living in Fiji was hard for most of us who had the passion but lacked an outlet.

My dreams came to life when the fashion week started ten years ago, I will always be grateful for that.”

What is your definition of fashion?

“Fashion is art; without art, the world will be dull.”

What motivates you as a fashion designer?

“I get inspired by the continuous change and revolution of the fashion industry and its trends.”

How do you stay up-to-date with fashion?

“I keep up-to-date by traveling and also at­tending fashion events in different parts of the world to keep up, when I get the chance.”

What are you fascinated by at the moment and does it influence your work?

“My fascination at the moment is with linen. I have just discovered that linen can be used in various ways.

It really hasn’t been used much on the cat­walk. It has always been used as casual and summery clothing. But that’s all charging now.”

Where do you see yourself/your brand in ten years time?

“In ten years time, I would like to see my designs in a few big outlets or even owning a few boutiques of my own in different parts of Australia.

If that all goes according to plan, maybe globally as well. That would be a dream come true.”

What drew you to show your designs at the Fijian Fashion Festival?

“I am one of the trustees of the Fijian fash­ion festival. This is our first year, so I had to showcase on our own platform.

This platform is not restricted; designers are given the freedom to show their work as they want to.”

What do you do in your free time?

“I really don’t have any free time, as I said, I have three kids. So most of my time is dedicat­ed to them, and the rest to fashion. Wouldn’t change a thing about it though.”

What are some comments that you’ve

received that sound like compliments but are actually insults?

“I have received some comments in the past, but I can’t remember because I never see it as an insult.

“I take it as a constructive criticism. It is hard to please everyone in this business. Eve­ry individual has a different taste.”

If you could choose only one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“I don’t just have one song, but I could listen to Michael Jackson for the rest of my life.

He really changed the thought of people through his songs and also fashion.”

Any Advice for young and aspiring designers?

“Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. If you are serious and have the love for it, work hard and pursue your dreams.

You would never know if haven’t given it your best shot.”

Retima House’ by Renuka Kumar.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your back­ground.

“I was born and was brought up in the Jet Set Town of Nadi but currently; I am living in New Zealand having lived here for the past 18 years.

I am also a student of the New Zealand Fash­ion Tech where next year, I will be complet­ing my Diploma. I have also done a couple of fashion shows and have also collaborated with other designers as well.”

How did you first get interested in Fashion?

“I have always had an interest in fashion since I was a child and loved to dress up others with my designs. My mum is a seamstress and she used to sew my designs and bring them to life.”

What is your definition of fashion?

“Fashion is a form of self-expression, and incorporates a certain ‘style’, which enhances the individual body shape resulting in confi­dence and ease.”

How do you stay up-to-date with fashion?

“By going on YouTube, attending fashion shows, beauty pageants and browsing through magazines.”

What are you fascinated by at the mo­ment and does it influence your work?

“My interest and influences for this cur­rent season entails bold prints, bright col­ours with a Pacific Island essence, fused with contemporary color and silhouettes.”

Where do you see yourself your brand in ten years time?

“Looking forward, I would like to see my label mature and look to expand my global market and delivery capabilities.

I also aim to continue to deliver fascinat­ing designs to my client base and continu­ing to be a source of happiness through my designs.”

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?

“Motivation and dedication is the key to success.”

What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?

“Acknowledging that I needed to improve my skill set by continuing my technical knowledge within the industry and re­turning to school to gain qualifications.

What drew you to show your designs at the Fijian

Fashion Festival?

“Being a Fijian living in New Zealand, it was the first place I wanted to share my brand and ideas with.”

What do you do in your free time?

“I love listening to soothing music, watching my daughters practicing their performance pieces, browsing on YouTube and designing.”

What are some comments that you’ve received that sound like compliments but are actually insults?

“I find the best way to grew as a designer, is to take onboard all kinds of feedback because I’ve found it to be the best way to improve—self-reflection.”

If you could choose only one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Music is like fashion in that it changes with time.

I think I would like my song to change and grow with me.”

Any Advice for aspiring and young de­signers?

“Nothing can be achieved overnight; you need to work hard to get to your goal.”

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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