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The Making Of The Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival

The Making Of The Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival
Models Jorja Naidu (siiting), Serenia Raura, Hanisi Hodge (siiting), Kyle Kava (siiting) with the Vou Dance Group who are part of the official entertainment for the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival. With a desire to bring attention to Suva as the global centre for Pacific fashion, the Festival aims to bring together all creative industry stakeholders to support this vision of Suva as a creative and dynamic city of creatives. Photo: Niyaaz Dean
May 22
10:00 2018

The journey towards the Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival has been, perhaps, one of the most exciting, traumatising, brilliant, painful, worthwhile experiences of my life. It has had all the makings of a good movie – drama, scandal, mystery, suspense, comedy, and eventual triumph.

Our team is working hard towards giving Fiji and our region the fashion industry platform it deserves in 2018 and beyond.

The Fashion Council of Fiji and in turn the Festival is of the strong opinion that honouring our heritage, and acknowledging the true foundation of our industry which was laid decades ago by pioneers such as Cherie Whiteside, and built on by icons like Tanya Whiteside, Zelda Thomas, Sandhya Nand, and the many hardworking fashionistas of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, is central to ensuring a solid and sustained growth for the future of fashion in Fiji.

Anyone who believes (and sadly many do) that fashion is “new” in Fiji is sorely mistaken.

Many successful designers of today did not get their break in the last decade, but indeed have been engaged in fashion business since as far back as the 80s. Zelda Thomas, Naina Sayed-Khaiyum, Hupfeld Hoerder, and Aisea Konrote who are household names of today were integral to the laying of our industry’s foundation. The Festival is proud to have them strongly affiliated with us and our vision for the future.

However in talking about our industry’s history we have never really truly discussed the most significant entity that has been there since the very beginning, and that continues to draw brilliant creative minds to it’s warmth.

This entity of course is our city, the capital, the rainy city, the gridlocked town, the concrete jungle, the Pacific’s economic hub, the cultural capital of the region, Suva.

Unbeknownst to a majority of us who live here in our own bubble of rain, horrendous traffic, questionable architecture, and endless cocktail parties, Suva is perhaps the most significant urban centre in Oceania.

It is the place where people come to to create, to think, to connect, and to just be who they want to be.

It is our own little New York, our own crossroads, our own urban experiment gone wrong that is now growing into a city that we can all be proud of.

Fashion has been at the centre of Suva’s identity for decades.

Every time anyone has a conversation about Suva they talk about how people dressed through history, and how what we wore then and wear today is a reflection of the societal condition in which we find ourselves.

We are a city that has told its story through fashion without even realising it. Suva is fashion.

We are now at a point where we need and deserve a fashion industry platform that can take us to the next level of growth.

We need to push boundaries, not just as designers, stylists, bloggers, hair and makeup artists, event managers, lighting technicians, models, and everyone else who is directly involved in the business of fashion in our fashion capital, but also the broader market.

It is time we ventured beyond what we find comfortable and looked at how we can tell our own stories through what we wear.

And Suva is the perfect place to do it.

The Fashion Council of Fiji and Bottega Gold Fijian Fashion Festival is committed to establishing Suva as the global centre for Pacific fashion, and to do this, we need everyone to get behind us.

Not only those who are engaged in creating fashion and fashion related products and services, but all of us.

Our clothes have always told our story; let’s take it up a notch.

The Festival Family looks forward to all the brilliant, elegant, outlandish, expressive, experimental street style during the week of the Festival. We invite you to join us in our celebration of Suva, our identity, and fashion.

Suva is fashion.

The revolution is here.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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