Island News

Style McBride

Written By : VASITI RITOVA. The first time a Fijian designer was allowed to participate in one of New Zealand’s most illustrious fashion shows, a flag Koila McBride waved with
25 Jul 2009 12:00

image Written By : VASITI RITOVA. The first time a Fijian designer was allowed to participate in one of New Zealand’s most illustrious fashion shows, a flag Koila McBride waved with pride.
Style Christchurch 2008 had a designer list that included McBride as “international guest designer”. She wowed the audience with her refreshingly colourful collection and easy, breezy fabrics.
Today, the Cakaudrove lass’ excitement is peaking – she is going there for the second time, with a promise of “lots of colours and prints”.
Her talents do not end there – she has been tasked to dress Miss New Zealand for the Miss World 2009 contest. Her unique label “Marama Dina (Real Woman)”, has now, just like her name, become a flag for her, her family and Fiji.
One person is particularly excited.
Crack artist and designer, Andhy Blake, son of John and Otila Blake of Vunimono, Tailevu, has helped make the selection for McBride’s talent.
As Coordinating Director of Miss World New Zealand and stylist for the wardrobe of Miss World New Zealand to Miss World 2009, Blake said the selection of garments from one of Fiji’s finest designers was made with a lot of support.
“Adi Koila McBride’s “Marama Dina” label has been selected to provide part of the casual wear wardrobe that will be worn in London, Dubai and South Africa during the Miss World 2009 Contest.”
“The “Marama Dina” label made its debut and mark in the New Zealand Fashion Industry by showing a collection at New Zealand Cup and Show Week’s Premier Fashion Event, Style Christchurch.”
“Reigning Miss World New Zealand, 18 year old Magdalena Schoeman is very excited to be wearing outfits from one of Fiji’s top designers and is hoping to showcase the garments well when she takes on the World from November 12th.”
“Miss World 2009 will be staged in three continents, London (Europe), Dubai (Asia and Middle East) followed by the crowning in Johannesburg, South Africa,” Blake added.
McBride is elated and that’s an understatement. She is looking forward to the job and has started drawing and planning.
“Yes I am very excited,” she told Island Life. “To have been chosen as the Fiji designer to design four casual dressy outfits for Miss New Zealand to the Miss World is a major achievement,” she said.
“My designs are for people who recognise and identify with the brand as one that encompasses all tastes and occasion and whilst they are uniquely Fijian, they are classy Fijian tastes.
McBride was modest about her ideas and talent.
“I guess they liked what I showcased last year with my choice of colours and prints which would be the coral prints,” she said. “The Masi prints with colours richly define the flora and fauna of our beautiful country.”
She then began showing some of her best creations and promised that her designs for Miss New Zealand to the 2009 Miss World contest will be fresh and up-market.
“I will be designing totally new themes for her for the Miss World with beautiful colours to represent Fiji.”
For a young designer who has gone public about inheriting the art from just merely watching her family at work and play, McBride and her talents have now made its mark, just like her inheritance as grand-daughter of two Presidents of Fiji.
She is the eldest daughter of Minister for Defense Ratu Epeli and Adi Ateca Ganilau, both of who are children of the late Turaga Tui Cakau Ratu Penaia Ganilau and the late Turaga Tui Nayau Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.
She once said her grandmother, the late Marama bale Roko Tui Dreketi, Adi Lady Lala Mara, bought her a plastic sewing machine that she tried her creations on at a fairly young age.
Her grandparents brought her drawing pads and paints when they returned from their many overseas trips – something that prodded her to start creating little pieces of things.
And then she began watching an aunt Adi Kakua, design and sew her own clothes. That was easy because her aunt became a well known Fijian model.
McBride’s Christchurch showcase began at the peak of Blake’s achievements at the glamorous event.
Their blender rolled together as one and inter-twined with sstyle, glamour and top Fijian and New Zealand thinking and fashion.
Style Christchurch finds its inspiration from the World of Aviation and because Blake had wanted to become a pilot, a lot of attention reportedly centred on that bit.
He approached Christchurch City Council to produce a high fashion event to celebrate high fashion in the Canterbury region. He wanted local designers to make a splash.
He developed a major concept and got to work with one of New Zealand’s top branding agencies. A major PR firm began to do the marketing and make a bid for its stay-put image in New Zealand.
Style Christchurch will again showcase all the creativity and glamour of Kiwi fashion in an exciting party style atmosphere and the unique Fijian label by McBride will be out there.
The epic Designer Collection Show is the official fashion event of New Zealand Cup and Show Week and will present Summer ‘09 and Winter ‘10 collections by 11 of New Zealand’s top fashion designers, including Nom*D, Huffer and Sakaguchi.
McBride is down as “Special Guest, Fijian Designer, Koila McBride”.
It’s going to be a huge Style McBride, a lovely wrap the Koila way, to fly the flag for Fiji at the 2009 Miss World contest and to honour the memories of those who have helped create her in life.

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