NEWS

Prince Harry and Meghan in Fiji: Fijian-Made Pouch Complements Meghan’s $20,000 Outfit on Day Two

Megan Markle may have worn a top-of-range maxi dress, costing £1250 (about F$3473.69), or a bracelet costing £7300 (about F$15,643.50), but what stood out best was the $45-pouch she held
25 Oct 2018 11:39
Prince Harry and Meghan in Fiji: Fijian-Made Pouch Complements Meghan’s $20,000 Outfit on Day Two
The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle visits the Suva Market on October 24, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News

Megan Markle may have worn a top-of-range maxi dress, costing £1250 (about F$3473.69), or a bracelet costing £7300 (about F$15,643.50), but what stood out best was the $45-pouch she held onto throughout her official outings yesterday.

That pouch, some may call it a clutch, was made by Laisani Waqanisau. Not only could it have been the cheapest accessory that added to her outfit, but as Ms Waqanisau tells us, there is more to the pouch than meets the eye.

The handicraft lady sells her products at the Suva Handicraft Centre. She is the daughter of the late Finau Mara, widely known for her intricate designs in masi and weaving. If that couldn’t get any better, she says that her late mother also designed a folder which was handed over to the Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 when she came to Fiji.

Laisani Waqanisau holds her unique stitched clutches at Handicraft Centre on October 24, 2018. Photo: WATI TALEBULA

Laisani Waqanisau holds her unique stitched clutches at Handicraft Centre on October 24, 2018. Photo: WATI TALEBULA

Ms Waqanisau said she was shocked when she saw pictures of her pouch with the Duchess of Sussex on Facebook.

“I was excited when I saw it on Facebook. I was so excited that I called my sister to tell her,” said the woman from Komo Village, Kabara.

“The stitching is unique because no one else does that stitching it was taught to me by my mother.

“My mother also did the file folder for Queen Elizabeth when she came to Fiji. Knowing that my mother’s work is still alive and once again presented to a royal makes me emotional.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the University of the South Pacific. Photo: Selita Bolanavanua.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the University of the South Pacific. Photo: Selita Bolanavanua.

 

Ms Mara died in Papua New Guinea while representing Fiji at the 5th Melanesian Festival in 2014.

Though the designs on the pouch are sold everywhere at the centre, the distinct stitching on the pouch is what separates it from others’ work.

“Had I known that it would be given to the Duchess of Sussex then I would have prepared a basket that only my family makes,” she said.

“I am touched that the clutch that I stitched was given to the Duchess of Sussex.

“The war club that was presented to Prince Harry was made by my cousin who is from Ogea.

“The mat that was made for the royals was made by my cousin from Kabara and the flower that was given to the Duchess of Sussex at the Nausori International Airport in Nausori was made by one of my grandmothers.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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