ENTERTAINMENT

80 models For Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival

The models have been working hard to develop their walks, poses, turns, facial expressions and posture to exude the perfect runway attitude, all under the watchful eyes of international Fijian model Phillipa Steele.
03 Jun 2019 11:38
80 models For Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival
Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival models after rehearsals at the Grand Pacific Hotel. Photo: Asvin Singh

It’s five days to the future. That’s when the Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival launches, with an 80-model line-up from a family of unique individuals from diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, body types and abilities.

The past six months has been a journey from model castings and rigorous training for selection by Festival designers to walk their shows.

The models have been working hard to develop their walks, poses, turns, facial expressions and posture to exude the perfect runway attitude, all under the watchful eyes of international Fijian model Phillipa Steele.

There are plenty of stigmas surrounding the fashion industry in Fiji. People tend to see modelling as a shallow and superficial job.

The reality is that they’re a key part of the fashion shows, as they help bring a fashion designer’s vision to life. The festival models have not only learnt techniques for the catwalk, but have developed personality traits and strengths they will carry with them for life, having taken part in workshops for public speaking, confidence building, health and nutrition, teamwork and respecting each other’s differences.

The Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival prides itself on its values of diversity, inclusivity and excellence in everything it does. Everyone feels part of the festival family.

Bullying and discrimination between models has been part of the worldwide fashion industry for decades and the festival is part of the movement to change that, with a zero-tolerance policy which drops offenders from the model roster.

The traditional narrow view of modelling, featuring pale-skinned, small-sized women, is giving way to a new concept of inclusiveness.

Model manager Phillipa Steele, said: “I’m extremely proud of our models. I’ve seen them grow from strength to strength at each rehearsal. We try to emulate and incorporate a sense of family with our models as their involvement with the festival is not only limited to helping us showcase our designer and their garments, but also offers them an opportunity to network, to make friends and to generally showcase to Fiji and the rest of the world the beauty that exists in our country.

The commitment and passion that these models have shown at rehearsals over the past couple of months is bound to manifest itself into an amazing experience for our guests attending the shows. I’m excited for them to take to the runways, and I’m excited for you all to watch them take it.”

Joining the local model family are international Pacific Islander models, Fili Tapa from Tonga and Kepa Gaison from Hawaii, who attended the festival last year. Newcomers Louis Ova (Tonga/New Zealand), Farrel Keil (Samoa/New Zealand), Thierry Martel (Samoa/French Canada), Tau Samuels (Hawaii) and Tiana Halversen (Samoa/New Zealand).

Australia-based model Asinate Yaranamua will be returning to Fiji specifically for the festival. She is the first Pacific Islander plus-sized model to be featured in international brand campaigns for Bonds and Cotton On.

The Bottega Fijian Fashion Festival will be held at the Grand Pacific Hotel from June 7-9. Tickets for the shows are available by emailing bula@fijianfashionfest.com.

The Future is here!

Edited by Epineri Vula

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