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Orders, Proposals Pour In: Aisea Konrote

Designer, Aisea Konrote, believes he has come full circle on his fashion journey. “I am in a perfect place in my time now,” he said during the launch of his Dreaming wear in Suva. But he will not rest on his laurels – not just yet.
09 May 2022 16:00
Orders, Proposals Pour In: Aisea Konrote
Examples of evening-elegance from Aisea Konrote’s Hefrani Dreaming wear. Photo: DDV Media and PR

Designer, Aisea Konrote, believes he has come full circle on his fashion journey.

“I am in a perfect place in my time now,” he said during the launch of his Dreaming wear in Suva.

But he will not rest on his laurels – not just yet.

 

“I am a dreamer,” the early 2000s Viti Versace collection designer said.

“I don’t restrict that part of me.”

“But I admit, I have a weird imagination, which comes out in my designs.”

 

Mr Konrote has evolved from his early days of earthy hues, to a courageous shift that demonstrates stronger, more flamboyant and bold designs.

His most recent show at Tanoa Plaza, Suva, featured loud shades of red, yellow, peach and black as main colours.

There were polka dots, stripes, dream catcher pendants, and the unconventional choice of models.

 

For those that follow Mr Konrote’s designs, the uneducated summary of his recent selection was as odd as it was intriguing.

“I’ve moved inwards – to me,” he said. “I know who I am as a person and a Pacific islander – and that’s what you see in my work.”

“Some models were short or my higher standards fat fat, but that’s exactly how I wanted it.”

 

“I had it my way, for a change.”

Ahead of his time Mr Konrote could be described as an artist who is ahead of his time.

One such example was when he conceptualised pieces designed out of inflated helium balloons.

 

“I was going to throw in Michael Jackson’s Thriller theme, with smoke from dry ice,” he said.

Some doubts and reservations were expressed at the time, until he received information that something similar was pulled off elsewhere.

“That’s when I said, ‘I should have just gone ahead and done it’,” Mr Konrote said.

 

Glitter
The Rotuman native, who grew up in Barara, the interior of Nadi, has since received two business proposals and an increase in orders following the success of his latest show, where he put together 20 pieces.

“I usually do more,” he said.

A former flight attendant who took to the fashion runway before he honed in on his designer skills, Mr Konrote comes from a family background steeped in design.

 

His mother, for instance, was a seamstress.

“I spent my formative years watching my mother work behind the sewing machine.”

“My father worked for what was then known as the Public Works Department, in Lomolomo, Nadi,” Mr Konrote said.

 

“We lived in a community where we had the  best of both worlds – the Fijians of Indian-descent lived one side; the iTaukei on the other
of the road.”

“Everyone in the village was either na or ta to us; and at every Hindu festival, we were welcomed by the neighbours for the celebration.”

“The blessings of living in such humble beginnings are now being realised.”

 

His primary school years were spent at Mt St Mary’s Nadi, and St Thomas Primary in Lautoka.

He completed high school at Marist Brothers.

Mr Konrote arrived on the fashion scene in 2008 and has since had shows in some Pacific island countries and the United States of America.

 

The exposure offered assurance of his fashion pursuits.

“I like my faults – I embrace them,” he said.

“I learn from it; and most of all, it keeps my feet on the ground.”

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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