A passion for fashion

Passion for fashion

By Lice Movono-Rova

She often faces criticism given her persistence and perseverance and she has yet to make a profit in the show's six year history but she continues to come back and her reason is simple: she knows that results will be slow but she believes it will come.

"I know it takes time for positive results to come but I could see after the first show that there was a need for development and improvement. Now I have always loved fashion and I thought I could give back to Fiji by helping these designers to get better at their art. It was not that I could help them personally but I knew that I had resources and friends who could help me make that development happen," Ellen said.

"I knew it was just a matter of calling people and asking for help, so that's what we did. Year after year these designers just keep improving. Those early results were my impetus to keep going. My main objective is to get a school going to get those designers into that school who could eventually get onto the international stage. This could provide an example to young kids here that they can have a dream and do something about it."

The MHCC Fiji Fashion Week 2013 is heavily sponsored bringing together one of the highest ever combined corporate sponsorship values ever seen in Fiji.

"Together, we know this is something that can work well. For the corporate houses who back us, they obviously get a great branding platform but for me being able to witness these designers find opportunities and success.

The support is ongoing and our corporate sponsor obviously sees something in Fashion Week because they keep coming back to sign up year after year. We are grateful for their generosity because it means that world opens up opportunities for these kids. I won't rest until I see that our designers take full advantage of what is out there.

"Im very proud when I see what each designer comes out with every year, especially when they improve with each year they enter the show. It's not about winning but its about participation. The enthusiasm I see in their work makes me so happy and proud. I feel like we are kicking goals and achieving objectives when I see how well these designers develop."

The theme at MHCC FJFW 2013 is an extravagance and glamour that is in keeping with recent international trends and changes, including Hollywood movie releases of last season of the same concept.

So guests can expect the best in local lighting and sound with new equipment imported by South Pacific Recordings (SPR) especially to debut at the event. Music by local star electronic dance music (EDM) group Technical Glitch combined with talent from Communications Fiji Limited provides an upbeat party atmosphere for party revellers. Food by the chic new restaurant Governors means ticket holders get the best cuisine available in the market today.

The oldest and most agree the best champagne house in the world Moët & Chandon will bring a VIP experience to MHCC FJFW 2013 that has never before seen in Fiji through its Moët Lounge and luxury merchandising.

Performances by the Oceania Dance Troupe of the University of the South Pacific combining not just the percussions of the Pacific but also fusions of island dances from Rarotonga and the region across to European ballet and jig means there is excitement and value at every level of the experience.

On the runway, the garments are tipped to be the best Fiji has ever seen and arrival of buyers and event organisers from Australia for the first time means the pressure is on for local creative people to produce.

"I could name eight designers who are ready to showcase internationally. I could not have said that a few years ago but I'm very confident that any two of these eight designers can make it in Australia," Ellen said.

What is next for Fiji Fashion Week? For the lady who's fast built a reputation of demanding everything and then more, it's getting Fijian designers to Australian fashion week. There is some work she admits, that these designs need to do to be production ready but Fiji is ready for Australia Fashion Week.

"They need to be there for the lifetime, fashion designing is not just fashion and they need to be serious about their work but our designers are serious, they keep coming back year after year and they want to live their lives making money from their art," Ellen said.

So without financial returns, why does Ellen do what she does with insurmountable challenges and obstacles to get through?

"Its simple, as a child I always loved fashion. I would love for some other young people with the same childhood dreams to make it in the international arena — then I'll rest."

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