Wilfred Fimone, Fashion Throne of Fiji reviews FJFW16 Bridal Couture Show

Fiji Fashion Week’s finale show – Bridal Couture – was, for me, the best of all nights.  Creativity shone from each collection, and was telling of the amount of effort put into each piece.   It was all wedding bells and bouquets – a bridal event – they say, and rightfully so.  The following are my picks for an overview, because really an account lacking critique is not a review at all, and that signals how good things were. 

Joan Ali by Joan Ali

The opening collection to the show, Joan Ali gave us a taste of a luxurious look with iridescent and embroidered pieces.    It was not entirely bridal, but I suppose it could pass as a wardrobe for a wedding week and the honeymoon.  From a body-fitting jumpsuit to cleavage-baring dresses with birdcage veils, the collection stayed true to Ali’s aesthetics: colour, from subdued to bright.  Many of us saw her resort wear collection, and this could very well fit into that narrative, teaching us that cohesiveness is important in showcasing, and which many local designers lack, but not that this one.  Her showstopper was a beautiful wedding dress with a cathedral-length veil.  Spectacular! 

AZA by Zulfikar Ali

As per the usual, AZA showcases two collections.  The first is so easy on the eyes with soft pink and green shalwar kameezes.  The collection is evidence of the rich fashion tapestry that India possesses.  The chiffon scarves were subtle in that they offered a tease of what lay behind them.  His second was a series of evening gowns with a touch of Muslim Persianate royalty.  It had a serious colour palette, ranging from silver, maroon and dark blue.  The finale piece was a modest blue dress with a gold embroidered poncho thrown over.

The Samal Singh by Samal Singh

Never failing to come up with an innovative showing, Samal Singh was all a play on colour with the ombre effect working well with both warm and cool colours, and neck fringes spectacularly employed.  I loved the asymmetrical shoulder cuts on body-hugging dresses and flowy chiffon sweeping trains and mini-puffy dresses, but it was his finale piece of shades of green frocks that gave swept the crowd of their feet and reminded us that it was a couture show we were watching. 

Hani Haring by Hani Haring and Ben Schetrit

This collection was magnificent!  Overall, the look was clean, and it was grand.  The Tahitian collection showed some sediment of French colonialism, and this was found in the missionary dresses that functioned as bridesmaid and bride gowns.  It was pearly too, with Tahiti’s famous black pearls beaded onto certain dresses, juxtaposing the black and white and accentuating statement frames.  And how could a Tahitian wedding, or collection for this matter, forget flowers.  Embroidered florals gave the collection a welcoming feel.  This was for me one of my favourites, and I look forward to the HH brand taking stage next year at FJFW #1017.


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