Wilfred Fimone, Fashion Throne of Fiji reviews FJFW16 Trendsetter Show


The Pacific, so profusely informed by international fashion stages, have a tendency of mirroring global fashion trends. Last night’s Fiji Fashion Week Trendsetter Show probably has disrupted the flow to the practice because there were precedents set, and none like before. Here are my picks for reviews:

Seewa by Seewa Seth

Inspired by Maasai and Zulu cultures, Seewa shone away from pattern-technicality and gave us minimal, which was superb, because it was basically statement and vibrant accessories offsetting each ‘plain’ ensemble. The line was innovative in respects of prints, or lack thereof so to speak. When one thinks African, one thinks tribal prints. This line flouted the norm! I also loved that even right down to the footwear – flats – they got it right, if right is comfortable and stylish. If anything, it reminded us that fashion is art, and art .. fashion.

Rima by Birima Mbyae

Reinforcing the African trope, Rima gave us a show of commanding kaftans, exotic turbans and slick male shalwar kameez. I felt this collection had two show stoppers, its finale pieces: beautiful hickory brown and admiral blue kaftans with cape sleeves that would make any woman feel like an African goddess. In contrast to Seewa’s, I found this a bit toned down in colour, but which made way for the suitably busy prints.

Myra by Aekta Lodhiya

A breath of fresh air, indeed! Every year, an emerging designer sweeps me off my feet, and helps register the fact that, yes, there is an untapped pool of talent nestled in our little Fiji. This year, Myra did all those for me. It was probably the collage of basket-weave, chevron and paisley prints and how they were brilliantly cut and seamed together that got my attention. It also has a somewhat Bohemian or hobo-chic twang to it, and that quite frankly is a look that, even in all my years of Fiji fashion following, I have never come across, until Myra’s opening statement. The collection left me desiring for more, and that’s a good thing.

Aarti Dee by Artika Devi

Good effort to Artika! I thought that Aaarti Dee was rather stylish in its approach to pattern and cuts. On the other hand, I felt these didn’t translate well, and it was perhaps the unpredictable work of silk that did this. However, I got her innovative gesture of white and purple as contrasts and their effect as panels or frames. Good try, but overall it was the poor choice of fabric and colour that caused a disappointment for me. But oh, do I see potential, and I’d like to see more prudence in fashion for her.

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