Pacific Runway is the largest and most prestigious platform that showcases the talents of Pacific Islander designers, models and creatives in Australia. Now in its fifth year, the event aims to change the stereotype that Pacific fashion is all about hula skirts and leis. We’re talking high end fashion.
Held at the exclusive fashion hub Carriageworks, the Pacific Runway opened with traditional Samoan fire dancing and the Ure, a Cook Islands dance. Right from the start the audience was excited and captivated. The heart, soul and cultural pride of Pacific nations was on show along with high end fashion!
The 23 participating designers originate from Pacific Island nations including Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and New Zealand. While the designers showcased a strong sartorial identity, they each had their own distinct aesthetic. They mixed cultural beliefs and values with modern, urban influences. Although they are not yet internationally recognised, Pacific designs have long found their way into international fashion houses. And the high calibre of designs on the runway explain why.
The whole fashion spectrum for the beach, pool, street, day wear and evening couture was all on show.
The Pacific Runway also promotes diversity. Plus size models, exotic faces and older models all walked down the runways.
Closing with the traditional Maori Haka, the Pacific Runway felt like everyone was treated to a dance party. It was a privilege to share in the celebration of culture, diversity and talent with this Pacific Islander community. The Pacific isn’t just a place for holidays – but a producer of viable, ethical, sustainable and exciting fashion products. The Pacific Runway smashed stereotypes about coconuts and beaches, showing fashion of glamour and elegance.
Photos: Dusk Devi