Pacific Fashion Festival 2019 held on Saturday 19th of October was certainly a day to remember.
After a few years away from the drawing board, my fashion label House of Ratu relaunched with a bang in menswear! Finding my niche had me excited about designing and producing the Warrior collection for 2019/2020.
This latest collection combines traditional tapa prints with a professional twist and is an ode to the entrepreneurial spirit found all over Fiji. Pacific Islanders are true entrepreneurs in the sense that people have no hesitation in bartering or selling their goods from their farms or gardens, items that are handmade or manufactured as a means of survival.
A couple of months ago in late August, I was fortunate enough to fly back home to Fiji and spend 8 weeks with my parents on our family farm.
I had an amazing time and after immersing myself into my Fijian roots for 2 months, I re-emerged with a warrior spirit of strength, bravery and power intact; traits passed down from my ancestors and chiefly figures gone before me.
In the wake of spending a lot of time with my large family network, tribe and clan, I re-discovered my authentic self again, and a sense of fearlessness and character that is bold, courageous and lionhearted.
Going back to my grassroots and being reminded of who I was and where I came from inspired me to create a menswear collection that displayed a fierce masculine edge that also resides in me.
My people, culture and traditions are reflected in this collection that embodies a warrior spirit and fearless attitude. I got to work excited to create, draw and produce designs that utilised Fiji’s traditional masi prints with a modern twist through vests, business shirts with cuffs and suit jackets.
“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude,” Iris Apfel, American businesswoman, interior designer and fashion icon.