Page 1


Editor | Rajan Sami

Cultural stimulus for the curious mind


Ones to Watch Andrew Powell, Joseph Lesi and Sonam Sapra are three designers who caught our attention at Fiji Fashion Week 2012. Each showed a remarkably polished debut collection on the final, emerging designers’ night and holds the promise of bigger and brighter things to come. Page 40

Style Sisters Sandhya (Dusk) Nand and Zelda Thomas (pictured here in a 1994 shoot for Image, Zelda’s label and Tradewinds boutique of the same name) are two of the famous faces that graced Fiji’s catwalks in the late 80s to the mid 90s. They make a highly anticipated return, along with other famous models of the era, at Style Fiji, the annual charity fashion show in aid of Nadi hospital at Sheraton Fiji Resort on Saturday 1 December. Page 38 November 2012 | Repúblika |



LOOKING BACK The Supers Are Back! From the late 80s to the mid 90s, this gaggle of beautiful, long-limbed women, each as different to the next, ruled Fiji’s runways. Even today, some 20 years later, people still remember their names.

Here Come The Hotsteppers

The 90s birthed the ‘Supermodels’ – international stars like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista – women who were known by their first names and whose fame extended far beyond the catwalk. Seen here backstage at the Wella Awards in 1994 wearing Tanya Whiteside are our homegrown supers: Standing, left to right Priscilla Singh; Sandhya Nand; Sunita Devi; Zelda Thomas; Melinda Marriott; Zena Jenkins; front: Marlene Vuniwaqa; Grace Buinimasi and Eileen Sinclair – as they were known then. (Inset) With designer Tanya Whiteside and UKbased Kiwi hair stylist Patrick Cameron (who conducted an on-stage hair show for Wella, then a major sponsor of fashion shows).


| Repúblika |

And even though the women themselves have “gotten married and moved on with different lifestyles and careers,” there’s been an overwhelming call for their return to the catwalks, says Zelda Thomas, one of the originals. She and another famous face from yesteryear, Marlene Blake (who is now a successful fitness instructor in Nadi) are two of the people behind Style Fiji – an annual charity event that benefits Nadi Community Hospital. “After the [inaugural] 2011 show, there were a lot of people in the audience that expected to see us,” says Zelda. “I was shocked. This is like 20 years ago and some people thought we were supposed to come out. It’s like you’re not supposed to age.” “I thought they were having me on and I got told off once or twice,” adds the motherof-three, who sells a clothing line called Exotica through Aladdin’s Cave in Suva. November 2012




Fashion Forward (1) Zelda models her own design at the Project 91 Designer Awards in 1994, its thigh-baring slit an early precursor to the leggy, full skirted looks of late. (2) Likewise, Grace’s ankle-length gown touches on the cutout and sheer trends of today. (3) Long before Fiji Airways went looking for masi kesa motifs for its rebrand, local designers were putting it on the runway. Priscilla still has this smart suit by Glennis Lane and Doreen Erasito, who ran the label/boutique Glendor (an amalgam of their first names) on the ground floor of Honson Building in Suva back in the day. “That particular outfit was a lovely combination of cultures and they made it to my specific measurements so I could have it,” she says. “And then Marlene got told off wherever she was. We didn’t know people expected us to come out. Not when you’re fortyplus! Hello!” “So that is when Marlene said: ‘Okay if they really want, we can make a short appearance – the shorter the better.’” And so on Saturday December 1, several of the ‘girls’ from the original line-up – Zelda and Marlene along with Sandhya Nand, Grace Buinimasi-Dunn, Zena Jenkins and Ema Volavola – return to the Style Fiji 2012 runway at Sheraton Fiji Resort in Nadi. Zelda, who is working back-of-house at the event and whose youngest daughter Morgan Rose (17) is modeling, hopes to get it over with quickly, saying: “I don’t want to look like I’m hogging the catwalk – not at this age. Do you know how embarrassed my daughters will be?” n RAJAN SAMI

3 November 2012

n For information on the event, visit | Repúblika |


salon Jah Rules Twenty-six-year-old Joseph

FJFW 2012

Lesi, formerly of the design trio Second Chance, is behind the new Jahead label, which features hand-painted designs that call to mind the gauzy, muslin offerings of Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The Garden Island lad, who’s had a hardscrabble past D (Second Chance was founded by three JAHEA youth offenders trying to make good via fashion) says the theme of his debut collection is “Rags to Riches”, adding: “I want my label to make me rich”. To buy, contact the designer on +679.8338183 n RS





| Repúblika |

November 2012

Red Carpet Ready As the very last dress to hit the 2012 Fiji Fashion Week runway, this chartreuse silk gown (with its spellbinding, sequinned lace bodice) literally brought the style event to a standstill - even drawing a few audible gasps from the audience. Its designer, Suva-born Andrew Powell, who scooped both the emerging and designer of the year awards, had the Academy Awardwinning Aussie thespian Cate Blanchett in mind. “She is a muse I would undoubtedly love to dress,” he says, citing her “classic elegance, strong artistic choices and her ability to turn conformity on its head and convince everyone it is chic”. Fresh off the back of a 360-degree fashion design course in Brisbane, Powell put his 18-piece collection together painstakingly by hand. It’s been a long road to the runway for the thirtysomething designer, who is, at last, pursuing his teenage dream. n RS



November 2012



SONAM Runway to Resort Sonam Sapra’s entire 12-look collection, featuring neon-bright hand-rendered prints inspired by beetles, could have walked straight off the catwalk and right into Fiji’s resort boutiques. Which is just what the relative newcomer to fashion intended. For the last four months, Sapra worked with two Fijian factories to put her signature doodles on chiffon, silk satin and monroe before transforming them into highly-covetable bathing suits, kaftans and slips. (For context, most designers showing at Fiji Fashion Week produce collections through small tailoring outfits and therefore struggle with post show production.) Born in Labasa and raised around the world Bangladesh, India, Iran, Kenya and the United States (thanks to a parent in the United Nations), Sapra recently returned to Fiji to set up shop, armed with a communication design degree from Parsons, the prestigious New York design school that counts Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan among its alumni. Sapra, herself, is not short on ambition, saying: “The real vision is to be the Gucci of Fiji”. To purchase, contact the designer on n RS | Repúblika |



Confessions of the Fijian mind



inciduis nostrud do diat ipit ut venim vel erit, cor sequisl ullamco nsequam, conse exero odoloreSmin ign vulluptat. Ut p for a yealaufeu lan vullandions eum incil ex exer at dolessequat r andfeuguero SAVE od ming eliquat. 11% velesse off zzrit, Ut velenim adigna commy nulla augiam the c quatet o quatumm oloborperos alit nim ipisi te minim eu faccumsandit price ver * atum velit in vendiatue vel ent lorerat augue er suscil ipit lut aliquisit, cor se molobor sed el dolor sit dolore diam, vel ipit wiscSUBSCRIBER INFORMATION ing endre facidunt adipis dolor se tinciduisi tion henit ad min velit aut atie. Is this a gift subscription? please put yourvel contact Velit illamcon ut ip eliquate commyIf yes, nullumsan dolum Mr Other Ms details in the ‘gift from’ box below. Specify dolutat er sum velis amconse quatue velenim digna aliquisl irit praessit eu faci blandio consectem in vel delisit ad mod ero odigna accum duissit la autat nostinci tem nosto consequissit FIRST NAME SURNAME nos nim duisl duis alit velenim vulputpat iure modolorem quisit loreriure DELIVERY ADDRESS faci tie duismol estrud POSTAL ADDRESS do eniam If different from delivery address duisi. Is MOBILE FAX PHONE ations nullutp EMAIL atumRequired if signing up for modio digital issues only core tat. Ulputpa tummolGIFT FROM PLEASE TICK SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE ortie do commolenim dolenim nosto dolorem ipissecte vent velit ulputat ulputpat lutpat ulla cons am vel ulla corpercipit, sit lum NAME iriustrud tat. Ut veliquipit vel iriurem velenis eum zzril duisim VIP VIP quamcortio ea cor suscinisi. 12 ISSUES 6 ISSUES NUMBER * These rates are for Fiji addresses only. For international subscription rates and to sign up, visit Iquatissi ero odolest ionsequatie magnim el ute modolesed dolortisi tieEMAIL dip euismodiat, sit ing eum iriureet venibh eu faci bla or feuis aut ad magniamet num quat ullan ulluptat illandr eetumADDRESS VIP VIP sandiam niam eugait ut alis adip euipissisl eugiam ipissi enim ilit TICK IF YOU WOULD LIKE US TO INCLUDE A CARD ON YOUR BEHALF 6 DIGITIAL 12 DIGITIAL praesto eu feu faci enim dolummy nis dolobortie essim zzriuscilISSUES ONLY ISSUES ONLY lan vendit vulputate tie conummo dolestinisl ut delisi. Min henisl ipsustie dolore con utpat lorperat dolor sis nullaore tie mod dolortisi ero conullan henis dolorer ostrud ming esTICK BELOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ectem zzrilit, qui bla at. Dui tat ilismodolor at. Sed modit autpat. Dunt lumupdates velit laore molutem iuscil eliquat wiscil irilla Receive SMS textconse updates Subscribe to our email Receive special offers from dolendre vent prat. Ro conulputpate feugiam quismod minim Repúblika Publishing Mobile number ........................................................ Email .......................................................................................... zzriusto odo do conse eugiamet nit lore magna feummolortio od tatue minciduisit duip ercipissecte vulpute min hendrer illamcor seniamc onumsan et, quissequat. Enim zzriurem nim quis digna HOW TO PAY commod et adit nostin velit wis ex ectet dit lutpat luptatem zzrit Subscribe online at Vodafone M-PAiSA using Deposit at lore dolore dolessequat praese do et veniat aci banking/transfer tat. Ut alisim alisci Online te duis business number 20053 Westpac Bank alisi. Westpac Bank Republika Publishing Na alit lan henim ea commy nit lutRepublika ad duipis dolor sustrud Publishing Credit card users can sign up online for either local or overseas delivery 9803794636 euissiAccount tetum quat volor sequat at, commodo dit venim alisi bla Account 9803794636 feui exerostrud te tie dolorem iriure etueriu Suva scidunt Branch ea amcon ullam qui blaore dui tissim do et loreetummy nisis Street nonse esequip 1 Thomson Cheques payable to Cash in person at our sumsand ionsequat autat Republika Publishing offices 8 Mitchell St, your conse name andvoloboreet the term ‘subs’ in the AdIndicate eugue wis nibh et, 039001 si tat. Nullum ad BSB and mailed to Peace Embassy, statement narration field on the deposit slip tationse erci quat, quat, quisicode tat. Accum dolor Swift WPACFJFX PO Box 11927, Suva Suite A107, Suva and/or emailte us feugiametum a scan of your deposit slip sequat, core con ullam eu faciliquate cons ex exerosto odolore doloreet augiamet accum eliquamet at lore min ulluptat,.

to Fiji and the Pacific’s newest voice of reason




Cut out or photocopy this form and send it to us with details of your payment.


Repúblika Publishing | 8 Mitchell Street, Suite A107, Suva | Phone +679 3561467 | Mobile +679 9041215 | Repúblika |

November 2012

Publisher and Editor | Ricardo Morris 42

Salon | Repúblika | November 2012  

Cultural stimulus for the curious mind as found in Repúblika, Fiji and the Pacific's newest voice of reason.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you