Among all the traditional dancing, floral and culinary arts, exhibitions and workshops that are currently on display at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam, Pacific Islands fashion is also making a flourish throughout the festival. Solomon Islands designer, Farlaii Floyd, believes that is is high time for Pacific Islands should change the way of doing their fashion. She thinks that the Pacific has so many unique fashions that should be displayed in their own ways.
Floyd choreographed the Solomon Islands’ show in a very different way than the other countries during the Festival of Pacific Arts fashion show by using “living” mannequins as part of the show. “Instead of following traditional Paris runways or walking down the red carpet, the Pacific islanders should embrace the uniqueness and culture of their islands and put that on display in their own way. It was great to have all these different countries putting on their wear,” she said.
The theme for the Solomon Islands was embracing the diversity of cultures in the country in fashion. They used a lot of natural materials as well including pandanus leaves and tapa. They showed traditional and contemporary wear. Some of the traditional wear included shell money, which is used as a bride price. Shell money is very expensive and a bride’s family takes great pride in how much is given by the groom.
It was an amazing experience for Floyd to share her island’s culture and fashion with such a large audience and with people from throughout the Pacific. She thought that the feedback from the crowd was amazing.
Floyd plans on doing more fashion shows when she gets back home and running workshops, especially for women, to open their eyes to other creative possibilities. She said many women back home focus on making mats, but there are many other things they can create using local materials, such as earrings, rings and others.