I modeled this skirt for Otara-based Samoan artist and designer, Genevieve Pini for an experimental fashion editorial in the upcoming issue of SOUTH, coming out January 2013. Genevieve has often talked about how much she wanted the garments she created for South Auckland’s annual fashion and wearable art competition, Cult Couture, to be modeled by chunkier models. The editorial was an opportunity for each of the invited designers to present their garments, style and ideas in a way they had complete control over. Genevieve identified this alleyway near where she lives in Otara; she wanted to show her hood, her environment, her comfort zone as her inspiration. It came together really nicely and I can’t wait to see the final images in print.

With a few additions, this piece entitled Miss Lavalava was customised to fit me for the SOUTH photo shoot. The garment was made for the Recycled Revolution category of this year’s Cult Couture event. It is made of a recycled rice sack, a nylon carry-bag and meters and meters of fabric scraps. Genevieve observed the construction technique on a recent trip to Samoa where it is commonly used to make floor mats for the bathroom and doorway areas.

I also loved wearing Miss Lavalava to the 2012 Arts Pasifika Awards in Wellington earlier this month where it attracted a lot of attention! I was proud to represent an artist from South Auckland whose practice I’ve been watching and appreciating for the past 10 years.

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