Friday, February 10, 2012

[Pasifika Fashion Series] Discover Fiji's Hidden Gem!

Fijian Fashion Designer, Adi Koila Ganilau (center) with models wearing pieces from her Summer Collection '11

Adi Koila Ganilau draws all of her inspiration from her home island, Fiji. With its vast contrasts of blues in the surrounding ocean, lush greens in the hills, and vibrant hues in its sandy beaches and coral reefs. It is no wonder that such a tropical landscape could make an impression in Koila’s custom print designs, which live up to traditional Fijian art style that is often large and bold in nature. You can also see influences from many countries in Koila’s designs, but her most influential inspiration is her grandmother, Adi Lady Litia Cakobau Lalabalavu Mara. “She”, Koila says speaking of her grandmother, “was head and shoulders above the rest”, and was truly the noblest of her time.

With such a poised and graceful example to direct her vision, Koila centres her womenswear line, Marama Dina, to the very woman who represents all that her grandmother embodied – class and style. Marama Dina literally translates to mean “true lady” or “real woman” and Koila proudly states that her clothing is for every woman of every size, shape, color, and ethnicity and for every occasion. With dresses, jumpsuits, tops and more and many pieces easily transitioning from day to night. Versatile Transition pieces is the key for Marama Dina.

Momo (which means “uncle”) is Koila’s menswear line, Rattoo (a play on the word “ratu” which refers to men of dignified stature) is her men’s streetwear line that caters to the younger hipster male market and Marama Lailai is her junior girls line. Four clothing lines may seem over-zealous, but Koila is quite the over-achiever and will not limit herself or her designs to one market.

All of Koila’s prints are custom drawn by herself as she has been drawing and painting since childhood and every print design is hand-printed onto various fabrics by her team. Her prints live up to the traditional Fijian art style that is often large and bold in nature. Every item of clothing in all of Koila’s lines are exclusively produced in Fiji in order to maintain the authenticity of their origin as well as ensure that each item of clothing can stand alone as a keepsake or piece of Fiji that every customer can obtain.

*Photo Credit: Adi Koila Ganilau
Check out some of my favorite pieces from her Summer 2011 Collection:

And this is my favorite piece hands down from Koila's Summer '11 collection.  The monochromatic palette, coupled with the amazing Fijian artwork and the added train just make such an emotional impact.  This is her defining piece in my opinion and I will be adding this to my closet!

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