|"Pacific Couture" designer, Lindah Lepou|
This is my first installment of a series of posts highlighting and discussing Pasifika Culture and Fashions. Living in Chicago and having been involved with the fashion industry in some form or another for the last 10 years, this harsh reality has plaqued me for years: Pasifika Fashion has yet to hit mainstream. Even after years of revolutionary strides in technology that affects fashion & world culture, there has yet to be a notable recognition of what Pasifika Fashion has contributed to the industry. So, through my blog and this platform I am going to do my part in bringing more awareness to the monumental and impactful contributions Pasifika Culture has made and continues to make to the fashion world/industry.
Introducing, Lindah Lepou. Renaissance Woman Extraordinaire, Lindah Lepou is a full-time New Zealand artist of Samoan and Palangi (English/Scottish) descent, with a background in Performing Arts, Music, and Fashion. Not only does she work with some of New Zealand’s pioneers in music (Annie Crummer, Hellosailor, etc) as a Singer/Songwriter, Lindah has built a strong body of work that pays homage to her love of French Haute Couture and her own rich New Zealand and Pacific heritage. With this, she is instrumental in bringing pacific fashion out of the stereotypical shadows of grass skirts and aloha shirts, through her innovative use of raw materials and natural fibers (i.e. tapa cloth, flax, etc.) she also expresses in a modern way, under a term she coined herself called, “Pacific Couture”.
Today, she continues to inspire a new generation of designers in New Zealand and in the Pacific, who reference and use her work as a benchmark in New Zealand’s mainstream fashion institutions, while at the same time continues to be sought after by museums around the world.
“Some artists create art for a particular time and place, while I am more interested in creating art that transcends this time and space” Lindah Lepou
*Photo Credit: Lindah Lepou
Check out some of her amazing works of art!