Maori Korowai to launch at London Pacific Fashion Week 2019

The theme for this year’s London Pacific Fashion Week (LPFW), which will begin September 13, is ‘Climate Change in the Pacific’. The event, established in 2012, showcases Pacific fashion designers in the UK. This year Maori Korowai designer Dorothy Stowers and Hawaiian designer Kanoelani Davis make their London debuts.

 

 

At 55, Dorothy Stowers, is taking a leap of faith on a challenging career as a new fashion designer by launching her hand woven Korowai at this year’s London Pacific Fashion Week (LPFW).

 

Stowers describes her WeaveRdream fashion brand as a very different niche market in between boutique and couture.

 

Creative Director of LPFW and former Military Service personnel, Fijian-born Ms Ana Lavekau says, “Londoners and fashion aficionados are always seeking something extraordinary and WeaveRdreams contemporary Korowai brings together indigenous Maori culture where an individual can stand out from the crowd.”

 

A family wedding inspired Ms Stowers to go all in and give up her day job as a crime scene attendant at NZ Police to pursue her creative passion.

 

Stowers said one of her inspirations is mentor and kaiako (teacher), Aunty Ida White from Whiri Aroha based at Papakura Marae. Ida is to receive a Queen’s Honour medal (QSM) in September 2019 for her contribution to teaching the Maori art of weaving.

 

"Aroha is infused into each garment. I always ask my Tipunas (ancestors) for spiritual guidance. My creative process starts and finishes with a karakia (prayer),” says Stowers who is still defining her market.

 

She says her distinctive Korowai holds appeal to customers who appreciate contemporary Korowai and who understand the Mana (prestige and honour) behind it.

 

Already, one of her Korowai, is owned by a buyer in Ireland and another garment sold to a customer in the USA.

 

Ms Lavekau said, “WeaveRdream is the only New Zealand designer in this year’s event for the Pacific Voyage runway show alongside a plethora of fashion talent from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Hawaii and Tonga.

 

 

Such as Hawaiian fashion designer Kanoelani Davis of PōMahina Designs, who aims to enliven an audience at September’s London Pacific Fashion Week by showcasing garments and accessories that live and breathe the ancient culture of Molokai Island and her ancestors.

 

A well-established brand and business providing clothing for a large Hawaiian market for about 10 years, PōMahina Designs started from a kitchen table, using traditional hand-made tools and dyes.

 

Eventually, Davis’ graphic arts skills were utilised for digital designs on cloth, and for creating vinyl design works.

 

In 2015, Davis exhibited at MAMo Wearable Arts Show in both O’ahu and Maui. In 2016 she was a co-designer of the event and introduced wearable art forms on the runway.

 

“I am a lifelong cultural practitioner and torchbearer for the survival of many Hawaiian art forms,” said Ms Davis.

 

Recently, PōMahina Designs was the main event at Fashion Week in Washington at the New Zealand embassy gathering of indigneous peoples’ of Native American, Maori, and Hawaiian ancestry.

 

The new collection of 15 fashion garments for LPFW includes swim-wear, stunning head-pieces, ready to wear leisurewear, sportswear, running shoes, western boots, and high heels and the patterns and prints of which reflect the elements, wind, rain, oceans and mountains which are affected by climate change.
 

 

About LPFW

 

Originally founded as a fundraiser for British Armed Forces registered charity Help for Heroes, over the last 7 years LPFW has continued on as a regular fashion event in the United Kingdom promoting established Pacific Fashion Designers.

 

A champion of Pacific design, art and culture, LPFW acts as a platform for designers living and working in the Pacific to engage with the fashion industry and represent them exclusively in the United Kingdom.

 

The event sees a select number of fashion designers from the Pacific travel to London every September for LPFW, which coincides with London Fashion Week, both to promote their brands and gain further experience in the Global fashion world.

 

For more information about LPFW2019 or to purchase tickets to any of the shows go to their website: https://londonpacificfashionweek.com/
 


15/08/09