Robert Kennedy Fiji is happy to announce the Salusalu Collection 2014, which will be shown for the first time at Fiji Fashion Week 2014.
Salusalu, (a necklace of flowers) is the central inspiration for Robert Kennedy Fiji’s 2014 Fashion Collection. Having recently participated in several Jewelry Workshops around Fiji, fashion guru Robert Kennedy who hails from the majestic Coral Coast was inspired to create a series of Silk Screen Prints on Masi (Tapa), depicting tribal jewelry hung like in a display cabinet. This theme was further developed into some of the stand out signature prints of the Salusalu Collection.
In Samoa last year, Kennedy visited Robert Louis Stevenson’s house, Vailima and loved how it blended British sensibilities with Pacific culture and art. This also resonated strongly with another trip he had made to Cambridge (UK) the year before, where he saw a wonderful collection of Fijian artifacts and jewelry and was impressed with how they were displayed in a modern manner. This blending of disparate cultures is a consistent theme in most of Kennedy’s designs and particularly so in this collection.
“This year we see a culmination of different things coming together to offer a uniquely Fijian made and designed product,” says Kennedy.
“I have been participating in several Jewelry Workshops around the country and this May will see the launch of a collection from a woman’s collective in Ba called Ba WoW (Women of Worth) which are developing necklaces from Mother of Pearl Shells, a by-product of Fiji’s ever growing Pearl industry.”
This collection is being developed with Kennedy as its design leader and will be worn with his 2014 Resort Collection at this year’s Fiji Fashion Week.
Participants in this program where selected by the Ba Women’s Forum which is led by Dr Maria Doton.
Ms. Ilse-Marie Erl, a private consultant for University of Adelaide PARDI- ACIAR, from Auckland New Zealand and a full time jewelry maker, provided additional training. Established jewelry designer, Mr Paras Ram Nair, also provided local training for the participants.
The Ba project, which is funded by the Australian Government, is part of a broader research program focused on development of Fiji’s pearl industry and particularly the development of livelihood opportunities and community involvement in the pearl industry.
Activities within the broader project have resulted in a good supply of oysters to Fijian pearl farmers for the first time and this supports (through supply of raw materials – MOP) development of MOP handicraft initiatives.
“I am really excited about seeing the jewelry and fashion combined on the catwalk,” says Kennedy.
“It was a fantastic experience working with the Ba WoW group and they have developed some stunning pieces for my collection. It’s great seeing my designs inspiring other designs and coming together in this manner.”
Colours are also always an important factor in Kennedy’s collections and this year is no exception. His striking color palette includes new colors such as Lemon, Tangerine, Fuchsia and Olive, which are beautifully blended with his perennial favorites of Turquoise, Black, Grey and Lime Green.
This year’s Salusalu Collection 2014 sees a culmination of many different facets coming together to offer a bold, new and unique look at contemporary Fiji design.