Caption: Versatile artist and fashion guru Robert Kennedy.
Robert Kennedy will be presenting an extra dimension to his 2014 Collection for Tappoo at this year’s MHCC Fiji Fashion Week, as he collaborates with Sigatoka based glassmaker Alice Hill.
“Alice lives just down the road from me in Korotogo, and I knew that she had started a studio called Hot Glass Fiji, but hadn’t seen what she was doing,” says Kennedy.
“She called me and we had a meeting where we immediately connected on the style and look of what she would make. My collection is inspired by the flora and landscapes of the Pacific and I wanted bold jewelry pieces that would complement the intricate prints on my fabrics. Alice has a very strong sense of colour and form and came up with some beautiful samples that I knew would work.”
Alice, originally from the UK, is a glassblower by profession. She studied Design for two years at Farnham Art College in Surrey before deciding to pursue a degree in three-dimensional design, specializing in glass. After graduating from Farnham, she went to the famous Brierley Hill Glass School in the West Midlands where she completed a 2 year post graduate course in the technique of glassblowing. Following this she worked for three years as a glassblower at the Hand Made Glass Co. in London.
“During this time I was also able to hold several exhibitions of my own work before 1997, when the desire to travel and seek inspiration took over and I gradually worked my way around Europe, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Djibouti and Fiji,” says Alice.
In 2003 Alice settled down in Fiji with her husband Alex and family, where they set up and ran a scuba diving business for nine-years.
“During this time, I was inspired by the beauty of Fiji and found it impossible to resist the urge to reflect my surroundings in glass,” says the enthusiastic artist.
“So I took time off to take trips to Australia and New Zealand where I rented studios to try out new ideas.”
The keenness with which her pieces were received sparked the idea of setting a glassblowing studio in Korotogo, Sigatoka earlier this year, and it is Fiji’s first hand blown glass company.
This collaboration is the first time that Kennedy has worked with another designer for MHCC Fiji Fashion Week.
“I am very happy that Alice called me as I wouldn’t have thought to use glass jewellery for my show. It is also the first time that Alice has made glass jewellery like this,” Kennedy says.
“It’s also very much in tune with what I have been up to this year as I have also been assisting the Fiji Arts Council with a Jewellery Workshop in Taveuni, as well as part designing a Jewellery collection for Tappoo.”
Kennedy also featured jewellery inspired Screen Prints for the recent Western Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Nadi.
“I love bold, tribal jewellery and Alice’s work has those elements, but with added gloss and gorgeous colours,” he adds.
Robert and Alice’s collaboration will be shown on the Established Designers night of MHCC Fiji Fashion Week on Saturday October 5th. Both collections will be available for sale from TappooCity on Tuesday, October 8th.