Australia’s most prestigious platform for Pacific fashion is returning to Sydney to dazzle fashion fans with the clever fusion of Pacific design and global style for which Pacific Island designers are renowned for.
Laura Morelli

20 Oct 2016 - 3:10 PM  UPDATED 20 Oct 2016 - 3:47 PM

Pacific Runway is now in its 5th year and will be showcasing at none other than one of Sydney’s most prestigious Fashion spots - Carriageworks on 21 October.

Jannike Seiuli, Director of event planning company K&D Management, started Pacific Runway because she saw that there was a need for an inclusive platform that represented Pacific island creative in Australia.

After launching in 2012, Seiuli’s mission was to create a bridge between Pacific design talent and Australian style connoisseurs, not restricted to Pacific communities.

“This platform was created to showcase the talents of our Pacific designers, models, makeup artists, stylists and all fashion associated professions,” she said.

“There are so many talented and dynamic Pacific people achieving in their respective fields, in Australia and in the Pacific, but not getting the chance to showcase their skills to a mainstream audience within Australia.”

Aboriginal model Stacey Kelly-Greenup says it’s a privilege to represent her people at Pacific Runway.

“I am a proud descendant from The Dunghutti and Gumbaayngiirr nations. I grew up in a small town called Kempsey where there wasn't many opportunity for us young Aboriginal people looking to get ahead in life,” she said.

“Where I'm from there are many aspiring models and I feel honoured and privileged to have been selected to represent my people on the platform that I will be with Pacific Runway.”

I think it's just like a sport, regardless of how many times you've played you still get nervous for the big day.

The small town girl says being involved with diverse cultural people makes it feel like one big family.

“I think being involved with other Pacific nations keeps it closer to home…We all kinda know how we all work with our different cultures and mobs and that makes for good bonds and friendships created.

Despite her involvement in the modelling industry Kelly-Greenup says there needs to be more Indigenous faces on the scene.

“We need more Aboriginal models and not just women but males too… I think we also need to see more involvement form our Indigenous designers and those that have made it really need to promote their designs to mainstream society."

Pacific Runway’s Official Photographer Dusk Devi Nand says that what makes Pacific designers unique is how they combine cultural influences and traditional methods with urban sensibility to create artistic, exciting and globally wearable designs.

“The Pacific has a strong sartorial identity and a distinct sense of style that is not often depicted when the Pacific is sold to the world. The Pacific is not just about coconuts and coups.” 

“Many of its countries have thriving ‘metropolitan’ societies and fashion industries, with well-known design houses, established and emerging designer labels and fashion weeks and events," she said.

Twenty-three of the region’s top designers will be showcasing their collections, including E’vana Couture, who recently and successfully dressed internationally celebrated choreographer Parris Goebel at the MTV Awards; Sydney based Lavashe Couture; upcoming accessories designer Seewaa Seth and Genevieve Igara-Falevei, PNG Runway 2016’s Designer of the Year.

Pacific Runway also champions modelling diversity and is perhaps the only fashion event in Australia that truly represents the faces of multi-cultural Australia, with models from all races, not just Pacific.

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