Samoa’s Tahiano at Pacific Fashion Fusion 2018

Tokelau and Samoa’s Tahiano range hit the runway at Pacific Fusion Fashion Show (PFFS) 2018 at Ambury Park in Auckland last weekend.

The theme for PFF2018 is ‘Fusion’ providing a platform for Maori and Pasifika’s emerging fashion designers to create and showcase new designs.

The annual show organised by Nora Swann Ltd is getting bigger and gaining popularity.

Catch your breath people.   Designers Alvis Meredith and Mata’afa Hans Wecshe ripped it up.

Putting a capital G into glamour with their lavish and intricately embroidered evening gowns.

Glamour in CAPS.  Blasting fresh air into Pacific island men’s fashion.  Blowing away any notion of men’s fashion being stubbornly staid and slow to change.

Tahiano have changed it up.  If good fashion challenges the status quo, Tahiano is doing just that.

This year, Tahiano’s Pacific Groom’s outfit took a men’s black shirt and sliced it off at the mid-riff.  Added a woven sash edged with feathers and strings of draping natural red beads over a bare torso.  Over the traditional styled men’s black sulu, (a calf length piece of fabric wrapped around the waist and tied around the middle) the outfit was new and oh so eye catching.  Ok, it’s not traditional men’s wedding garb.  But Tahiano’s versions of a modern Pacific Grooms outfit makes the usual look unusually interesting.  Making ordinary extraordinary.  That’s about design right.

And move on men’s pink coloured shirts.  Say hello to men’s lace shirts.  Tahiano’s men’s shirts have just enough of a new see-through panel of lace at the shoulders to fuse masculine and feminine elements into traditional men’s shirt without being too OTT.   Even their traditional men’s Elei shirt had its own signature in baby blue with a vertical line of a Tokelau winged bird motif.

The women’s evening gowns had the ‘Wow’ factor.  From flowing romantic gowns with intricate lace patterns, draping and beautiful embroidery to an edgy black lace evening gown with cut-outs and fish tail.  Each dress looking like a million bucks, made for a range of women of all shapes and curves.

Showcasing internationally at PFFS 2018 is another step forward for the pair.  Both were working full-time juggling other careers before they switched to fashion design.

Although Hans has kept his day job with the Tokelau Government, Alvis is full-time pursuing the dream.

They are not new to the fashion runway having launched two collections earlier including a series of wedding gowns and targeting a niche market of corporate uniforms with a distinct Samoan flair.

Whilst still relatively new in the fashion industry, they were selected to design Samoa Airways’ new uniform.  Their winning style ‘Metro Polynesia’ – a combo of blue puletasi and elei shirts.

Fashion is in their genes thanks to their mothers and aunties who were seamstresses and grandmothers who were adept weavers.

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand contributed Banz Kofi packets for PFFS 2018 give-aways in goodie bags and hosted Tahiano designers at the recent Path to Market workshop in Samoa.

Whew.  Breathe out.

(Photos: Courtesy of PFFS 2018)

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at

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