Rako Designs is set to debut at Fiji Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Show at the Grand Pacific Hotel.
It is an interesting story of how the label started which is from Rako Pasefika their dance and music group, an organic growth that has sprung from their fashion line Rako Designs.
Rako Pasefika Jewellery and Homeware Range
“A lot of them are amazing printers and jewellery makers, we launched Rako Designs in Sydney at the beginning of this year and we launch the fashion side at Fiji Fashion Week” said Mitchell.
Rako Designs line has stuck to natural fibres with cotton and linen they’re also working with Vau and shells.
“All of our prints are unique; with Rotumans we’ve lost a lot of our symbology it is totally gone so what we trying to do is slowly revive the identity. For us its really an extension of our dance, we try to have our pieces move well with pacific person that will look good on a small body and a big body, that’s what we look to achieve” added Mitchell.
Mitchell has also been researching Rotuman culture to help with the Rako Pasefika journey.
“Over the last year we started doing interviews with our elders, what they remember wearing, what type of jewellery, what people wore on their hair, we never see any of that anymore also research from the archives and a lot of missionaries sketched some designs so we have an idea of what they looked like and we matched them up with what the elders said” added Mitchell
A Rako Dancer with the Taveke bird feet symbol
“Some people say that a lot of designs are of Taveke Feet (a white ocean bird) so when they step on the sand and leaves a print. So you see all those prints on the tapa designs and then we started looking the other pacific islands that have close links to Rotuma like Tahiti and Samoa and their prints and it actually makes sense” said Mitchell.
Letila Mitchell and her husband Paul Dominiko are the founders of Rako Pasefika.
Rako Designs will be opening the Emerging Designers Show and tickets are available at Damodar City.