Introducing PFFS Designers – OHN, Tav, CNDA by Jacinda Prictor and Dane Dagger

Pacific Fusion Fashion Show 2020 is less than two weeks away and this week we’re going to introduce you to the next group of talented designers who will be showcasing their collections at the event. Each label has been hand-picked by event founder Nora Swann for their talent and style which celebrates their individuality and culture.

We also have a look from each of the designer’s collections that will be shared at PFFS so you can get a preview of the collections. This year the event will be a digital showcase streamed online on Saturday 5th December and we’ll have more details about that soon. In the meantime we’d like to introduce you to OHN, Tav, CNDA by Jacinda Prictor and Dane Dagger.

PFFS designer interviews

Exclusive sneak preview from OHN PFFS collection. Image by Bright Sunday.

OHN

Designer – John Tanuvasa

What made you become a designer and how did you go about achieving it?
The old story, mum was a seamstress, she worked for Line7 and the music that I went to bed to was her sewing and waking up to her sewing, it was just meant to be. And later on I discovered ‘Oh you can actually make your clothes’ and understanding more about fashion and studying it and working in the industry then leaving, now I’ve decided to go all in.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
Limitless, there’s no boundaries on what to wear or what colour to wear. If you’re in winter why not wear green, if you’re in summer why not wear black. Whatever you feel like, wear it.

What inspires you?
Particularly for me and the brand it’s about creating confidence towards men, so the whole psychology of the brand is to actually expand horizons of giving men, everyday men, the confidence to be happy in their own self, in their own skin, but the same thing always comes up ‘Oh you can only wear that clothing because you’re you’. No, anyone can wear it, it’s just clothes, it’s your inner self and wellbeing that’s important.

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion really means nothing to me, when you look at the aspect of whatever, you can say it’s a multi million dollar business, you can say all the stuff but it’s just clothes at the end of the day and it’s up to you how you choose to create it and create something to give  back to the universe and to the world.

What is the process like for making your garments and how long does it take you?
This collection there was no mood board, no research, no going on referencing a film or anything it’s just purely going on full instinct and relying on my brain, my mind and my heart and not second guessing anything. Because as a designer, as a creative, you always second guess everything and then before you know it you’re five designs forward and then before you know it you scratch that look and then you’re onto a brand new look/idea and then you scratch that and then another 5 looks. So no it’s if I want to do shorts, do shorts, if I want to do pants, do pants, not should do, no second guessing just do it.

What can we expect from your collection for PFFS?
It’s an introduction of me as a designer into the industry because this is the first time I’m not working for somebody else or under anyone else this is purely my own creativity giving back to society here in New Zealand.

How important is it for Pacific people to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
That’s a hard question. When you really think about it, it’s about teaching the ways of acknowledging your own self wellbeing first before giving back. Because if you are negative 90% of the time and 10% of the time you put on face to go out and give back, karma is just the way it is. But for me it roots from the fact of understanding your p’s and q’s, yes thank you, no that’s alright, being polite with everything that you do and for me that’s how you give back to the community. It’s showing the small things, we tend to just pass by it and as we get older we forget about it and that’s the most important thing, if we always said please and thank you I’m sure there wouldn’t be any wars.

What are your plans for your brand and where do you see it heading?
I want to expand and create a voice for Pacific Island plus size men fashion here in New Zealand to say that you’re more than just the typical, standard ABCD Alpha that’s catered towards plus size men and encourage bold colours like pinks, the blues, the reds, the oranges and bold prints.

Where I see it heading, Expanding the brand creating and exploring more as a designer, have locations in Asia the States, the Europe etc even creating looks for a K-pop group just wanting to push the brand as far as I can take it leaving legacy behind for many more to witness and enjoy.

PFFS designer interviews

Exclusive sneak preview from Tav PFFS collection.

Tav

Designer – Ellena Tavioni

What made you become a designer and how did you go about achieving it?
My interest in sewing and subsequently fashion design began when I took this up as an extra option while at high school 46 years ago. This led to making a few items for sale and I eventually opened a small store at the age of 20. After 2 years of operation I realized I needed to undertake a formal study programme if I was to succeed in the industry. This led to me moving to Melbourne and I enrolled in a design course at the Melbourne College of Textiles.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I like appealing, easy to wear and comfortable styles. Tav is all about that.

What inspires you?
Sales.

What does fashion mean to you?
Clothes should make a customer feel happy, confident, and comfortable.

What is the process like for making your garments and how long does it take you?
Tav Pacific is basically a cottage industry whereby all processes are hands on from cutting fabrics to certain lengths, washing, ironing, printing, heat setting and ironing again before cutting.

What can we expect from your collection for PFFS?
Our collection will include items from Tav’s designs over the last few years.

How important is it for Pacific people to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It is very important to me that Pacific people support each other. We are closely connected traditionally and culturally. We represent a very small percentage of the world population. The more we work together, the stronger the impact our presence will be on the global stage. I first and foremost see myself as a Pacific Islander, secondly a Polynesian and then a Cook Islander. Another reason why our label is Tav Pacific.

What are your plans for your brand and where do you see it heading?
Lots of plans for Tav to expand globally now that more members of my family are coming on board to help make it happen.

PFFS designer interviews

Exclusive sneak preview from CNDA by Jacinda Prictor PFFS collection.

CNDA by Jacinda Prictor

Designer – Jacinda Prictor

What made you become a designer and how did you go about achieving it?
It’s kind of hard to think about and pin point exactly when I knew I wanted to do it but as a child growing up designing was my way of having all the cool clothes that all the popular, cool girls at school had, so it started with drawing. I was always drawing garments and as I got older my aunty introduced me to her sewing machine because she was quite the crafty one and that’s where that started. Throughout high school it was my favourite subject, I was just always drawn to it, always wanted to go to that path in particular and then when I was about 15 my mum bought me my first sewing machine and I started with going to op shops and buying garments from there and fitting them to me or doing alterations to a garment to make it into a new style. For a long time I thought it was just a phase that I was going through, I didn’t know I was this serious about it and always, always doubted myself and thought that it’s not for me, I’m not the kind of person that goes into fashion. But yeah it’s obviously not a phase almost 12 years down the track.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I would say that my personal style is kind of different to what I design. My personal style is really casual, comfy and every now and then I like to dress up and love to put on heels cos I love shoes, shoes are like my foundation of what I do wear. But when it comes to what I create I usually create based off the current skills that I do have, I’ll try and add things that are a bit out of my comfort zone to try and ease my way into doing new things. Usually I base them on what’s trending and how I can sort of make it into my style like into this more comfortable way.

What inspires you?
Mostly what is trending, I love watching shows, I love watching old vintage movies from the 1920s – 1950s. I just love that kind of style, but mostly what people wear on the street or on social media, I like to pick apart different aspects of garments and use those for inspiration.

What does fashion mean to you?
That’s a hard one, fashion mostly is an expression of art, like it’s an art form, I see it as art rather than as garments because as a designer you’re kind of making your own art for other people rather just making clothing because you need clothes to wear.

What is the process like for making your garments and how long does it take you?
It usually changes depending on how much I’ve learnt from the last time that I’ve made it, cos I’m still quite new into it this is literally the first time I’ve put a collection together that’s not for when I was studying. You obviously have to put a collection together to get marked on, but since then I have not really made any collections, I’ve made a few pieces here and there. So usually I’ll find something that I’m inspired by and make a cut of it and make it up, that’s usually for personal things but with this I researched on trends and the season and current runways and then again took apart what I liked from it, drew up my sketches and then made my patterns for them but my process changes throughout the pattern making and the garment construction because I’m a very visual person, I have to see it in it’s whole to see if I like it or not. So there’s a lot of pulling and replacing when it comes to that stage. That’s pretty much the main part of it.

What can we expect from your collection for PFFS?
For this event I pushed my boundaries with colour and used a lot of bold colours. I’m usually someone who tends to wear basic colours, black, white and blue. This rusty orange is probably the most colour that I’ll wear or a khaki green so with this collection it is mainly just bold colours, like a raspberry magenta, a bright mustard yellow are my two bright colours along with a baby pink and a soft blue as well.

How important is it for Pacific people to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It’s very important because I feel like with this environment you’ve kind of got people who understand and sympathise with you especially in the fashion industry as well. Because I’m Māori I felt like the fashion industry wasn’t for me being Māori but as I’ve grown older and found people who also love doing what I do it’s really helped, I would say it’s probably helped a lot knowing that there’s other people out there like me. It’s kind of everyone just finding similarities within each other and kind of moving up together.

What are your plans for your brand and where do you see it heading?
I haven’t actually really thought that far ahead, I honestly have enjoyed it so much, I’m not going to stop that’s for sure, I’ll keep going and keep doing more. I just want to keep doing it slowly and more often and having more experience and more knowledge, just growing and growing.

PFFS designer interviews

Exclusive sneak preview from Dane Dagger PFFS collection.

Dane Dagger

Designer – Dane Smith

What made you become a designer and how did you go about achieving it?
I was living in Melbourne, Australia working at a cafe… figuring life out! During this time I had realised this passion for fashion I had, I called my Dad telling him how much I wanted to study at the Melbourne school of Fashion but his answer was no as the fees were extreme.

So we came up with the idea for me to move back to Wellington and study, so I signed up to NZ Fashion Technology and started my certificate in Garment Construction. After completing the 6 month course I was very fortunate to be offered an a apprenticeship with Stephanie Croft Ltd where I was taught cutting, pattern making and the general duties of a workroom assistant for 4 years before starting up my own sustainable fashion label Dane Dagger.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
My style I like to consider is quite bold, forward and edgy with a touch of culture… I love loud prints, oversized, embellished, structured, statement pieces that create discussion.

A lot of hand sewing/stitch work is also applied into my designs for that over the top garnish finish. DD fabrics are from reclaimed/recycled/donated sources with an eco awareness.

What inspires you?
My mother is a costume designer of Cook Island traditional wear so I’ve been fortunate to experience traditional ways of creating which has allowed me to play with my aesthetic as a designer. Growing up I was fascinated how mum would take ideas from plan A to plan B and I would get to watch the whole process of producing these handmade pieces she created.

I’m also inspired by garments the tell stories and have a sense of significance and meaning so I try to bring these qualities into my designs.

What does fashion mean to you?
I’ve always had a love, hate relationship with fashion. Somedays we’re great friends and some days it’s my worst enemy, but in saying that I’d hate to think what I would be doing or where I would be if it wasn’t for fashion as it has saved me in so many ways when I think about it.

What is the process like for making your garments and how long does it take you?
Sourcing fabrics would have to be one of the difficult parts of my process of production as I only work with discarded, unwanted and donated fabrics. Deconstructing garments is another form of reusing/recycling ways that I’ve adopted into my ethics.

Depending on the embellishments, most are individually hand sewn… feathers/pearls/ruffles so that would be the most time consuming but my sense for detail and OTT embellishments is a strong part of Dane Dagger designs.

What can we expect from your collection for PFFS?
My collection for PFFS is inspired by Aotearoa and the Māori women of NZ and the Pacific from the past to present. The transitions of Kākahu (clothes) and the introduction of the 1900s Western wardrobe with a 2020 influence is what inspired this range.

How important is it for Pacific people to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
As Pacific people I think that’s what we’re especially good at is encouraging and supporting each other to do better. When platforms arise the sense of support from the Pacific people tends to unfold into being proud of who we are and where we come from and where we’re going. For me to be in a panel of Māori and Pacific designers to share my craft is very humbling.

What are your plans for your brand and where do you see it heading?
I would love to he able to focus on fashion design full time that would be my ultimate goal. I’m a PT Barista at a city coffee shop here in Welly as well so balancing the two has also been full on.

Ideally my next step would be to get a website up and sell online a range of handmade pieces but also reassuring that Dane Dagger designs are made and produced in New Zealand as that is important too as a designer.

Also to keep taking up opportunities and collaborations where there is a fashion show or photo shoot concerned.

Images by Bright Sunday.

Related Articles
FashioNZ

Pin It on Pinterest