Nature's materials: Vanuatu fibre, Fijian magimagi, barkcloth and Fijian Masi cloth with traditional Seychelles jewellery

Commonwealth Fashion Council

Explore the exchange story of designer Hupfeld Hoerder Designs from Fiji and artisans Tousong Kalsong, Liza Garo and Marie Rorou from Vanuatu, and Rolan & Anna Payet from Seychelles, and find out how they created their look for The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, 2018.

The Exchange: Fiji x Vanuatu / Seychelles
For The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange 2018, designer Hupfeld Hoerder Designs exchanged with artisans Tousong Kalsong, Liza Garo, Marie Rorou / Rolan & Anna Payet to create a look that was inspired by the cultures and traditions of their countries. The look was unveiled at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 2018, and later moved to the Australian High Commission, London, where it was open to the public in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, April 2018.
Fiji: Designer Hupfeld Hoerder Designs
Drawing on his Rotuman heritage, Hupfeld Hoerder captures the culture and beauty of his paradise islands home of Fiji, in his richly patterned fashion collections. The islands and islets that make up Fiji are tiny specks in the vast Pacific, and carry cultural references from neighbouring Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Hoerder, whose career spans 25 years, replicates the cultural diversity of the islands through vibrantly coloured prints, natural fibres and traditional motifs. His designs have won him many national fashion and business awards in the Pacific.
Vanuatu: Artisans Tousong Kalsong / Liza Garo / Marie Rorou
Pentecost Island is one of the 83 islands that make up the nation of Vanuatu, in the South Pacific. The three designers that exchanged their artisan skills with Hupfeld are Tousong Kalsong, Liza Garo and Marie Rorou, each living on Pentecost and maintaining cultural decoration used in ceremonies for many centuries. 

Traditional beadwork

Beadwork from Tousong, uses shells previously reserved for ceremonies such as marriage, death, circumcision and chiefly rankings.

Liza worked on necklaces fashioned from seeds and sand according to a custom known as Bwati Pani while Marie wove leaves and grasses to make a white mat.

Seychelles: Artisans Rolan & Anna Payet
Husband and wife team Rolan and Anna Payet are craftspeople from the Seychelles. Rolan designs the jewellery and cuts, and Anna helps with the finishing touches and with designing. 

All of the jewellery made by Rolan & Anna Payet is handmade, using broken, dead and found shells from the Seychelles to create their products.

The story behind the look
Hupfeld created an off-the-shoulder, corseted blouse and a skirt made from recycled Fijian Masi cloth (a traditional cotton fabric).The look has been completed with jewellery created by Rolan & Anna Payet, using shells from the Seychelles.

Illustration of the look

The off-the-shoulder, corseted blouse is made from Vanuatu fibre.

The blouse features a peplum finished with Fijian magimagi (coconut fibre), barkcloth and mother of pearl shells embroidered into a geometric flower pattern.

The skirt is made from recycled Fijian Masi cloth (a traditional cotton fabric) that is hand-printed with geometric designs representing various parts of the region and embellished with appliqued flowers.

Final look on display at the Australian High Commission, London, 22 February 2018

Final look on display at Buckingham Palace, 19 February 2018

Credits: Story

This content has been specifically curated for the Google Arts & Culture platform on behalf of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange exhibition that launched on the 19th of February at Buckingham Palace in partnership with Swarovski, The Woolmark Company and MATCHESFASHION.COM.

The project, created and managed by Eco-Age, with the support of The Commonwealth Fashion Council and The British Fashion Council.

More information about the images is available by clicking on them.
Read more about the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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