Nora Swann, Director
Pacific Fusion Fashion Show
Q&A with Nora Swann
What is your inspiration behind Pacific Fusion Fashion show?
PFFS was created to allow Pacific designers to have free reign of their creativity in the fashion industry. I got tired of being put in a box and having limited options of clothing available due to seasonal trends forecasted by others. And then having to see the same trends on the runway.
I wanted Pacific Fusion Fashion Show to showcase the beauty of Pacific design and allow the designers the freedom to share their stories not only through their collections but through the models who wore their garments, the accessories the models adorn to complement their garments and the music that guides the model down the runway celebrating the designer’s creation.
PFFS returns for its fifth year. How has fashion changed over time at the show?
What I’ve seen on the PFFS platform overtime has definitely evolved. Every year the designers are bolder with their choice of textures, mix of colour palettes and clash of styles. We’re expecting to see the infused Pacific and Western influence on the runway but the beauty of the Pacific designs lie in the finer detail. i.e the inspiration behind the collection, the story of the family members who stayed up late to help sew on buttons, the importance of cultural representation through the incorporation of harakeke (flax) weaved into garments etc. It is becoming well known that the sentimental connection in the designers’ collections are as equally important to what you physically see on the runway.
What’s the scope for aspiring fashionista’s to establish a career in fashion in New Zealand?
Be true to yourself as it’s the easiest way to share your creative story. Be inspired by others and stay connected to what is happening in the mainstream, Pacific/Maori and other communities but focus on your point of difference which is your strength and the beauty that your authenticity offers.
What would be your advice to NZSAF fashion students?
Hone in on what you really want to do after you study and make realistic small goals that will help you get closer to that goal. If that means upskilling and further studies in the fashion industry then so be it. The short term sacrifice is definitely worth it.
Once you understand what your purpose is in life, it makes everything a whole lot easier because all you need to do is ask yourself ‘is this in alignment with my purpose in life?’ If it is, carry on and if not then try something new.
For students studying fashion at NZSAF, how do you think their programme will help them in their journey to success?
There is a reason why the students have chosen to study at NZSAF so they need to stay focussed on these factors and work towards the goal of successfully completing their programme and then potentially doing the next level up. However, they should also consider other ways that they can maximise from their time there. NZSAF is well known for its diversity of fashion students and this is an advantage because you are exposed to so many different ways of thinking so there is an opportunity to network and collaborate with their peers. Not only will these side projects build their portfolio, expertise and network but it will also broaden their way of thinking so that they can really cultivate their fashion labels.