It was more than a day at the races for Melbourne Cup punters at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa at Denarau, Nadi, on Tuesday.

The crowd was treated to a spectacle of their own with a pre-finale fashion show by acclaimed resort-wear designer Robert Kennedy, who exhibited his Fiji Market 2010 and (overseas-based) Frangipani Beach collection for the crowd.

Striking patterned prints of kaftans, jumpsuits and layered dresses were the toast of the gathering when over 10 models took to the catwalk for Melbourne Cup fans.

Following a request by the resort, the fashion show was the first Western exhibition for Kennedy’s Fiji Market collection, which has earned rave reviews and already hit Tappoo stores around the country.

“Sofitel approached me for a show and I was happy to oblige because fashion is very much associated with Melbourne Cup Day, especially for women,” Mr Kennedy said.

His latest and fifth collection, named Blue Lagoon, earned a sneak peak when worn by models at the World Supermodel Pageant in Amunuca Island last month.

It will also be for exhibition during the upcoming Fiji Fashion Week.

“Blue Lagoon is inspired by the movie of the same name (starring Brooke Shields).”

Fiji Fashion Show 2011 will see an expansion of the new collection which features a lot of long flowing dresses and bold prints. Blue Lagoon has been my most focused collection.

“I’ve been with the Fiji Market for about five years and started with kaftans, which has been and still is a bestseller,” he said.

Mr Kennedy admits that while he initially targeted the tourist market, his biggest buyers were locals, namely ‘island girls.

“I design for all sizes and Fiji women are my inspiration,” he said.

Fiji Sun

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