Editorial Comment – Locals can do it

Model Sainiana Ratu for a campaign shoot for Fiji Fashion Week Resort Collections 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED/Asvin Singh

A REPORT we carry today talks about fashion in Fiji. Not too long ago, depending on how old or young you are, the idea of holding such an event and all its related activities in Fiji would have been just that — an idea. And maybe, some would even call it a farfetched one at that. For fashion, models and all else that went with it were something we read about in magazines and other media platforms dedicated for such purposes. It was done by people overseas and we were just, in a manner of speaking, merely spectators. Not any more, not so. Over the years, a segment of our society looks forward to this and its related events. The question we must ask is: What happened for things to change? That we should no longer be just onlookers on events happening far away and not have events right here at home showcasing local talents, capabilities, ideas and materials. One possible answer is that someone or some people asked: Now why can’t this, and things related to it, be done in Fiji by Fijians? Not content to just ask the question, they also actively set about looking for the answers, practicable answers which would work given the circumstances on the ground here at home. In addition to the question and its answer and all the discussions that would have surely taken place in between, there would have also been a certain amount of courage involved. The courage to try something which no one had tried in Fiji before, at least not on the scale they were thinking about. Over time, we have seen a local fashion industry evolve, featuring local designers, some of whom have gone on to greater things in Fiji and abroad. Of course, there have been some who have disagreed with local fashion in general or certain aspects of it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if what they have to say is put forth in a constructive manner for drawing on the merits of alternative viewpoints is another way in which growth can occur. And it need not be only for fashion shows and related events. Asking questions of established ways of looking at things can pay a handsome dividend. Often, we are told that people are a country’s greatest resources. What we would like to say is that while that is certainly true, it would also be worth our while to always think extraordinary, or as said in today’s parlance, outside the box. For if we are ordinary, if we keep to what is already well-established with the confines of the box, then what we will live with is a way of thinking that does not encourage but constrains. Sometimes the change in thinking does not have to be that great, but it’s got to be there, we are to do what we previously could not do.