SEVENTEEN-year-old Natabua High School student Koyal Bhagat beat 18 other designers from around Fiji for the top prize at the first Crest Chicken Salwaar Kameez Design Competition yesterday.
The competition — organised by Fiji Fashion Week (FJFW) — follows the very successful second Crest Chicken Sulu Jaba Design Competition held in July.
Ms Bhagat said her Anarkali salwaar kameez design had a special origin.
"When I was designing the salwaar kameez I knew it was a traditional Indian cultural dress but I wanted its design to represent Fiji," Ms Bhagat said.
She said having her design picked as the winner made all the sacrifice behind making the salwaar kameez worth it.
"When my design was picked as the winner I was very happy because a lot of hard work went into making it and it was great to have my design acknowledged by the judges."
Ms Bhagat, who entered two designs for the competition, said it had taken a total of two weeks to make the winning design with some aspects of it being hand sewn on.
"I'd also like to thank my parents for all their support because it took a lot of time and money — even most of the materials were not available in Fiji," she said.
"The shells on the winning design couldn't be sewed on and they had to be hand done in a different way by my mother and I."
Ms Bhagat said she was indebted to her tailor, Jitendra Parmar, for helping with the designs.
Fiji Fashion Week public relations consultant Lenora Qereqeretabua said 18 male and female designers of different ethnic descent had entered the competition.
The second placed salwaar kameez was designed by Zalman Acraman while third place went to Sarah Shah.