Lai’s love for colours

Laisiasa Raibevu Davetawalu of the fashion label "Elaradi". Picture: SUPPLIED

HIS love for colours, timeless fashion, bead embroidery and arts was the main focus for his love for fashion.

For 20-year-old Laisiasa Raibevu Davetawalu who describes himself as being naturally talented in creative arts, fashion has always helped him express the way he feels about a certain thing which brings his inspiration, thoughts and ideas to life.

The fashion designer for the brand Elaradi, who hails from Muaninuku, Nabukelevu, Kadavu a typical day at work for him would include pattern making, choosing fabrics, garment constructions and dealing with his clients.

“When a client walks away happy and satisfied makes my day exciting and fulfilling. Also when things work according to how I plan them,” Mr Davetawalu said.

He said his passion for fashion began very early in his school days when he could take out a sketchbook and start sketching way back in Primary school.

“My passion kept moving forward from that moment on until I watched Fiji Fashion Week 2012.

“I got inspired that very moment by what I saw. As part of my dreams, things got even better when I showed my first garment at the Fiji Fashion Weeks Sulu Chamba Competition in 2014,” he said.

“I then got myself engaged in watching fashion shows on YouTube and learnt how to sew, do bead embroidery and watched Fashion DIY tutorials,” he added.

“As I climbed the ladder and got myself enrolled into Sigatoka Methodist College, I got myself registered to show at the Fiji Fashion Week student Designers Show in 2015 and 2016. I then won Fiji Fashion Week Student Designers Show in 2016 and won the best student designers show in 2015 alongside three other student designers.”

He said label Elaradi is derived from my initials LRD (Laisiasa Raibevu Davetawalu), EL represents letter L, AR represents the letter R, and DI represents letter D.

“My collection this year is called Vatuniloka collection which is named after an enchanted rock in my village. It is like a landmark that always represent my village,” Davetawalu said.

“After leaving the island of Kadavu, 13 years ago all I could remember was my childhood memory. Remembering the landscape and everything about my village made me cherish my 2 weeks Christmas break in Kadavu,” he said.

He said he wanted to dress people from all works of life.

“I love timeless work and detailed work on garments. I focus a lot on high fashion statement garments.”

Davetawalu’s style for this year’s FJFW will be similar to street corporate evening wear.

“There is more workmanship than prints in this collection. This year I’m using linen, cotton drill and other sustainable fabrics.”

He says he loves fashion so much as it is a way someone portrays how they feel and express their feelings.


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