Most luxury resorts in the Maldives will feature some fine fashions in their boutiques, but Amilla featured fashion on a grand scale inviting both Style Guru Kat Farmer (“Does My Bum Look 40 in This”) and Maldivian Designer Raidha Shafeeg to share their insights and creations with the guests and online fans (I learned of their collaboration at Amilla’s London event where I met Kat). The event coincided with International Women’s Month showcasing these two leaders in their fields and included a fashion show as well as the discussion above. Always keen to feature pioneering Maldivians, Maldives Compete is delighted that Raidha shared some extra perspectives in an exclusive interview:
What are your artistic roots (eg. your earlier memories of being enthralled by creative pursuits)? Ever since a pretty young age, I’ve been interested in art and the creative world. I liked to paint and enjoyed drawing in my free time as well since it was a big hobby of mine. As I grew up, I studied arts in the schools I attended in order to develop my craft and learn more and acquired more knowledge about the artistic world.
What training/education in the field have you done? I did my HND in Fashion Design and Arts at the Academy of Design (AOD) in Sri-Lanka.
What type of fashion do you focus on? I would say that my main focus for my brand in regards of the type of fashion focused on, would be resort-wear as well as modest wear too, I love to keep up with current trends and love incorporating it into my new designs along with my personal touches.
What are some of the key elements of your personal style? I would honestly say that my personal style is an outwardly representation of my own personality – I love to dress in bright colours and love to experiment with bold prints as well.
What is one of your favourite designs? My favourite collection that I’ve debuted so far has to be the modest wear Bee Collection’ that we released in 2018 at the Mercedes-Benz show at Sri-Lanka. It was a collection that drew its inspiration from the concept of a bee colony and its hierarchies which I ruled by the queen bee. It is a collection that promotes women empowerment and I enjoyed designing the collection very much.
Who are some fashion designers who you admire? One designer I admire – and have admired for a long time – has to be Italian designer Donatella Versace. I love her designs for Versace and her personal style as well.
What advice would you give to aspiring Maldivian designers? My advice for any aspiring Maldivian designer is try to make something long lasting and worthwhile using your creativity and always believe in yourself and genuinely enjoy and love what you’re doing and do your work passionately as that’s always a sure-fire was to success.
The fashion accessory of the season if not the entire 2020 year is the now must-have (in more ways than one) face mask. While some decry this ostensible inconvenience, I think it is a whole new opportunity to rock some stylish fashion.
My friend Sylvia is making these in her back room. They come with a nose clip and an inner pocket to insert a filter if you want extra protection. I found this material at my local haberdashery, so naturally I commissioned an Indian Ocean one with the Maldives Islands front and center. Lori opted for a Wrasse-inspired designed (see bottom).
Email me if you would like Sylvia to make one for you. She is doing so to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis).
While every resort is now a coral-sand catwalk especially for the Instagram throngs of thongs, no resort has hosted a most extensive Instagram photoshoot than the eco-resort AaaVeee. It hosted a photoshoot for Destination Cover with not only a expansive group of 8 models (many photoshoots are a single person and maybe go up 3), but the quality of the posing, shooting and post was first rate. And a the number of shots shared on Instagram was unprecedented.
Part of making sustainable is to make it fashionable. Not a uniform that people have to wear in daily life, but a style with which they want to live their life willingly. Soneva has long been a trend-setter, not just in the most stylish resort features, but also in to pioneering approaches to eco-friendliness and raising environmental awareness. To bring flair and allure to the sustainability message, Soneva hosted international catwalk producer Jessica Minh Hanh for a photoshoot that illustrates the story of eco-resort life.
The holidays are filled with treats and at Paradise Island this week one fashion feast is the annual holiday pageant where one lucky sun-kissed guest will be crowned “Miss Paradise”….
“’Miss Paradise’ is one of the evening events included in our Christmas and New Year program. The participants/pageants are from the in-house guests and panel of judges are also selected from the house. It is a short event conducted at the Main Bar floor with a small runway selecting and announcing the winners.”
Most Christmas pageants I’ve ever been to involve toddlers dressed up as shepherds and sheep falling over each other while they mumble out contrived verses.
“As a model who can open doors anywhere, Cara Delevingne is probably used to fabulous freebies. But an entire holiday island in the Maldives is exceptional, even by her standards. Cara, 24, along with model sister Poppy, 30, will take over Finolhu Baa Atoll for a week from next Saturday – and they’ve invited up to 160 celebrity friends. Of course, the mother of all freebies doesn’t come without strings attached. And the sisters have promised to blitz social media with endless selfies, bringing a fortune in free advertising, thanks to Cara’s 35 million Instagram followers.”
35 million followers is nearly DOUBLE the next most popular Instagrammer to visit the Maldives (Huda Kattan who visited Huvafenfushi and Shanri-La Villingili has 16 million).
Water defines the Maldives and so island water features that maintain that aquatic feel even in the interior are always a fitting touch. A number of spas a have added lily ponds and fountains to their spas to bring that fluid tranquillity to their treatment retreat. The longest spa water feature I have ever ambled across is JA Manafaru’sCalm Spa (one of the most expansive in the Maldives) where it meanders through lush foliage and colourful flowering plants. The equally sinuous Victoria Lopyreva (Miss Russia 2003) posted a snap of the fashionable runway herself during her recent visit.
The latest Australian fashion extends beyond its globetrotting digerati. “Pop ups” are the big new trend especially in London dining. One & Only Reethi Rah has introduced a pop-up store featuring down-under designer Camilla Franks…
“From November 2015 to April 2016, One & Only Reethi Rah guests can browse through a stunning pop-up store at NEO Beach by Australian designer Camilla Franks. Camilla is well-known for her colourful, vibrant and lively collections which combine intricate craftsmanship, prints and detail to create truly individualistic designs. The 2015 season has already seen One & Only launch its own fashion label, partner with the world-renowned fashion house Missoni to release a bespoke capsule collection and launch a Melissa Odabash pop-up store at One & Reethi Rah. A breathtaking aquamarine Issa dress will also be available at exclusively One & Only resorts including One & Only Reethi Rah this year.”
I especially like the Camilla Frank styled buggy decorated as a part of the offer. So you can pop over to the pop up with a pop art buggy!
China National Day yesterday kicked off “Golden Week” (黄金周)in the country with an entire 7 days of national holiday.
I thought we would feature the top 8 beauties in the Maldives Complete fashion database from China (including Hong Kong) since “8” is such a auspicious number in Chinese tradition. We start with the quite golden Luo Zilin (above)…
In this past week’s fashion fiesta, 23 of the 194 shoots were accompanied by YouTube videos of the shoots. The video shoot adds an extra dimension of both alluring poses and immersion into the paradise of the Maldives. The biggest source of shoots was Prof. Hersch Chadha who has an entire YouTube channel full of video shoots he does in the Maldives at the Taj Exotica resort. His subjects are all Russian models so he has played a big role in driving that country to the #2 slot on the country league table. Tune in for a more animated fashion feast for the eyes.