Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tahiti Fashion Exhibit

Tahiti fashion covering 220 years goes on exhibit Oct. 7 at Papeete City Hall

(Tahiti Presse) - An exhibition of Tahitian fashion covering the 220-year period from 1760 to 1980 will go on exhibit inside and outside the Papeete City Hall on Oct. 7 and continue through Nov. 4.

Many associations and professionals have contributed to the exhibit, which will retrace the history of Tahitian fashion from the 18th to the 20th Century. Aided by descriptions from Tahiti's first European visitors, the archives of the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands and the people's memories, the organizers have been able to reproduce the 220-year epoch.

All of the fashions that will be on exhibit have been financed entirely by local couturiers, who have invested time, effort and materials to present this retrospective of Tahitian fashion.

Teiki Villant, choreographer for the locally and internationally famous Grands Ballets de Tahiti traditional dance group, will present some 100 models for a special fashion show for the inauguration of the exhibition on Oct. 7.

Men and women will present a variety of traditional costumes made from plant fibers, such as pandanus leaves used to make a Tiputa, a sort of cloak. They also will present the first missionary dresses, inspired by the first British missionaries to arrive in Tahiti. In some cases, families have loaned for this special occasion dresses dating back to the end of the 19th Century.

There also will be a photo exhibition, with treasures from both private and public sources throughout the Society Islands to illustrate the different epochs within the 220-year period covered.

There will be demonstrations of basket weaving and sewing, allowing visitors to better appreciate the evolution of Tahitian fashion, particularly the influence that European fashion had in Tahitian dress starting in the 19th Century.

Finally, there will be informal talks presented during certain days of the week at the Papeete City Hall, allowing those with experience in Tahiti fashion to explain to visitors the types of evolution that have occurred.

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