High Tea met high fashion at the Samoa Events Inc (S.E.I) Tea Party during the weekend to showcase the preparations of the 2017 Miss Samoa, Papali’i Alexandra Iakopo, for the Miss Pacific Islands 2017 pageant.
The invite only event was attended by the sponsors of Miss Samoa and her supporters.
The main purpose of the High Tea was not only to give guests an overview of the Miss Pacific schedule but to also showcase a sneak preview of Miss Samoa’s wardrobe for the competition, which was provided by local fashion houses.
The designers represented the following Fashion Houses; Areilei Couture, Big & Small, Fashion Plus, Gardenia Hinano, House of Gold, Naumati Fashion, Riematt Fashion & Gift Shop and TAPZ.
Designer Jean Passi Lafoa’i spoke on behalf of Riematt Fashion & Gift Shop.
“It’s our first time being a part of this and it’s fantastic. It’s a good experience for us, knowing that the other fashion houses are here is good too to showcase what we can do in terms of Samoan styles.”
Jean and her sister Marie Passi Westerlund are both designers for Riematt which started out with their mother at the helm,
“We are both designers. Our mother Sala Epifania Passi was a seamstress for a long time. We girls carried it on in our own styles. We have mainly Samoan style fashion pieces focusing mainly on puletasi and dresses. We make our prints and we have specials prints that we showcased in a fashion show earlier this year in Australia. Our business is going well and it’s growing. We are proud of ourselves.”
The Miss Pacific programme is expected to be full on according to S.E.I President, Laeimau Oketevi Tanuvasa, who revealed that this will be the first time that a Miss Samoa contestant will be competing in a four day pageant.
She is confident that Miss Samoa, Papali’i Alexandra Iakopo is up to the task even though recently she lost her father,
“ She is determined to dedicate this whole thing to her Dad and I think her Dad is watching everything she is doing and she is going to work hard to make sure she gets this,” Laeimau said.
Papali’i said she plans to take her dad with her in spirit to the competition for strength and inspiration,
“I definitely will, my dad is my biggest inspiration in entering this pageant so I believe that I’m still here for a purpose and I have to bring that purpose and try and achieve more with the Miss South Pacific. My mum will be in Fiji to support so I’m very grateful that she will be there by my side throughout the journey.”
“I feel excited and I look forward to the experience and also meeting the other participants. I’ve never been to Fiji so it’ll be a good experience
“I would just like to say thank you to everyone, especially the sponsors who made our preparations possible so thank you very much. Also thank you to Samoa for the support, I’m very grateful and blessed to have such supportive, beautiful and humble people.“
During the event, Miss Samoa along with the help of three young ladies modelled the gowns that Miss Iakopo will be wearing throughout the competition. No cameras or videos were allowed in the event depicting the gowns before the competition.
The Miss South Pacific pageant is held in Fiji from December 1 till December 10th and the Miss Samoa contingent will depart this week.
The theme for this year is Climate Change: Action to sustain our Islands.
There will be eight contestants; American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga. The Fiji organizing committee have organised a nine day carnival in Nandi and Miss South Pacific will be incorporated into the carnival. This is a new experience for Samoa to participate in a pageant held over four days.