Designer makes clean sweep in fashion awards
Rupi Taituuga is not a new name in the designers circle here in Samoa and on the international stage.
In fact he has showcased many of his award-winning designs through the Miss Samoa Pageant and Miss South Pacific Pageant.
As overall winner of the Best Designer awards of the recently Samoa Tourism Authority-hosted 2012 Miss Teuila Pageant, Rupi took out all three special awards as designer for the Best Traditionally Inspired Attire, Best Sarong wear and Best Puletasi.
After 13 years of career success, Rupi has again proved that he is still the best.
His designs were all worn by his niece and Miss Samoa contestant number five, Rezetta Kahealani Mulitalo who was sponsored by Le Penina Spa and Indoors.
Artist Vanya Taulealo, who was one of the special judges on the night, said that Rupi swept the field not only in design but also in the quality of the sewing and use of traditional materials.
“Rupi's stood out in all categories. The sarong was beautifully printed and looked stunning on the contestant, the traditional wear was beautiful, Rupi's use of traditional materials, the interplay of the natural colours and the interpretation of traditional symbols on the garment were used in a contemporary way. The headdress and shawl really set the design off beautifully. The puletasi was elegant, the colours were pleasing and the printed design very well done.
"The special awards judges spent approximately half an hour prior to the show inspecting the garments closely for interpretation of the categories, sarong, traditional wear and puletasi. We were looking at the designers’ use of local materials such as tapa, seeds, weaving, the attractiveness of the design, the quality of the sewing, and creativity, quality and originality of the design.
The overall presentation of the garments and how they were worn by the contestants also came into play when making the final assessments.