Monday, June 25, 2018

Project Runway fashion extravaganza on again



The annual Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) PNG Project Runway sponsored by the Pacific Balanced Fund will be staged at The Stanley Hotel and Suites in Port Moresby on July 28 this year.

This outfit created by WANTOK Clothing was the winner of the Traditionally Inspired Dress category in last year’s Project Runway. The model – Sheilla Yama – is wearing this piece which was inspired by Milne Bay Province and the skills of the Milne Bay people in terms of weaving and carving. It incorporates themes, patterns and colours of the Milne Bay Canoe culture and is made from pandanus, copra sack, feathers, wood, pearls, pearl shell and abalone shell, all sourced locally. Wantok Clothing was assisted by skilled ladies and men from Divinai village in Milne Bay Province.

This is the fourth year for the Project Runway to be staged and my…has it come a long way!

Thanks to Facebook – this event has gained popularity through the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant PNG FB Page which has over 13,000 followers.

The creativity and unique handiwork of our local designers on stage have been photographed and shared by fans and critiques many times over, on social media.

This has assisted with ticket sales for the event which provides a platform for local designers to showcase their talent.

Not only that, the main reason behind the Project Runway and the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant (MPIP) PNG is a noble cause that has resonated well with supporters.

Funds raised through these events go to a Scholarship Fund which assists young women to complete their education in colleges and universities in PNG every year.

This is an invaluable tool for empowerment of women that has been in place since 2011.

Under the patronage of Ms Lynda Babao-O’Neill and Chair of Mrs Molly O’Rourke, supported by a hard-working committee of volunteers, the MPIP PNG has grown from strength to strength as the stats below indicate.

In 2017 the Scholarship Fund assisted 42 young women with a budget of K84,973.00.

This year the fund  is assisting 54 young women with a budget of K160,308.00.

So far, since 2011,MPIP PNG has assisted a total number of 204 young women to the value of K840,000

For the first time this year, the annual Ruby Anne Laufa Award was awarded to a young woman - Samantha Mosoro - who is completing her studies at the Legal Training Institute (LTI).

Miss Pacific Islands, Matauaina Gwendolyn Toomalatai of American Samoa and Miss Papua New Guinea Niawali Anastacia Twain at the Albert Park in Nadi, Fiji during the regional pageant last December. One of the reasons why Traditionally Inspired Dress is an important category in the MPIP PNG Project Runway…it is also an important category at the Regional pageant.

 This Award is in memory of former Miss South Pacific PNG (2012-2013), Ruby Laufa who passed away in tragic circumstances in February 2017.

She was at the LTI when she passed on.

The MPIP PNG Scholarship is advertised on the Miss Pacific Islands PNG pageant FB Page at the beginning of each year.

The MPIP PNG Committee selects students mostly in third and final year.

This year was a challenge because of the increase in fees in many institutions around the country, and in the priority areas of Health, Education and Agriculture.

 There were over 300 applications which unfortunately could not all be catered for.

Whatever funds raised at the Project Runway will be a welcome addition to the Scholarship Fund.

 This year the Project Runway will be a little different.

 The evening event will be called “A Night of the Arts”.

Along with the main runway attraction, there will be pop-up stalls market, live entertainment and live painting.

 It will be a celebration of the creative industry to give guests something spectacular to enjoy.

There will be 20 stalls in the market which will open for customers at 5pm.

A total of 60 models are expected to strut their stuff on the runway beginning at 6.30pm.

Models at rhearsals for July 28 Project Runway

The Project Runway this year has been opened up as a wider platform for Small and Medium Entreprises - artists and artisans to display their ware and promote sales, in addition to showcasing outfits from 10 local designers; four from Port Moresby and six from out of town.

One of the six is a young man residing in Cairns, Australia.

The runway extravaganza will feature a good mix of established as well as emerging designers.

Outfits will be modelled in the following categories (1) Day /Evening Wear (2). Sarong (3) Traditionally Inspired Dress (TID).

The MPIP PNG Project Runway was introduced in July 2015 to feature local designers, many of whom are women who work from their homes.

There are cash prizes offered.

Moreover at the Project Runway, local designers also have the chance to show their work to sponsors of the Miss PNG pageant where they can then gain paid work to make outfits for a sponsored contestant and then go on to dress her in the regional platform should their contestant win.

 The winner of Miss Papua New Guinea pageant has the enviable opportunity to wear the PNG designed outfits at events locally and regionally.

“Dress for progress” is this year’ Project Runway theme and is taken from the International Women’s Day theme: “Press for progress”.

Ticket price to attend the Project Runway is K250 per person, inclusive of complimentary drinks and finger food.

 The main sponsors are Pacific Balanced Fund (which has the Naming Rights), National Gaming Control Board (Official Sponsor), National Broadcasting Corporation (Official Broadcaster and Gold Sponsor), Paddy’s Hotel, Trends International, Colgate Palmolive, Brain Bell Group, Citi Boutique Hotel, Stanley Hotel & Suites to name a few.

There will be raffle tickets on sale for K20 per ticket or K50 for three tickets.

Prizes include an exquisite PNG silver Kundu and pearl choker donated by House of Gemini, a sewing machine, and an overlocker donated by Brian Bell.

Kundu handcrafted from PNG Silver and Daru Pearl intertwine into an exquisite choker donated by House of Gemini jewelers. This is a raffle prize for the Project Runway. Tickets for this will be sold at K20 each or K50 for three tickets. All proceeds go to the MPIP PNG Scholarship Fund.

The regional pageant was developed by the Government of Samoa to promote the numerous cultures of the Pacific Islands.

The pageant offers young women from around the region an opportunity to act as “cultural ambassadors” for their countries.

The pageant also aims to gain exposure for host nations, and bring publicity to the region and its many tourist attractions.

The MPIP PNG Committee took on the pageant franchise eight years ago and manages it as a not-for-profit organisation.

There are four main pillars of the MPIP PNG:

  • The pageant itself which prepares and mentors young women and selects a cultural ambassador to represent PNG.
  • The MPIP PNG Scholarship Fund which raises funds to assist young women complete their tertiary education in colleges and universities in PNG.
  • The Project Runway .
  • The regional pageant where PNG is proudly showcased by Miss Papua New Guinea 

A Crowning Ball is held at the end of each year and the winner of this pageant represents PNG in the regional pageant held in a Pacific Island nation, this time in Tonga in December.

MPIP PNG Committee Chairperson, Mrs O’Rourke said, “We aim to select a girl who is the embodiment of the modern Papua New Guinean women, both educated and culturally aware.

"We also want to select a girl who represents the best that PNG has to offer, with the ability to share the spirit of PNG with others.

“We believe strongly in education as a means to empower young women in PNG.
With the Project Runway, we believe we are contributing to economic empowerment of our women.

“In the true spirit of empowering our women we would like to invite you to partner with us by attending our Project Runway.”


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