One of my passions is designing clothes, it’s something I’ve done ever since I was a kid. I am by no means a professional designer, it’s more of a hobby for me. I love nothing more then to pick up second hand garments at the markets or shops in Pom and turn them into something more interesting.
Over the years I have accumulated numerous scrap books filled with nothing but sketches of one design or another, all are gathering dust. In 2002, while in Port Moresby, I worked up the courage and entered The Ice Fashion Awards, a nationwide fashion design competition. I came up with the idea of combining recycled denim and synthetic bilum (string bag) for a contemporary PNG look. I made it to the finals. That was 5 years ago. In 2003, I took part in an all woman art exhibition in Port Moresby entitled “Mama Lewa” which was organised by The Business and Professional Women’s Club. That was my first exhibition experience and I actually featured four paintings and a few of my denim n’ bilum garments. Amazingly,I sold 3 paintings, one was auctioned. The purpose of the exhibition was to raise funds to provide scholarships for young women in Port Moresby to further their education. I’m keen to organise a similar exhibition here in Alotau, perhaps early next year to coincide with International Women’s Day. Here are some of my creations (special Thanks to Cam Hollows for taking all the photos-except the last two,and his assistant Jane McKenzie). Temari modelling bilum n' denim skirt
Joanne in bilum n' denim mini skirt and top
Bilum coconut tree pattern on jeans
Joanne,Durand and Temari
Over the last few years, bilum outfits have become a lot more popular. There’s a lot of work involved in creating and weaving a bilum outfit and a full outfit can fetch anywhere from K300.00 and upwards. Not cheap!The garments however, are very eye-catching and unique. One of my paintings