By Vandhna Bhan
After a year-long hiatus due to Covid-19, the festival was back with a bang this year.
In a first for the festival and a first for a Cook Islander designer, the Te Pō fashion show embodied modern Pacific evening wear, avant-garde style.
Around 200 people gathered at Auckland War Memorial Museum to witness the spectacle that was the Te Pō fashion show, which also featured Pasifika dance, all choreographed by Hosking-Aue himself.
Te Pō means “the night” in Cook Island and Māori language, and this fashion show was all about that; evening wear glamour.
Hosking-Aue described his new collection as “really couture, really outrageous and using different forms of Pasifika with the feathers, the tapa cloth, shells, so everything that’s on the garments is actually pacific elements but weaved in a more contemporary western style and design”.
He started his Aue fashion line back in 2018, and since then has done four fashion shows including this latest one, all with different themes but with the same message of inclusivity and the same artistic showcase of contemporary Pacific wear.
The show, Te Pō, told the story in three parts, the first being the creation of the world in which we saw a collection of perfectly crafted rugged pieces giving off pre-historic vibes, some entwined with rope.
The second part told the story of how the moon gives light to the world, where a collection of dark and silver clothing shimmered in the blue light.
The third part focused on being in the womb.
To one piece that was made of red and white feathers sewn into a fitting Beyonce-like leotard, Hosking-Aue says the garment is “all about being in the womb, and then coming out pure so pure and young and blending it together makes us the humans we are”.
Hosking-Aue says the theme has been very personal to him and his growth as an artist.
Many of the male pieces throughout the show were a play on the classic lavalava, the traditional male skirt worn in the Pacific Islands.
One of the models described the experience of working with Hosking-Aue such a “privilege”.
“Vivian always takes our Pacific fashion to the next level, and just to wear the garment is priceless,” model Ernestina Bonsu Maro said.
Another model, Susnation Seta, described the practices as “intense” due to Hosking-Aue “being a perfectionist so everything he does is very calculated and measured”.
“It was making sure we put on a good show and showcase all the hardwork he has done and also I guess to give back to our community and people as well. I felt like a Victoria Secret model, I felt so empowered,” Seta said.
While he’s relatively new to the fashion scene in New Zealand, Hosking-Aue is already looking to take his “Aue” collection international, hoping to showcase Pasifika fashion like never before, perhaps even at New York Fashion Week one day.