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Contemporary Rotuman Artists

Karay Kunou

From Fijitimes Online (14 July 2011)

THE youngest contender at this year's Crest Fashion Show has leaped off the catwalk to design her own costumes, because its where the money's at.

Karay Kunou, a Form Three student of St Joseph's Secondary School has entered the organic and recycled categories of the Agriculture Crest Fashion Show how contest which will be held next week in Suva's Tattersalls Gym.

Her uncle and designer Aisea Konrote said one of her costumes was made of empty packets of Rewa Life milk cello taped to make a dress.

"She calls it (the dress) Vanilla Milkshake promoting a healthy lifestyle for the youngsters," Aisea said yesterday.

"This is her way of saying its alright not to smoke or drink alcohol - to have a vanilla milkshake instead

He said his niece, who was at school, was flat out with exams and after-school classes.

Karay has modelled her uncle's costumes on catwalks at the Fiji Fashion Week in 2008 and at last year's Agriculture Fashion Show.

"She has another costume dedicated to women who sili kai (diving for fresh water mussels)," Aisea, who is helping his niece put her collection together, said.

"In particularly, it's about the dangers involved in diving in murky waters." The costume is a tube top and a mini sulu joined as one complete outfit, he said.

"Her accessories are kai (fresh water mussels) shells," Aisea said.

There is even a matching hat wear to go with the black silky costume, he said.

"Karay has worked with me since she could walk," Aisea said.

"She has been a helping hand where my work with charity and the orphaned children are concerned.

"She sees me buying kai to take on our visits to these places and one time, in Nausori, she asked about the women she saw swimming in the Rewa River."

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