Most familiar with Island fashion would have recognised the distinctive style of the dress the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine, wore on her recent visit to Solomon Islands as Cook Islands brand ‘TAV’. Or, at least wondered if she was wearing TAV.
It’s a story that’s been all over media the last couple of days, and it’s pretty rad to see a label like TAV, that’s completely produced in Rarotonga, with all garments made on island and all hand-printed, get so much international exposure.
Ellena Tavioni owns TAV, and I interviewed her daughter Sheena for a couple of stories for work. She told me that they’d studied Kate’s style and picked out four dresses based on what they thought she’d like, as a gift. Sheena says the dress Kate chose to wear was totally unexpected as it was a strapless babydoll dress, not her usual style. Needless to say they’re all still in shock at all the attention they’re getting.
The story took me down memory lane, as I lived in Rarotonga for seven years until the age of 9, and for everyone who lived there, TAV is the ultimate label everyone wanted to be seen in. It’s THE fashion brand, and I was so envious of my two sisters who got to model her clothes for the tourists at The Rarotongan every weekend, not just because they got to wear TAV, but also because they got a free feed at the hotel at the end haha.
I’d always wanted a TAV dress, one in particular, but being locally produced means they didn’t come cheap. My dreams came true on my 9th birthday, when my parents gave me the most beautiful dress I’d ever set eyes on:
I insisted on many photos being taken in it – and, as you can see, this is clearly the best day of my 9 years of life.