TAV, Kate & memory lane…

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.

This is my sister, Penina,  and others modelling TAV on the beach at The Rarotongan, circa 1992ish

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:

The very proud owner of a TAV dress

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.

The ‘No Shoes’ Crew.

4 Responses to TAV, Kate & memory lane…

  1. JonsR September 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Awesome post Lani, great to see all the exposure TAV has been getting all over the world in the last few days. Kia Manuia

  2. Natz $5 September 21, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Mean togs Penina! You still wear those ones? Love the blog Lani. You keep it real! x

    • peninajoy September 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Hahahaha nah I don’t aye lol! Cool post Lanz – TAV ftw haha


  1. PASIFIKA X POLYFEST ft TeRa, Vaiana George, David Toailoa & St Pauls College | peninajoy - May 7, 2013

    […] Vaiana George is wearing her own design – aqua tipani dress & she’s also wearing her own jewellery – black pearl earrings, black pearl string necklace & a sterling silver black pearl bracelet.  I’m wearing a well known Cook Island designer Elena Tavioni’s design – TAV pacific blue strapless dress – it’s actually the blue version of the pink dress that Princess Kate wore to the Solomon Islands.  I bought mine in Rarotonga a couple of years ago but they’re also in stock here in Auckland at their shop on Mt Eden Road.  Lani Says featured them in her blog last year.  You can read more about TAV here. […]

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