20 February, 2018. A gorgeous green and floral gown created by Samoan Designer, Afa Ah Loo, has been featured at the Opening Reception for the first Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at the Buckingham Palace.
Ah Loo’s gown was praised by the likes of model Naomi Campbell, Vogue’s Anna Wintour and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who were present at the event which marked the start of the annual London Fashion Week.
Social media was flooded with congratulatory messages after photos of the gown were reposted by The Royal Family’s Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Posting via Facebook, Ah Loo reminisced, “Today is the day that I have been working towards and been waiting on for such a long time! Today reminded me of a conversation that I had with my late mom. We were watching the Manu Samoa play at the World Cup and I had commented on how I wished I could represent my country in a capacity such as the Rugby World Cup.”
“My mom gracefully remarked and said ‘Son, you don’t need to be great at any sports to represent your country. Your God given talents can take you to places like this. You can represent your country by using what God gave you. Your talents’. Today, that counsel came true! She was right (as always) all along. Today I get to enter the Buckingham Palace in front of some of the Royal family and represent my country of Samoa, all because of my God given talents.” read the emotional post.
“Thank you for always believing in me, momma, even when I didn’t believe myself! This is for you and for Samoa! I’m proud and always will be a true Samoan.” he added.
In addition to Ah Loo’s gown, fashion pieces from 53 participating countries were featured at the Exchange, which was aimed at showcasing the power and potential of artisan fashion skills, developing trade links and highlighting sustainability.
Speaking to Samoa Planet earlier today, Ah Loo stated that he was honoured for the amazing opportunity to represent his country at the international level.
He said, “Having been invited by the Queen and selected for the prestigious event has been just an honour for me! I was able to see other designers and artisans from the Commonwealth and their works of art! I was especially proud of our South Pacific brothers and sisters that were represented there. Like Tonga, Fiji, Cook Islands, Tuvalu and NZ!”
“I am humbled to have been given this amazing opportunity to represent Samoa at the first Commonwealth Fashion Exchange in the Buckingham Palace!” he added.
The featured pieces are scheduled to be moved to a public exhibition at the Australia House and other locations in London on February 21st. The exhibition will then be open to the public for viewing, in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April 2018.
Afa Ah Loo is originally from Samoa but currently resides in Utah, USA with wife, Laura.
Reporter with Samoa Planet.
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