Solomon Islands Queen’s Young Leaders Award 2018 Recipient Ms. Millicent Barty will launch her Emerging Fashion Label #Kastom Designs at the LPFW SS22, 2021.

Meet the Solomon Islands Queen’s Young Leaders Award 2018 Recipient Ms. Millicent Barty soon to launch her Emerging Fashion Label #Kastom Designs. Ms. Millicent will feature in the Student/Graduate Collection for the London Pacific Fashion Week SS22. As an Emerging Fashion Designer from Makira Province, Solomon Islands; Ms. Millicent Barty is paving the way for upcoming Emerging Talent.

Millicent an award recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2018 receiving her prestige’s award from Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace, London, England.

The LPFW Teaser show will be hosted on the 19th February, 2021 at the Meston Suite, Royal Horse Guards Hotel, London. Ms. Millicent will be in London from the 15-18 September to fully represent her collection flanked by two Senior Fashion Designers also representing Solomon Islands; Proton Creations & MB Collections.

Returning to England in 2021 will not come as a surprise to Ms. Millicent. She graduated from the Goldsmiths College, University of London (2010-2013) with a BA Hons. Design. Despite holding various roles in the Solomon Islands, through her own design company (Millicent Designs), she specializes in communications design utilizing the structures of traditional oral storytelling practices of Solomon Islands to redesign community awareness approaches aiming to bridge communication gaps in socio-political development where 80% of rural communities are literate.

This work has recognized Ms. Millicent an award recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2018. Millicent prides herself in being a traditional placing importance of indigenous cultural preservation and reviving lost traditional narratives of the Solomon Islands.

“Kastom Stories are traditional oral histories of the Solomon Islands. We don’t have our history written down like most cultures, our only form of preservation of our history was through kastom storytelling being passed down generation to generation. These stories are more than just myths, tales and a snapshot of our history; they are filled with our traditional wisdom, hardships and even understanding nature’s bond with man.” said Millicent.

Millicent pictured with her family in Makira Province.

“I want to put myself in the shoes of my great-grandfather and explore the reversal role of an imagined history where my Melanesian heritage is a predominant culture through my Men’s collection.” said Millicent.

Great-grandfather: Heinrich Küper (German)
Great-grandmother: Kafagamurirongo
(Santa Ana, Makira Prov.)

As a third generation descendant of a European explorer/plantation owner and a Melanesian female chief, the story I’d like to tell is inspired by the marriage of two cultures of my great-grandfather (German) and great-grandmother (Makira Province). A personal investigation and exploration of the cultural clashes between colonialism and a stronghold Melanesian kastom to identify that equilibrium where love and traditional culture fuse as one.

Launching of KASTOM DESIGNS at the 2016 for Solomons Fashion Week was culture preservation of weaving practices educating youth to celebrate our traditional woven mats through what they wear

“To me, they represent a lens into how our ancestors, forefathers and mothers made sense of the world around them.”


Combining her skills as a multidisciplinary designer and her immense interest in Kastom
Stories (Traditional History) of Solomon Islands, Millicent constantly explores design as an
enabling tool to transcend and preserve kastom stories of her home country in today’s
world.

Millicent pictured (Left) wearing a Makira Traditional Costume
Picture (Right) The Regional pageant was that shell money attire Millicent designed with a great shellmoney maker, her Aunty from my maternal side, Geitaba Ramosaea

“At the age of 18, I was Miss Solomon Islands 2009-2010 and represented my country at the Miss South Pacific Pageant in Suva, Fiji where I came third-runner up overall. That was the first record of Solomon’s pageantry ever being in the Top 5 of MSPP.”

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