Tropicana in the tropics

Saturday October 12, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Tara M Tuarae-White will feature her garments for the first time at the Miss Cook Islands Tropicana parade this evening. 19101199m Tara M Tuarae-White will feature her garments for the first time at the Miss Cook Islands Tropicana parade this evening. 19101199m

When Tara Tuarae-White was a girl, she drove her mum mad playing dress-ups. But tonight, she’s dressing the country’s most beautiful women. 

Miss Cook Islands contestants will walk the stage tonight, showcasing garments created by talented local designers.

Manini’s creator Tara M Tuarae-White will feature her garments for the first time at the Miss Cook Islands Tropicana parade this evening at The Islander Hotel

A new label on the island, she is excited to take part in the event and showcase her designs to the public.

She loves fashion: “Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to be in fashion, often playing dress-ups as a young girl to the chagrin of my mum.”

Tuarae-White studied fashion at East Sydney Design School, inspired by her icons, Coco Chanel and Dior.

“Manini is designed for the tropics, each piece is considered for comfort, wear and style,” she said. “My garments suit all shapes and sizes and can be worn for any occasion, from the beach to the bar.”

Tara has been in the fashion industry in Australia for over 20 years, first as a pattern maker.

Her diligence and experience over time also led her into other roles including, production, design house manager, start-ups and general manager of Australian active wear label, The Upside.

In 2003 Tara completed a two-week internship with Karen Walker and was offered a three-month contract.

This opened up opportunities for her at other brands such as Sally Smith, Mambo, Oneteaspoon and iconic Australian label Tigerlili.

Tuarae-White and her family travelled back and forth from Sydney to the Cooks for the past 10 years.

They lived in Aitutaki last year, the island where her husband Walter is originally from; and now live on Rarotonga.

Her brand casually developed in the islands and was inspired by the humble two-toned reef fish, known locally as Manini.

After two years of developing the styles and fit, Manini quietly rolled out in February.

“I love the brilliant idea of showcasing local designers and helping support the Miss Cook Islands pageant.”

Tara can be found at Punganui Market every Saturday with her husband Walter at their Manini wear stall.

Tonight’s show will feature new designers: Petua’s Creations, Manini, PN’s Creations, Mirella Creations.

There will be island accessories from Mrs Q and Meli Tapaitau. Plus there are the established designers: Heiheri by Tuaine Thompson, Tauariki by Fiona Matutu, Inangaro, Lilys in Muri by Lily Henderson and Tangi Mataroa.

·         Dinner starts from 6.30 this evening, and the fashion show begins at 8pm at The Islander Hotel.

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