Thursday, August 2, 2012

High and lows of the Bilum featured in Vogue (July)

I was very excited and proud when a wantok tweeted the link to the Vogue piece. As I excitedly opened the link, I thought about time too. My eyes lit up and I beamed proudly as I looked over the very funky n cute bilum. The colours were girly yet funky and it was very youthful-I could picture non- PNG teenage girls in Brisbane and Sydney rocking these during summer.

But imagine my dismay when I opened the link to "shop the look" only to find the link to an Elliott Mann Province bag that was a disappointing and much pricier imitation of the bilum that was featured.

I can't help but feel a little slighted and misrepresented. You would think that the stylists whose job it is to find the next trends/accessories and dress the models for their features would have some idea of where to get bilums from. If they could find the bilum to feature it, then there should be someone in the States who knows where to get bilums from, right?.

But alas, if there is no outlet for bilums physically in the States or online then we can't complain that they couldn't refer readers there directly. I would instead have like for the link to say bilum-unique to Papua New Guinea, visit Elliott Mann for something similar. On a sidenote, we as PNGeans take for granted the ease of which we have access to bilums of all varieties. With a trend in ethnic patterns and prints in fashion, there is an international market for bilums. I just hope we don't get into trouble with the French company who has patented the word "bilum" and also use this as the name of their company. Check out this story on the Garamut (featured back in 2009)

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