Keva Rands' Languid Linen Designs Are Made For Everyone

By Dan Ahwa
Papa friend and muse Christian wears the Gracie shirt and Buffet pants. Photo / Apela Bell

Local slow fashion label Papa Clothing, created by designer Keva Rands, has launched a fresh update on its beloved linen staples in time for spring.

Consisting of the brand’s gender- and size-inclusive collection of dresses, shirts, tops and trousers, the simplicity of each piece is supported by Keva's personal love of wearing linen, a natural textile that the brand is synonymous with.

To help document the collection, Keva tapped photographer Apela Bell to photograph some of the muses for the season, celebrating the brand's commitment to supporting and spotlighting Oceania creatives.

“We always prioritise working with other POC, especially Pasifika creatives,” says Keva. “Once we started talking with Apela, the rest of the Oceanic crew came very naturally. It was a conscious decision but we didn’t have to make any sacrifices in talent or skill to keep it 100 per cent Pasifika along the way.”

Peter and Tahiri wear the reversible Bubu dress. Jalaina wears Dee shirt. Photos / Apela Bell
Peter and Tahiri wear the reversible Bubu dress. Jalaina wears Dee shirt. Photos / Apela Bell

For someone who is drawn to the natural appeal of linen, Keva is looking forward to wearing some of her new pieces as the weather gradually warms up.

"My favourite pieces are the shirts with a focus on our new Gracie shirt in Caramel linen. This kind of shirt is something you can wear buttoned up with pants or jeans out to dinner or unbuttoned over your swimsuit on the beach. I love the versatility of a linen shirt and anything in brown is always going to speak to the love of tapa tones."

Having extended her time in her Whāngarei store and studio has also allowed Keva to create collections in her own time.

"Wave I was designed while we were enjoying some throwback tunes that have been on repeat in The Strand mall in Whāngarei where our studio is based. Hits include Shania Twain's You're Still the One as well as some Celine Dion and Cher," she says.

"The Papa playlists are truly the biggest vibe mashup with Cardi B and SZA sharing space with Bill Withers and Dolly Parton as well as some Fijian and Samoan jams for good measure. Wave II definitely has a Renaissance soundtrack because as soon as Beyonce released that album we've listened to nearly nothing else.

As for garment care, Keva offers some sage advice for the season of linen. “Something important I find with special pieces is not washing them too often and never using heat when washing or drying natural fibres."

"One great tip: leave talcum powder in a great big heap on top of an oil stain for a few days and then wash. It will soak up all the oil and leave your garment looking good as new (it’s a game-changer for messy eaters).”

Share this article: