Karen Walker and Cook Islands craftswomen took a slice of the Pacific to Buckingham Palace earlier this year with a stunning tivaevae gown as part of the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange (CFE).

Described by Walker as a “spiritual experience”, the dress was a collaboration between tivaevae designer and embroidery expert Tukua Turia and her Creative Mamas, and Walker’s design team.

“I’ve always loved tivaevae. The graphic nature of it, the craft nature of it, the colours, but I’ve never been able to make it fit in a project. We’re from a creative world but it’s also a commercial world. Tivaivai it’s not commercial, it’s about love.”

In the third of our exclusive series with Walker, she describes the process of making the dress, making new friends, and how binge-watching The Crown on Netflix convinced her to go to Buckingham Palace.

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