Sixty outfits designed by local fashion designers may steal the spotlight from thousands of colorful orchids on display at an annual orchid show in southern Taiwan this weekend, the organizers said.
“It is the first time we have expanded the Taiwan International Orchid Show from an exhibition to include a fashion show,” said Tseng Chun-pi (曾俊弼), secretary-general of the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association, which is organizing the event.
Local designers Dai-lee (潘黛麗), Carole Chang (張伊萍) and Gioia Pan (潘怡良) designed 10 garments each using orchids as the theme, he added. The move is part of an effort to broaden the orchid show, to be staged in Greater Tainan from Saturday through March 18, into a more diverse event.
“We’re making the annual event a carnival, in which people can see high-quality agriculture, biotechnology, creative culture and tourism,” Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said.
In addition to orchid displays and competitions, a 330m2 area will be set up for orchid-related products, including beauty masks, perfumes, bags and umbrellas.
“It is not only the most important orchid show in Tainan, but also in the country,” Lai said.
Orchids are one of the nation’s most important agricultural exports, the mayor added.
More than 3,000 foreign visitors and buyers have been invited to the fair, including people from Brazil, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which are seen as new potential markets for Taiwanese orchid exporters, the organizers said.
The nation’s flower exports totaled US$194.56 million last year, up 10 percent from a year earlier, government statistics show.
Sales of dancing-doll orchids posted the biggest annual increase, rising 25 percent to US$18.44 million, while sales of moth orchid species grew 16 percent to a record high of US$114.12 million last year, statistics showed.