The Great Sand Desert’s indigenous art has found a home in the world of high fashion. Aboriginal artists from the Western Australian outback have teamed up with top fashion brand Gorman for a unique collaboration. From Country to Couture shows how the success of the textile design movement in remote Aboriginal comunities has influenced high fashion in Australia. The Aboriginal design clothing Australia has been witnessing year-on-year growth in the fashion industry.
Hailing from all over Australia, a clothing industry that honors its roots and Australia is full of multi-disciplinary local designers who are changing the way we perceive Australian fashion. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of five of our favourite Indigenous Australian designers. It’s undeniable that Australia has some quite extraordinary designers at the forefront of a saturated industry, but it’s the bold, vibrant and intricate designs of our Indigenous people across the country that capture our attention (and heart). This year, no fewer than 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers took part in two collective fashion shows and a student exhibition. The Welcome to the Country Week opening and other panel talks were also held at Australian Fashion Week.
Future plans for Indigenous fashion and design include the Indigenous Fashion Festival and independent designer shows during Australian Fashion Week, which this year also featured a show hosted by Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP), an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, a private organization with clearly commercial purposes. Indigenous model Lisa Fathnouna wears a Jarawee model at Australian Fashion Week on the Indigenous fashion and design catwalk. Grace Lillian Lee is also leading a project called First Nation Fashion + Design, which strengthens the relationship between indigenous artists and the fashion industry.
Grace Lilian Lee has over a decade of experience curating fashion shows at the Cairns Native Art Fair and in communities across the country. Simone Arnol, one of the main characters in the fashion runway for the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, has been designing since 2015. designers from all over the world, they will take the stage of Milan Fashion Week on the stage of Emerging Talents. Natalie Cunningham is also a finalist for the Australian Indigenous Fashion Awards, which will take place in Darwin on August 3 as part of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.
Maara Collective stylist and winner of the first National Indigenous Fashion Award Julie Shaw Maara Collective, the first National Indigenous Fashion Award, had extensive fashion experience before starting her own resort label. Designers Liandra Gaikamangu (Liandra Swim), Natalie Cunningham (Native Swim), Nancy Pattison (Indii Swimwear), Denny Francisco (Ngali), Julie Shaw (Maara Collective), Maara Collective) and Amanda Healy (Kirrikin) Kirrikin) pose with models after Indigenous fashion show. Amanda Healy (Kirrikin) creates elegant resort dresses with prints by contemporary local artists. Artists such as designer Denny Francisco and illustrator Lindsey Malay work together to create Ngali’s unique designs.
NORTH fabrics are also designed by local artists, allowing the Australian community to connect with the local artists NORTH works with. These High North Queensland women take pride in walking together, sharing their culture on the national stage with local designers Clair Helen, NGARRU MIIMI, Amber Days, AARLI and Nungala Creative from across the country. Made entirely in the Tiwi Islands, this is where Torres Strait Islander stylists and artists come together to share their stories and their connection to the country.
The From Country to Couture project was designed, coordinated, produced, curated and mobilized entirely from an indigenous perspective. “From country to fashion” also marked a new path based on community relations for local fashion design. Founded on the active participation of the community, Indigenous Fashion challenges the conventional wisdom about the designer as a single individual creator and draws on the talents of a large number of women.
The 65th edition was made even more special by a performance by the Muggera Dance Company and the Aboriginal Fashion and Design Show (FNFD) curated by Cairns lady Meriam Mer Grace Lillian Lee. Indigenous Fashion Projects was developed in partnership with retailer David Jones, who brought together six renowned Indigenous designers with Australian brand founders provided by David Jones to help them grow their businesses. This year, IFP teamed up with Australian department store David Jones to host a Fashion Week show that brought together six well-known homegrown designers and six brand founders to help grow their businesses, six private label founders. Now wholly owned by the Aboriginal designer herself, Magpie Goose started as a designer working with non-Aboriginal co-founders Maggie McGowan and Laura Egan, working with Aboriginal stylists, artists, photographers and fabric designers from across Australia Teacher cooperation.
Ella Noah Bancroft, an Aboriginal designer, is essentially a wearable piece of art. As an Aboriginal designer, Gordaya Gunnai notes that all of her designs including aboriginal accessories are based on cultural values, especially protection and peace.
Quanna Chasinghorse became famous for her local presence, which she brought to the Met Gala, and for the fact that she, along with a growing number of other models, artists and designers, brought fashion in a broader sense. Ngarru Miimi combines Aboriginal culture with premium designer swimwear. 21 egalitarian models and seven designers brought several seasoned industry professionals to tears and to their feet during the show’s climax.