First Nations designers and artists from across the country have come together in Darwin to showcase some of the nation’s leading Indigenous fashion.
The Country to Couture fashion show has been held on Larrakia Country, in Darwin, as part of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.
Artistic director, Shilo McNamee, said 18 designers and artists took part in two sold-out shows.
“We’ve had so much interest from all these amazing designers, artists and creatives, so we’ve got two really big shows,” she said.
‘Culture is a very important thing’
Wendy Hubert, an artist from the Juluwarlu Art Group in Western Australia, designed and modelled clothes for the show.
She said it was a pleasing experience to showcase Indigenous culture.
“Culture is a very important thing that we share with others … And you have to feel good to share your culture,” Ms Hubert said.
“To share and acknowledge ourselves, to be proud of ourselves, to have pride in yourself and be accountable.”
Wendy’s grandson Wimiya Woodley also took part in the show, and was his first time taking to the runway as a model.
“I’m feeling pumped to show my family’s culture, being around all these other First Nations people, it’s very empowering he said.
“We’ve come a long way as blackfellas… and to be in this venue in the capital of the NT … it’s very magical.”
‘Carrying our stories’
Creative Director Shilo McNamee said she had been blown away by the response to this year’s Country to Couture events.
“Audiences are really excited to come and support the show, support designers and artists,” she said.
“There are quite a few local people involved in the show, we’ve got local talent on stage as our closing performances … so it’s great that Darwin people could come get behind it.”
Bobbi Lockyer, a designer who also took part in the show, said she was encouraged by the response to the event.
“It’s so important because it’s a way of carrying our stories through and showcasing our incredible resilience and talent,” she said.
“It’s really incredible to be able to include my culture and include my art, and the storytelling through the pieces in my designs.”
The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair continues with the National Indigenous Fashion Awards and a public program of events beginning on Friday.