It was hard work to follow, but the ’22 class was able to do it in style.
First Nations Fashion + Design returned to the runway on Friday night, admiring the packed Carriageworks hall with a new look.
Expectations were stratospheric, after the inaugural First Nations show at Australian Fashion Week last year saw audiences in tears and headlines made around the world.
At the end of the week’s celebrations, the final runway on Friday saw a curated presentation by eight First Nations designers setting the sartorial agenda for the coming year.
This year’s focus turned to the Torres Strait, with the theme ‘Our Island, Our Home’ which looks at designers celebrating the rich culture of the Islands, and addressing the challenges of the climate crisis and sustainability.
An evening of glamor
The evening was a showcase of First Nations royalty, not just from the fashion world, but across the arts.
Aunt Yvonne Weldon led Welcome to Country; a video performance of Luke Currie-Richardson open processes; pop duo The Madness performing, singing Noongar; Barkaa brought down the crowd with a rendition of his hit ‘King Brown’; and who of Blak Excellence attended, included Nova Perris, Thelma Plum, Narelda Jacobs, Dobby and so on.
Christine Anu surrounded the night with a stirring rendition of ‘My Island Home’, where the audience was already standing and not a few were wiping away tears.
But the main event, of course, is fashion.
Eight collections are presented: Nungala Creative by Jessica Johnson; Get dressed!a collaboration with Ikuntji Artists and Flying Fox Fabrics; Myrrdah, of Mt One siblings Juanita Doyle, Dale Bruce, Glenda McCulloch and Cheryl Perez; Ganthari, by Bobbi Lockyer; a collaboration of Elverina Johnson & Taking Shape; the inimitable Paul McCann; Ihraa Swim, by Nat Dann; and a concluding collection of Wearing Gaps.
Take a look at some of the designs that amaze people.