Today was an historic day for Australian Fashion Week with Ngali being our very first First Nations label to have a stand alone show. Designer Denni Francisco has become the first Indigenous designer to hold a solo show and what a show it was! Titled Murriyang, which translates to ‘ skyworld’ in the Wiradjuri language, this moment heralds an exciting time for the brand. Model Samantha Harris led the way as models walked proudly down the runway in flowing gowns and prints, which Denni had created in collaboration with several First Nations artists.
Colours of blue, brown and dove grey abounded representing the natural elements found in and around waterways.The beautiful prints were the heroes, with fabrics including silk and slouched wool, plus hand painted boots featuring. This lovely brand was created five years ago and embodies the spirit of ‘ working together’.
I also attended “ The Talks” which was showcasing the need for Sustainability in the industry. A panel including Pete Smit ( Style Atlas Founder and CEO), BONDI BORN founder – Dale MC Carthy and Dr Lisa Lake from Sydney’s University of Technology were led by Lucianne Tonnti, Fashion Editor of The Saturday Paper. They were sharing their views on how the Australian fashion industry can embrace sustainability and supply chain inequities using existing and emerging technologies.
Topics covered included the need for our own micro industries here in Australia, the use of technology for sizing, pattern making and the recent app.development using avatars which can be used to digitally showcase clothes on the wearer. Bondi Born creates beautiful garments with fabric sourced from Europe which maintains the quality. By buying quality once, instead of ten cheaper garments you can help the environment.
We talked about the use of natural fabric which will break down organically, about circularity, buying vintage and the use of dead stock as way forward and the repurposing of garments (this can be problematic and expensive in itself). It’s great to hear about the initiatives and changes that can occur in an industry which contributes so much to landfill and waste the world over.
I was delighted to be invited to The Innovators Show. This show was a testament to the wide ranging and varied talent to be found at TAFE Fashion Design Studio NSW. The emerging designers showed such a variety of looks from repurposed denim to sheer and embroidered looks. There were interesting new takes on suiting, hand dyed fabrics and a fluid gender and diverse aesthetic. This was fashion for all with well designed lines and shapes. The future of fashion looks bright.
In the evening we rounded out the day with the David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway this year seven designers were showcased with swimwear, lingerie and fashion taking centre stage. Jessica Mauboy was on hand to help amplify indigenous voices.
Day Four delivered an eclectic mix of labels and fashion and it was wonderful to see new, indigenous and emerging designers take the spotlight.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).