COUNTRY TO COUTURE: Indigenous Fashion Projects Celebrates Vibrant Creations from First Nations Creatives

An impressive line-up of emerging and established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers and artists united on Larrakia Country this evening (Tuesday 2 August) to take part in the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) Foundation’s premier runway event – Country to Couture.


Held at Darwin Convention Centre, the Indigenous Fashion Projects initiative has been celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textile and fashion design for the past six years by delivering a high energy runway event that excites, delights and inspires.


The runway included First Nations models, Darwin-born Savannah Kruger, Deontae Greenoff, and Jarvid Anderson. The two shows showcased the designs of 18 eclectic fashion collections, where guests were taken on an immersive journey through the moods of daybreak in the Top End and spectacular sunsets of a Darwin evening. The aesthetics of the runway depicted a modern interpretation of love of Country, featuring a bold transition of shifting colour, bending light and exceptional sounds to provide an experience that captivated the audience.

Supported by the Northern Territory Government and iconic Australian lifestyle brand Country Road, the event is a place where contemporary fine art and high-end fashion collide in a colourful showcase of wearable art.


Proud Eastern Arrernte visual artist and Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation Artist Director, Shilo McNamee said: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fashion, art and design is well and truly having a moment, yet there is still more to be done in advancing capability and capacity. The iconic event is lauded as a must-do on the Australian fashion calendar and has been growing in popularity each year.


“Country to Couture is special in that it presents leading collections from Indigenous designers and artists from across Australia, as well as unique collaborations between Indigenous communities and well-known Australian labels, providing First Nations peoples from across Australia an opportunity to continue to thrive on an international scale.”

Commenting on the significance of events like Country to Couture that put Indigenous fashion and design at the forefront, Gantharri designer, Bobbi Lockyer said: “There is so much we can learn from Indigenous creative expression and I’m so incredibly proud to work alongside such talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives and play a part in bringing more attention to this under-represented industry.”


Country to Couture Head Stylist and proud Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal woman, Perina Drummond said: “The Country to Couture runway has been pushing boundaries and blurring the lines of contemporary fine art and First Nations fashion for the last six years.


“We’re thrilled to present such vibrant collections from this year’s impressive line-up of First Nations talent. The designs are steeped in heritage and culture and are very wearable for those looking to make a statement with their style,” Drummond concluded.


Country to Couture presents a modern form of storytelling and provides a unique platform for First Nations creatives to share their culture and knowledge from the world’s oldest living cultures.

Photos by Dylan Buckee. Read more news and blogs here.

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