First Nations Fashion Flourishes at Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway

At Australian Fashion Week recently, David Jones, in collaboration with Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP), presented “In Relation Way,” a showcase of five collections that weave together stories of legacy, matriarchy, honour, connection, arrival, and Country. This event was more than just a fashion show; it was a profound expression of a way of being deeply rooted in Indigenous culture and heritage. Façon Magazine, on behalf of The Indigenous Storytellers Scholarship, were lucky enough to be invited to sit front row at the showcase and we were absolutely blown away by the creativity and talent on display.

The collections in “In Relation Way” draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of First Nations culture, Country, and ancestors. Each piece reflects the collaborative spirit and the living connection to ancestral knowledge that has been passed down through generations. Incorporating a Smoking Ceremony along with traditional dance and song, this show celebrates existence “in relation way,” embodying the essence of Indigenous identity and continuity.

The event also serves as a ceremony celebrating the achievements of designers who have participated in the Indigenous Fashion Projects’ Pathways Program over the past 24 months. The Pathways Program is dedicated to fostering the growth and development of Indigenous designers, providing them with the resources and support needed to succeed in the fashion industry.

The runway featured collections that are deeply connected to the stories of Country, the beauty of vivid blue skies and waters, and the memory of everything that has gone before. The collections honor the designers’ commitment to their craft and the cultural narratives they embody. The featured designers and their collections were GALI Swimwear by David Leslie, a Kamilaroi man; IHRAA SWIM by Nat Dann, a Bardi, Nyul Nyul, and Nyikina woman; JOSEPH & JAMES by Juanita Page, a Gooreng Gooreng and South Sea Islander woman; Lazy Girl Lingerie by Cassandra Pons, a Waanyi woman; and Mimi & Jinda by Melissa Greenwood and Lauren Jarrett, Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti, and Bundjalung women.

“In Relation Way” was a tribute to the talent and resilience of Indigenous designers. It showcased their journey and growth, celebrating their dedication and the cultural stories they bring to life through their fashion. As these designers move forward, the future shines brightly for them, promising continued innovation and celebration of Indigenous culture in the fashion industry.

Keep scrolling to see highlights from the show, including one of our Façon Models, Jerrah, walking the runway! Images by Paul Dear. 

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