Country Road has partnered with Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) in support of an Indigenous design showcase.
The Country To Couture program will be broadcast on the NITV Facebook page when it launches on January 22.
Country Road's support follows a similar partnership with DAAFF’s National Indigenous Fashion Awards in August 2020.
Country to Couture will bring its runway to screens from 7pm AEST via the NITV Facebook page and will also be re-broadcasted to the Indigenous Fashion Projects Facebook page.
A popular staple on the Darwin calendar, Country to Couture has been a key attraction, alongside the annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair since 2016.
It showcases collections from Indigenous fashion labels as well as unique collaborations between Indigenous communities and well-known Australian labels.
The impact of COVID-19 saw the art fair innovate with a digital event in 2020, and Country to Couture has also had its own change of scene.
December saw the fifth iteration of the fashion event take place at the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens in Darwin, which included an intimate gathering and runway showcase on Larrakia country.
Country to Couture celebrates the marriage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary fine art and fashion.
The success of the textile design movement in remote Indigenous communities has led to new collaborations with well-known Australian designers, which have been showcased in the Country to Couture event alongside the annual Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation executive director Claire Summers said these programs are an important creative pillar.
"Country to Couture celebrates contemporary fashion and textiles from Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and designers, and recognises collaborations where Indigenous agency is at the forefront.
"We’re seeing fashion as a platform for cultural exchange and awareness, creating new development opportunities and pathways for our Art Centres, artists, designers and their communities.”
Country Road MD Elle Roseby said the retailer is proud to support the event.
“Following the success of the National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA), Country Road is incredibly excited to work with DAAFF on Country to Couture.
"We’re honoured to be involved in Country to Couture’s debut digital showcase, creating a wonderful opportunity to
celebrate and learn from the art, design and talent of First Nations Peoples.
"Featuring works from Arnhem Land to the Tiwi Islands, this year’s showcase will help to share inspiring stories from all corners of Australia, and we can’t wait to hear them.”
Meet the Line-up
The line-up features collections from across Australia including work from: Ngali (featuring artist Lindsay Malay from Warmun Art Centre),Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Corporation, Anindilyakwa Arts and Anna Reynolds, Ikuntji Artists, Liandra Swim and Bima Wear. These includeunique collaborations with labels North, Magpie Goose, and Nobody Denim.
1. Liandra Swim by Liandra Gaykamangu
Liandra Gaykamangu is a Yolngu woman from North-East Arnhem Land (Northern Territory), the collection ‘Interwoven’ from her label Liandra Swim presents a reversible range of swimwear featuring signature prints inspired by Indigenous Australian culture.
Each print shares one part of a wider story, celebrating the practice of weaving and the achievements of Indigenous women in
a way that is authentic and contemporary.
2. Ikuntji Artists X Magpie Goose
The Ikuntji Artists X Magpie Goose collaboration showcases designs by senior artists from the Western Desert to new audiences through wearable art.
Located in Haasts Bluff community in Central Australia, Ikuntji Artists was the first Art Centre established for women of the
Western Desert art movement.
Ikuntji Artists are famous for bold colour choice, decisive brush strokes, and rich cultural storytelling. Their collaboration with social enterprise Magpie Goose translates their designs onto textiles and shares their cultural stories through a new
3. Anindilyakwa Arts
Yirradarringka-Langwa Akarwadiwada - Womens Work
Since 2015 women artists from Anindilyakwa Arts, an Aboriginal owned business on Groote Eylandt, have established a successful ‘Bush Dye’ business, using their traditional basket making and plant dye knowledge in new ways to produce plant dyed wearables.
Through a series of workshops at Umbakumba and Angurugu Art centres with Darwin artist and designer Anna Reynolds,
the artists have expanded their textile practices to refashioning, recycling, hand and machine sewing and digital design.
Their latest collection embraces sustainable practices, repurposing old work shirts from the miners working on the Magnesium mine on the Island, making both social and environmental commentary.
4. Denni Francisco, Ngali and Lindsay Malay, Warmun Art Centre
Translating to ‘we’ or ‘us’ in a number of eastern Australian Aboriginal languages, Ngali by Denni Francisco is creating the ‘us’ we’d like to see: a harmonious, sustainable and equitable union of people with Country and each other. Ngali presents a mutually respectful collaboration with Gija artist, Lindsay Malay. The process of Ngali’s work operates through the lens of
Yindayamarra, fashion that shows respect, is polite, considered, gentle to Country, and honours the crosscountry collaborations with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.
5. Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Corporation & North Home Textiles
The Warlu Collection 2020
Down a long red road five hours north-west of Alice Springs, the artists of Yuendumu and Nyrippi communities share stories of their country through bold brush strokes and joyful colour.
The Warlu Collection is a joyful collection of statement pieces - uniquely connected to the desert through its people, art and stories.
Each artwork featured in this collection is of one of the artist’s Jukurrpa - often called a Dreaming Story.
www.northhome.org | www.warlu.com
6. Nobody Denim x Bima Wear
The exciting collaboration between Melbourne-based Nobody Denim and Tiwi Islands’ Bima Wear, features ‘Tunga’, the work of Theresa (Tara) Munkanome.
Tiwi women’s creative enterprise Bima Wear is based in Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island, off the northern coast of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Inspired by the Islands of Australia, their uniqueness, unspoilt beauty and the communities within, the colour palette is anchored with rich earthy tones and balanced with soft natural pigments. All fabrications are considered for their
sustainable attributes with a focus on recycled and Australian made.
www.bimawear.com | www.nobodydenim.com