Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.
Monumental, powerful and deeply emotional were the words to describe this mornings opening show, as Australia marked an important day in history with the first ever First Nations Fashion + Design (FNFD) showcase at AAFW.
Both immersive and breathtaking, the show opened with world renown composer and Australia’s leading didgeridoo player William Barton, following on from the echoing soundscapes of wildlife, birds and moving water that make up Australian country. An important and much awaited showcase, one to finally amplify and cast visibility on the incredible art, fashion and talent of First Nations, the show took guests on a true sensory journey.
Propelled by the mesmerizing sound of Barton, artist Luke Currie-Richardson debuted with a moving performance making for a perfect segway in launching the first official FNFD showcase. Featuring its line up of entirely First Nations models including Charlee Fraser and the works of seven First Nations designers, the show was not to go amiss.
Eight beautiful traditional Coolamons sculpted by Sydney's floral artist, Libby Emerson took centrepiece to the runway, as models glided down surrounded by sculptures of native florals and eucalyptus branches; gifting the guests with an abundance of sensory textures and scents.
Collections of seven selected designers including AARLI, Amber Days, Sown in Time, Nungala Creative, Grace Lillian Lee, Clair Helen and Ngarru Miimi stormed through, including an iconic debut by First Nations trans woman Felicia Foxx in a sublime green Paul McCann gown.
Other First Nations designers Jarawee, Murri Quu Couture, Rukaji opened the show with a special performance curated by Grace Lillian Lee with a powerfully moving mid-show performance by Indigenous artist DRMNGNOW and his piece "Indigenous Land".
Memorable and equally just as emotional, musical duo Electric Fields closed the show with their moving rendition of Paul Kelly's original "From Little Things Big Things Grow". An iconic and musical score that tells the story of Gurindji people and the fight of equality and rightful land, the riveting performance ended the show with guests in tears and a well deserved standing ovation.
Each of the seven designers will present their collections in an upcoming exhibition titled Eucalyptusdom, opening at the Powerhouse Museum on July 1st. More information on the show and the designers available on firstnationsfashiondesign.com.