Foxxy Empire, Country to Couture, 2021, photo by Charlie Bliss, Getty Images
Country to Couture in 2021
In August 2021, the iconic Country to Couture showcase once again returned to Larrakia Country, with an exciting runway featuring 13 First Nations collections.
Supported by the Northern Territory Government via NT Major Events and Country Road, the night saw a record number of attendees and many memorable moments unfold at the Darwin Convention Centre during Darwin Festival.
With Perina Drummond as Creative Director and Rhys Ripper as Head Stylist assisted by Nina Fitzgerald, guests were met with a joyful Welcome to Larrakia Country from Aunty Lynette Fejo and the Garramilla Dancers, along with several performances from the fierce First Nations Drag Queens; Foxxy Empire, Shaniqua Empire, and Sherri Lee Volua Empire. The stage was set with the stunning creation by Magnolia Flower Merchants and Perfect Greens. Hair and Make-up was on point thanks to the crew at Nk Darwin and Kat Lee. The models from communities across Australia once again brought the collections to life, including the renowned Tiwi Sistergirls and emerging talents mentored by Nathan McGuire walking the runway for the very first time!
A big thank you to all involved behind the scenes, and to all who were able to join us on the night. If you joined our red carpet, take a peek at the photo’s from our media wall here.
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements to come.
Lets take a look at this year’s collections… and with some available for purchase, why not click through for a shop while you’re here!
Anindilyakwa Arts artists of Groote Eylandt, in collaboration with local Darwin creatives Aly de Groot and Anna Reynolds, opened the show this year with their statement making collection Yaka Yinukwamba – The Bark Dress, reenvisioning the coverings of their ancestors.
Bianca Long of Jaru Girl, made her debut with the Connection to Country collection, inspired by the vibrant colours of the Kimberley in collaboration with Linda Molinkjic of Lin Pin.
Artists of Tiwi Design collaborated with local label Ossom with their Elemental collection, featuring hand-printed textiles, each with their own narrative, cultural stories, dreaming, and memory.
Ngali by Denni Francisco presents collections that evolve through the lens of Yindayamarra – fashion that shows respect, is polite, considered, gentle to Country. The collection features prints translated from the artwork of Lindsay Malay from the Warmun Art Centre.
North’s 2021 Collection, Stone Country, brought together the work of over five artists from West Arnhem Land and Kakadu, from Marrawuddi and Injalak Art Centres, representing their rich culture of over 65,000 years.
Waringarri Aboriginal Arts spoke to the connection of young women with the cultural traditions of bush plant knowledge with The BOONKAJ collection, evoking the dramatic colours of the Kimberley.
The Gunumijtanda Gulumoerrgin Collection comes from Larrakia Nation designer Yvonne Odegaard of Moydra Designs. Created from natural fibres with environmentally friendly paint and eco dyes, the designs are inspired by bush and Sea Tucker from Larrakia Country, with stories from Yvonne’s ancestors.
Jina-Jina, by Yinjaa-Barni Art Centre created a special collection from the heart, each piece in memory of artist Clifton Mack and his beautiful artworks.
Numbulwar Numburindi Arts turned our eyes to yir (dilly bags), taking traditional weaving techniques to the next level using found, contemporary materials that speak to the environmental deterioration of their homelands.
Papulankutja Artists collaborated with local label Black Cat Couture, the collection Vibrant Desert presenting the bold artwork of the artists, digitally printed onto fabric for the very first time.
Numus Design from Larrakia woman Naomy Briston, draws on the printing techniques learnt from her father’s side in the Tiwi Islands. Her Saltwater BushTucker Dreaming collection features five print designs, each piece representing her childhood and hunting with her family on her Country.
Rebecca Rickard’s passion project turned thriving business Deadly Denim, blended culture with sustainable fashion, featuring upcycled denim pieces with artworks by Bobbi Lockyer and Leona McGrath.
Dunjiba Community Artists, supported by Ku Arts, presented a capsule of sportswear and bush skirts blazoned with vibrant textile patterns. a celebration of Dunjiba, designed by and for the community.
Nathan McGuire with Garramilla Dancers, Country to Couture, 2021, photo by Charlie Bliss, Getty Images
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Image by Savvy Social