Country to Couture 2021

Expressions of Interest are NOW OPEN!

The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP) are thrilled to invite you to apply to be part of the iconic Country to Couture fashion showcase!

Held alongside DAAF each year since 2016, the 6th Country to Couture is set to return to Darwin on Larrakia country on the evening of Wednesday 4th, this August 2021.

Where First Nations textiles and fashion collide in a colourful showcase of wearable art. 

A celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander textiles and fashion design, Country to Couture is a contemporary way of cultural storytelling, and sharing knowledge. The high energy runway presents innovative collections from Indigenous designers and artists across Australia, as well as unique collaborations between Indigenous communities and well-known Australian labels.

What We're Looking For

IFP are looking to showcase new and innovative fashion and textile collections from First Nations artists and designers, and/or collaborations where Indigenous agency and ethical practice are at the forefront.

What to Expect
  • Be part of a high energy runway showcase presented to audiences at the Darwin Convention Centre.

  • Be featured in the digital broadcast and media coverage.

  • Opportunity to be part of DAAF’s physical and digital retail platforms.

Selection Criteria

All expressions of interest need to demonstrate a clear, cohesive aesthetic and quality production. Collections must also show strong evidence of Indigenous agency. The applications received will be vetted by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation, which will include confirming all applicants meet the terms and conditions of entry and that the form has been completed.

A judging panel of up to six art and fashion industry professionals (including Indigenous curators, media, designers, retailers, peak bodies and copyright experts) will assess the applications. One of the members will be appointed as head judge. The panel will score each application against the following selection criteria:

Fashion Design

  • Strong collection story with cultural integrity.
  • The collection shows evidence of fine attention to detail, with high quality garment construction and high quality fabric selection.
  • Designs must be original.

Textile Design and Fabric Innovation 

  • Strong embodiment and reflection of Indigenous identity, history and/or culture in textile design.
  • Evidence of new textile design and art.
  • Use of innovative fabric selection and/or printing techniques.
  • Evidence of well considered colour palettes that support the story behind the collection.

Sustainability and ethics

  • Consideration of environmental and sustainable practices when sourcing textiles, printing onto textiles, and manufacturing garments. 
  • Consideration of ethics pertaining to cultural safety, social impacts and  protection of Intellectual Property.

  Indigenous Agency

  • Evidence of Indigenous agency throughout the entire design process. For all collaborative collections, the assessment panel needs to clearly see that artists have contributed to, and approved, each element of the collection’s development including textile design, garment design, manufacturing, packaging and labeling, marketing and sales etc.
  • Evidence that financial benefits are being returned to Indigenous artist(s), Art Centre, and/or designer. 

All applications will be assessed as they are presented in your expression of interest. Please don’t assume that the judging panel have any prior knowledge about the collection. This means you need to ensure that the judging panel has all the information they need to assess your application!

Apply Now!

We warmly invite you to now apply via the online expression of interest form.

Applications will close COB Friday 30 April 2021, and successful applicants notified by the end of May.

To discuss your application, please contact c2c@daaf.com.au

    Image: Models in Finale, Country to Couture, 2020, Photo by George Fragopoulos

    Banner Image: Ngali, Country to Couture, 2021, Photo by Timothy Hillier

    Thanks To

    As part of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP)