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Backstage at Country to Couture 2022, photo by Mel Brautigam, Territory Savvy 

Expressions of interest have now closed. 

*Expressions of interest closed on Monday 5pm ACST, 27 Feb 2023*

The Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair  (DAAF) Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP) is 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 8th Country to Couture is set to return to Darwin on Larrakia Country in August 2023.

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.

Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts in collaboration with Aly De Groot Art, Country to Couture, 2022, photo by Michael Jalaru Torres

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. 

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

All expressions of interest need to demonstrate a clear, cohesive aesthetic and quality production. Collections must show strong evidence of Indigenous agency. Applications will be assessed 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 Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property.

Indigenous Agency and Best Practice

  • Show evidence of consultation with communities and artists in collaborations (for example, artist agreements, letter of support from artists/Art Centres, video from the artists talk about their role in the collaboration)
  • 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 designers. 

EOIs have now closed for 2023

Expressions of Interest closed on Monday 5pm ACST, 27 Feb 2023

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

    Finale, Country to Couture, 2022, photo by Jiayuan Liang, Xplorer Studio

    Thanks To

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

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