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Image | Hayley Mulardy in Tartaku (bush coconut) silk hat and fabric, Nagula Jarndu, Photographer Michael Torres.

Country to Couture returns to Larrakia Country with a record 22 collections across TWO different shows on Tuesday, 8 August, 2023. Get to know the amazing First Nations designers, Art Centres and artists who’ll be part of Show 1!

Proudly supported by the Northern Territory Government and Country Road, tickets are selling fast – don’t miss out!

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Including:

  • Bábbarra Women’s Centre, in collaboration with Raw Cloth, Jemimah Jemimah, Young Daluk, and The Social Studio, Daluk
  • DandalooSu, by Su Lousick, Ode to The Song, Why I Wear Black, by Johnny Cash
  • Injalak Arts Centre, Rarrk
  • JAG x Gaawaa Miyay (Lucy Simpson), Of Place
  • Jedindi, by Jedess Hudson, Bijarril: To Dream
  • Nagula Jarndu, Balu Burugun (Plants From Country)
  • Numus Designs, by Naomy Briston, Larrakia Gulumoerrgin Seasons
  • Datlarwa Designs, by Chantelle Amos x Yvonne Odegaard, Gun-gwa Gwoyelwa Gulumoerrgin (This is Larrakia Country)
  • Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct, Immersion
  • Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, Tharrama (Smile)
  • Yinjaa-Barni Art, JinaJina

Bábbarra Women’s Centre

Daluk

A collaboration with Raw Cloth, Jemimah Jemimah, Young Daluk, and The Social Studio

Babbarra Women's Centre_Photographer Alana Holmberg_Design Young Daluk & Jemimah Jeminah_Models (left to right) Cindy Rostron, Kiani Thompson, Cinella Rostron

“Being part of Country to Couture means a lot to me. To be able to show the hard work us young women have put towards designing our clothes makes me so proud. To be able to have them on a runway is amazing. This definitely is a big opportunity for us and we’re so excited!”

 

– Kiani Thompson, Young Daluk designer, 2023

 

About the Collection

Based in Maningrida, Bábbarra Women’s Centre is a place that honours the wisdom, resilience, power, and cultural authority of women. The internationally renowned women’s textile studio returns to Country to Couture this year with their collection, ‘Daluk’, depicting the story of intergenerational mentoring between senior and young women at Bábbarra Women’s Centre.

 

The Kuninjku word for women, ‘Daluk’ is a celebration of the relationship between older and younger generations of Bábbarra women. It highlights the on-going tradition of intergenerational mentoring from mothers to daughters and grandmothers to granddaughters, a tradition that has kept Bábbarra Women’s Centre alive for nearly 40 years.

 

The collection has come to life by the creative hands and minds of many women and is a tribute to founding and emerging women of Bábbarra Women’s Centre. ‘Daluk’ features collaborations with Raw Cloth, Jemimah Jemimah, The Social Studio, and women from the Centre’s youth fashion and design workshops, ‘Young Daluk’.

Image | Design Young Daluk & Jemimah Jeminah, Babbarra Women’s Centre, Models (left to right) Cindy Rostron, Kiani Thompson, Cinella Rostron, Photo by Alana Holmberg

DandalooSu, by Su Lousick

Ode to The Song, Why I Wear Black, by Johnny Cash

Model wearing design by DandalooSu by Su Lousick, Country to Couture, 2022, Michael Jalaru Torres

“All my life I have depended on my family and community to help me get by, I’m a Wiradjuri woman who has lived all my life on Country. My brandname is in respect of my mother’s homelands Dandaloo…”

 

– Su Lousick, DandalooSu, 2023

 

About the Collection

Designed and handmade on Country, Su states wanting her collection to acknowledge the privilege she feels in being able to showcase her fashion, and to honour her Country and people.

“My study at Eora, Sydney gave me the courage and skills to explore opportunities that showcase my art and fashion. I am very thankful and grateful to Eora and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Foundation for their support. I want my work to honour two things: trees magnificently carved by our old people, and my family and friends. Without their help I couldn’t do the work I do.”

This will be the designer’s second Country to Couture collection.

Image | Model wearing design by DandalooSu by Su Lousick, Country to Couture, 2022, Michael Jalaru Torres

Injalak Arts Centre

Rarrk

Featuring Injalak artists Velda Nabulwad, Maath Maralngurra, Gabriel Maralngurra, William Manakgu and Connie Nayinggul in collaboration with Oliver Lacoon Williamson.

Model wearing design by DandalooSu by Su Lousick, Country to Couture, 2022, Michael Jalaru Torres

“In Kunwinjku culture, the fine detailed painting style is called Rarrk (hatching). Fine rarrk is painted with manyilk, a brush made from the sedge stalk and is shaved down to until only a few fibres remain…”

 

– Injalak Arts

 

About the Collection

Injalak Arts has been a centre for art, craft and community since it’s opening in 1989. They are based in Gunbalanya, an Aboriginal community of 1200 in West Arnhem Land at the top of the Northern Territory in Australia. In Kunwinjku, the language of their artists, Injalak means shelter. They pride themselves on creating a safe place for culture, creativity and knowledge to bloom within the community.

 

With over 300 active members – artists, weavers and craftspeople from Gunbalanya and surrounding homelands, their year-round production of art is inspired by connection to culture, country and people.

 

This year as a part of Country to Couture, Injalak Arts will work with designer Oliver Lacoon Williamson to design and construct a contemporary collection of men’s and women’s formal workwear in collaboration with Injalak’s artists.

 

In Kunwinjku culture, the fine detailed painting style is called Rarrk (hatching). Fine rarrk is painted with manyilk, a brush made from the sedge stalk and is shaved down to until only a few fibres remain. The rarrk painted by Yirrdjdja moiety artists is very fine, where Duwa moiety artists can be recognised by their thicker lines.

 

This collection will take the contrast between city attire and community attire and marry the two silhouettes to create a contemporary collection applying the Kunwinjku raarrk style.

Image | Courtesy of Injalak Arts, one of the artworks inspiring the collection.

JAG x Gaawaa Miyay (Lucy Simpson)

Of Place

Model wearing design by DandalooSu by Su Lousick, Country to Couture, 2022, Michael Jalaru Torres

“At the heart of everything is Country.

As a Yuwaalaraay Wirringgaa (woman) I belong to the freshwater floodplain communities of northwestern NSW (my ngurrambaa). My meat is Biiwii (sand goanna dinggaa) and we are Mirriyaabarra (lignum country people). This is our story, this are my connections; my culture makes me strong and is the means by which I connect and relate. These belongings and relationships carry responsibilities for us to care for and sustain. I see design as the tool by which to stay tethered to Country and the stories and lessons embedded within, while also providing the conduit by which to celebrate and share these narratives and important knowledge systems with others…”

– Gaawaa Miyay, Lucy Simpson, 2023

About the Collection

Of place is a celebration of Country and Australian design – visual storytelling drawn from the land and translated through responsible and meaningful production.

 

Featuring refined natural textiles pointed towards circular features, this collaboration considers the way clothing can act like a thread between stories, land, and lives. With inspiration drawn directly from the Australian landscape; in both print and materiality, this range is both of and for Country with designs (motifs, pieces, colourways) infusing, transforming, and translating the very essence of place (Lucy Simpson’s Yuwaalaraay ngurrambaa / special family lands) into tactile experiences and relationships.

 

Through this collaboration, Gaawaa Miyay and Jag join together to bring the stories and language Of Place to our collective consciousness through everyday wearable pieces designed to be worn and celebrated in the lands from which they come (the mighty Australian landscape).

 

“I am honoured to be a part of Country to Couture this year, and to be sharing this journey with my family, community, and JAG.

I am excited to launch the first Gaawaa Miyay X JAG collaborative collection at an event which celebrates and honours tradition and the long history of First Nations textile and fashion design in Australia. To be able to showcase designs, stories, Country, and relationships within a bigger story grounded by / respectful of our cultural values – and led by mob – means everything to me. I am very proud to now be part of that rich and continuing story with an incredible family of makers creators designers and storytellers who continue to craft and weave together so beautifully the ancient practices of our communities in contemporary wearable moments for the everyday.”

Image | Progress photo from ‘Of Place’, by JAG x Lucy Simpson.

Jedindi, by Jedess Hudson

Bijarril: To Dream

Jedindi, by Jedess Hudson,

“Jedindi is a representation of my family. Jedess (Me) – Cindy (Mum) – Bindi (Dads/David Hudson language name). Inspired by my childhood, growing up surrounded by strong figures in my life. My brand represents my upbringing, my grandmas, my sisters, my cousins, and my friends. As a Traditional Owner from the Ewamian and Western Yalanji people of North Queensland. My art represents these places, my homelands and the iconic landscape. The land and waterways are laced with stories of continuous connection. Endless supply of inspiration to be incorporated into my visual artwork as a storytelling tool. Visual art has the power to inspire and educate cultural wisdom with stories from Country.

– Jedess Hudson, Jedindi, 2023

About the Collection

Jedess Hudson is a descendant from the Ewamian and Western Yalanji people of North Queensland, an established Aboriginal creative contributing to the art and community sector for many years.

 

On her creative journey, Jedess has continued to draw deeply from her traditional homelands. The land, seasons, bush tucker, flora and fauna are aspects that are inspired and incorporated into her art practice. Designs featured on clothing are all original artworks by Jedess Hudson, created by hand and transformed into the digital pattern repeats suitable for fabric.

 

“Bijarril: To Dream. Weaving messages from the land and our ancestors. Our Country incorporates every living creature, element and feature that makes it unique. Our land is laced with stories, history and spirits embedded with a deep sense of home and belonging.

 

Bijarril: To Dream represents the way that we keep their spirit alive by sharing knowledge and maintaining our cultural connection to the land and our people. The colour palettes reflect the designs chosen.

 

Subtle tonal change is a reflection of the deep understanding and awareness of seasonal cycles of in the environment. I have always felt that my artwork provides the ability to change viewpoints when looking at subject matter.

 

The ability to paint and represent things from different perspectives, at various times, allows for an extensive, almost endless combination of colour palettes. To Dream is the first embodiment of this, weaving messages of our land into the garments.”

Image | Jedindi, by Jedess Hudson

Nagula Jarndu

Balu Burugun (Plants From Country)

Designer Zaripha Barnes, with Nagula Jarndu Artists: Maxine Charlie, Rowena Morgan, Amanda Rose Lee, Marie Manado, Sherena Bin Hitam, Cecilia Tigan, Miss S. Chiguna, Mrs C. Djiagween and Dena Gower.

Hayley Mulardy in Tartaku (bush coconut) silk hat and fabric, Photographer Michael Torres

“Balu Burugun, roughly translates as plants from Country in the local Yawuru language. The collection is based around important plants from each woman’s Country. Plants that provide nourishment, medicine, shelter or spiritual sustenance.”

 

– Nagula Jarndu, 2023

About the Collection

Nagula Jarndu (Saltwater Woman) is based on Yawuru Country, in Rubibi, Broome, working in predominantly hand printed textiles that tell important stories about culture, Country and connection.

 

For this collection, ten Nagula Jarndu artists have come together to create imagery around the theme of ‘Balu Burugun‘, roughly translated as plants from Country in the local Yawuru language.

 

The collection is based around important plants from each woman’s Country. Plants that provide nourishment, medicine, shelter or spiritual sustenance. The women discussed the theme and each came up with a series of ideas to best capture their understanding and cultural knowledge around these ideas.

 

The designer, Yawuru woman Zaripha Barnes, worked with the artists and collaborated on the clothing designs to create a collection that best showcases the artwork. She has drawn on an Asian influence that is a part of many Aboriginal people’s heritage in Broome.

 

Image | Hayley Mulardy in Tartaku (bush coconut) silk hat and fabric, Nagula Jarndu, Photographer Michael Torres.

Numus Designs, by Naomy Briston

Larrakia Gulumoerrgin Seasons

Hayley Mulardy in Tartaku (bush coconut) silk hat and fabric, Photographer Michael Torres

“This knowledge has been instilled in us from a young age, which has allow us to continue our connection to our land and tell our stories about our Country by creating unique textile pieces. Each piece has a unique story, relating back to our ancestor through the way my mother has taught me, which is now being taught to my children and grandchildren.”

 

– Naomy Briston, Numus Designs, 2021

About the Collection

Numus Design from Larrakia woman Naomy Briston, draws on the printing techniques learnt from her father’s side in the Tiwi Islands, when she was 13 years old.

“I knew when I saw the artists screen printing, that it was something I wanted to do and I have been doing it ever since – that was 30 years ago!”

“This knowledge has been instilled in us from a young age, which has allow us to continue our connection to our land and tell our stories about our country by creating unique textile pieces. Each piece has a unique story, relating back to our ancestor through the way my mother has taught me, which is now being taught to my children and grandchildren.”

Image | Numus Designs, Country to Couture, 2021, photo by Dylan Buckee

Datlarwa Designs, by Chantelle Amos x Yvonne Odegaard

Gun-gwa Gwoyelwa Gulumoerrgin (This is Larrakia Country)

A collaboration between fashion designer Chantelle Amos, and textile designer and artist Yvonne Odegaard.

Hayley Mulardy in Tartaku (bush coconut) silk hat and fabric, Photographer Michael Torres

“Yvonne’s inspiration for the artwork comes from stories past down from her three Larrakia Grandmothers and include the mermaid dreaming, crocodile dreaming as well as the Larrakia landscape and animals.”

 

– Datlarwa Designs, 2023

About the Collection

Datlarwa Designs is a Larrakia mother daughter collaboration.

 

“We create Indigneous, fashion forward designs to give our customers beautiful art to wear. Perfect for a special event and for the tropical climate or summer weather anywhere in the world. Bold designs and art work will be sure to make you stand out from the crowd.”

 

The collection ‘Gun-gwa Gwoyelwa Gulumoerggi’ (This is Larrakia Country), consists of bold artwork on fashion forward styles to for both women and men. It draws on all the elements of Larrakia Country with Bush Morning Glory flowers, dilly bags, mermaid and crocodile dreaming as well as dragonflies, bush tucker and ocean life. 

 

Chantelle is studying Diploma of Fashion and has gained a lot of experience in both hand drawing and digital drawing of fashion designs. This collaboration with her mother, Larrakia elder and artist, Yvonne Odegaard, will incorporate her artwork throughout the pieces.

 

Yvonne’s inspiration for the artwork comes from stories past down from her three Larrakia Grandmothers and include the mermaid dreaming, crocodile dreaming as well as the Larrakia landscape and animals.

 

The fabrics include vintage finds, and natural fibres with cotton and silk, both hand screen and digitally printed. Every garment has been made locally on Larrakia Country.

 

 

Image | Joshua Morris wears shirt by Moydra Designs from designer Yvonne Odegard, Country to Couture, Head Stylist – Rhys Ripper, 2021, Photo by James Giles

Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct

Immersion

A collaboration between fashion designer Simone Arnol (Manager of Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct) and artists: Philomena Yeatman, Michelle Yeatman, Edna Ambrym, Kyla Hedanek, Wayne Connolly and Valmai Pollard.

Hayley Mulardy in Tartaku (bush coconut) silk hat and fabric, Photographer Michael Torres

“Immerse – linking our fashion story from Country to yours. Yarrabah Fashion embodies story telling connected to Country. From nature and our surroundings there can always be a powerful creativity that can be drawn from our luscious Country that surrounds us from sea to rainforest. Every shape, print, colour and accessory leads us back to our main inspiration… our Country.”

 

– Simone Arnol, Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct, 2023

About the Collection

The Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct showcases culture, history and identity through textile, woven baskets, painting and hand crafted pottery. In this series, artists convey local traditions of Country and their natural environment by medium of textile. Movement and punchy colours invites you into these works while taking you on a journey through each narrative, which they call “Immerse.”

 

Textile is another medium the Yarrabah artists have mastered and this skill is nationally recognised. Initially, textile was printed on fabric, but in recent month’s artist have learnt to place artwork on a digital platform to create repetitive patterns on material.

 

The future holds an exciting path for the artist to showcase to the world!

 

Image | Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct, Philomena Yeatman Textile, Tahleise Willet Model,  Photo by Bernard Singleton

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists

Tharrama (Smile)

Featuring artists: Trudy Inkamala, Marlene Rubuntja, Dulcie Sharpe, Rhonda Sharpe, Beth Ebatarinja, Rosabella Ryder, Louise Robertson, and Roxanne Petrick.

Hayley Mulardy in Tartaku (bush coconut) silk hat and fabric, Photographer Michael Torres

“Our collection will make you smile, like our artwork does… Each outfit will be accompanied by a soft sculptural wearable piece such as a vest, hat, bag, slippers, jacket. These sculptural pieces will all be hand embroidered in the same way our sculptures are, by us slowly, with care, humour and love.”

 

– Yarrenyty Altere Artists, 2023

About the Collection

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists is a vital place for the community of Yarrenyty Arltere Town Camp in Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

 

Working in soft sculpture, textiles, work on paper and film, this vibrant Art Center as part of Tangentyere Council, has given opportunity and voice and income to people that too often find themselves marginalised.

 

Rich in personality and defiance, Yarrenyty Arltere Artists continues to be shaped by the artists that hold it strongly and proudly as their own. It is a place where people come together to make art, work out problems, look after family and plan for their future.

 

“Our collection will make you smile, like our artwork does. This collection will speak of our soft sculptures and works on paper. Large graphic images from our works on paper, will be hand painted, screen printed onto beautiful linen garments made by us, to wear with comfort, grace, flare. Each outfit will be accompanied by a soft sculptural wearable piece such as a vest, hat, bag, slippers, jacket. These sculptural pieces will all be hand embroidered in the same way our sculptures are, by us slowly, with care, humour and love. All adorned further with our new etching plate jewellery.”

 

Image | Soft sculpture by Louise Robertson, Yarrenyty Altere Artists

Yinjaa-Barni Art

JinaJina

Featuring artists: Allery Sandy, Maudie Jerrold, Melissa Sandy, Marlene Harold, and Justina Willis. In collaboration with designer Patricia Floyd.

“For the senior artists of the group, art is an important means of expressing and relaying love for their Country, culture and the flora of the region…”

 

– Yinjaa-Barni Art, 2023

About the Collection

The collection JinaJina sees Yinjaa-Barni artists Allery Sandy, Maudie Jerrold, Melissa Sandy, Marlene Harold, and Justina Willis collaborate with Arts Manager and designer Patricia Floyd!

 

Yinjaa-Barni artists have exhibited nationally and internationally and have won multiple awards between them. For the senior artists of the group, art is an important means of expressing and relaying love for their Country, culture and the flora of the region.

 

They use their art, along with story telling to pass down their knowledge to the younger generations of artists who are also rapidly gaining recognition. Their artists are predominately of the Yinjabarndi language group and reside in Roebourne on Ngarluma Country.

 

“The Inspiration is in keeping with the fashion of the moment, so we chose a silk and cotton blend for the fabric in this JinaJina range for its soft, flowing finish that will suit The BOHO and 1930’s look. Our range features midi length bias-cut dresses, puff sleeves, belted waists, ruffles, pleats and collars. Artwork was carefully selected to suit the style of each garment.”

Image | Pepe Havea in JinaJina, Yinjaa-Barni Art, Photo by Micaela Mandorff.

Image | Yarrenyty Altere Artists

See you there!

Country to Couture

Venue: Darwin Convention Centre, Exhibition Hall 1, 10 Stokes Hill Road, Darwin, NT, 0800

Tickets: $40-$85 via Darwin Festival

Show 1: 5.00 pm – Tuesday 8 August 2023
Show 2: 8.00 pm – Tuesday 8 August 2023

Doors open 30 mins before the show, each show duration 1 hour, 15 mins. Each show presents different collections.

 

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