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Get to know the designers behind the labels who’ll be showcasing at this year’s David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway at Australian Fashion Week! 

Under the creative concept of ‘In Relation Way’, these five collections weave stories of legacy, matriarchy, honour, connection, arrival, and Country.

GALI Swimwear
By David Leslie

GALI Swimwear designer David Leslie is a proud Kamilaroi man with family  from Coonabarabran in north-western NSW. Now living in Bondi (on Gadigal and Bidjigal lands), David has a deep connection to the coast as a volunteer surf lifesaver with North Bondi SLSC.

“This connection to water is part of the inspiration behind GALI.

GALI, in Kamilaroi language, means water. Naming the brand GALI was my way of connecting my love for the water with my culture and passion for First Nations art.

GALI Swimwear fuses Australia’s First Nation culture with sustainable men’s swimwear. We ethically collaborate with artists and communities to create premium swimwear that is designed to be celebrated around the world.

Our swimwear starts conversations…”

 

JOSEPH & JAMES

By Juanita Page

“I’m a product of the legacies of my ancestors. I am who I am today and have the opportunities I have access to, because of them.”

Meet JOSEPH & JAMES founder and designer Juanita Page, a proud Gooreng Gooreng and South Sea Islander woman.

JOSEPH & JAMES is a ready-to-wear menswear label based in Naarm, Melbourne, established with the ambition to inject an understated level of sophistication into streetwear.

The name represents two important people in Juanita’s life whose characteristics underpin the ethos of the brand: determined, steadfast, authentic, and trustworthy. The brand celebrates the human ability to create, favouring the hand-made over mass-produced; quality over quantity.

Juanita’s latest collectoion, Part Three: The Josephs, explores the designer’s generational history, drawing inspiration from her grandfather and father. Juanita bridges the past and present, interpreting designs through a layer of modernity, whether it be through the fabrication, the absence of a jacket lapel, the signature oversized pockets, or the brand’s street-inspired silhouettes.

Ihraa Swim
By Nat Dann

Ihraa Swim’s Nat Dann is a Bardi, Nyul Nyul, Nyikina woman from the Kimberley region, who grew up in in the Pilbara. A mother of one, her label Ihraa Swim, pronounced “Eye-Rah” is named after her daughter Aarhi (backward).

“I draw my inspiration from my culture and upbringing as a salt water woman. The land, the sea, the colors and the beautiful Kimberley landscapes all play integral parts in my design process.

I’d always be in search of the perfect bikini but could never really find anything that I loved. For me it was always about the prints… I love wearing one-of-a-kind garments that nobody else has because they tell a story and so Ihraa Swim was born.”

 

Lazy Girl Lingerie
By Cassandra Pons

“I feel that many women could relate to how society’s so-called ‘beauty standards’ are ever changing and finding new ways to make us feel ‘less than’. I want to create a space where all women feel acknowledged, seen and valued.”

Waanyi woman Cassandra Pons of Lazy Girl Lingerie is a passionate designer for bodies of all shapes, sizes, colours and ages. At the heart of her label, Cassandra inspires women to celebrate their bodies. 

Her latest collection, Ocean Eyes, is inspired by caring for Country, in particular our beautiful ocean and the connection we feel to the sea. The collection feels ethereal and ambient with natural cotton fabrics brought to life in the understated glamour of Lazy Girl Lingerie’s signature style.

Miimi & Jiinda

By Melissa Greenwood and Lauren Jarrett

Melissa Greenwood is a proud Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti and Bundjalung Nyami (Woman) living and working on her traditional homelands, Gumbaynggirr Jagun. Together with her Miimi (Mother) Lauren Jarrett, an accomplished traditional craftswoman, she founded Miimi & Jiinda, the Indigenous art and design brand in 2018. With a business that now encompasses artwork, homewares, textiles and clothing.

Miimi & Jiinda, the label, was born from a desire to translate ancestral stories onto something more than canvas. Honouring her deep connection to Country, Creative Director, Melissa Greenwood designs contemporary clothing and textiles to showcase and celebrate Indigenous art and culture. Together with the master weaving skills of Lauren Jarrett, Miimi & Jiinda produce collections that are bold, culturally relevant and empowering to wear.

“Our culture is at the heart of Miimi & Jiinda. We always strive to make change and make an impact for future generations. Our goal is to always share our opportunities with community and to be mindful & respectful of Country and our elders.”

Their latest collection, Yarilla (olluminate in Gumbaynggirr language), illuminates the beauty of Gumbaynggirr culture. Inspired by earthy tones and bright colours of the Gaagal (ocean), Yarilla continues to explore the tailored linens, flowing silks and limited edition prints.

Feature Artwork

You’ll notice the incredible work Martuwarra, accompanying our In Relation Way runway. These panels are by Walmajarri women, artists and sisters: Sonia Kurarra and Daisy Japulija, courtesy of Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency.

Behind the Collections

Behind the Collections

Image by Dylan BuckeeThe David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP) Runway was held last Thursday at Australian Fashion Week, featuring the return of five IFP Pathway Program designers: GALI Swimwear, Ihraa Swim, JOSEPH & JAMES, Lazy Girl Lingerie, and Miimi...

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This year’s David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway will be led by head stylist Lindyn Rowland and head stylist mentor Karinda Mutabazi.  Both stylists are leading figures within their line of work, Lindyn Rowland is a proud Wiradjuri and Waiben Island...

We’re Back for Australian Fashion Week!

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