We’re thrilled to introduce you to the amazing line-up for Country to Couture 2021 in Darwin!

The annual showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fashion and textile design is back in its 6th iteration on the 4 August, alongside the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair on Larrakia Country.

Tickets are selling fast! Head here to secure your spot to the show >>

Country to Couture is proudly brought to you by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation (DAAFF) as part of the Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP), and is supported by the Northern Territory Government via NT Major Events, and the iconic Australian lifestyle brand Country Road.

 Banner Image | Ngali by Denni Francisco, at Country to Couture, 2021, Photo by Timothy Hillier.

Images throughout | supplied courtesy of the featured designers. 

Anindilyakwa Arts

with Anna Reynolds

About

Warnumamalya artists including Maicie Lalara, Noeleen Lalara, Jeanelle Mamarika, Annabell Amagula, Sharna Wurramara, Edith Mamarika, Stephanie Durilla and Alice Durilla have undertaken a sustained period of creative exchange with Darwin artists, Aly de Groot and Anna Reynolds. Together they have developed a unique process of collaboration which has resulted in an ever evolving and distinctive fibre and textile range.

Since 2015 they have worked with de Groot to design and develop a contemporary ghost net woven range, including ghost net baskets, sculpture and adornment as well as extending their bush dye on fibres to a range of textile products on organic cottons and fair trade silks. Since 2018 artists have expanded their fashion production to digital fabric design with Reynolds. This development is an ongoing conversation linking the artists traditional cultural practices with the contemporary art and fashion world.

“I am mixing the old ways and the new ways, because we want to show the world our artwork, culture and Island lifestyle. We are looking back at the old ways, Yaka Yinukwamba – The Bark Dress to make links between our ancestors and the future generations. That’s my vision. When the young girls wear my designs I am proud for my community, that’s why the ancestors gave me that vision” – Artist Maicie Lalara

Deadly Denim

By Rebecca Rickard

About

Deadly Denim was founded by Rebecca Rickard, a Ballardong, Whadjuk woman from the Nyungar nation living and working on country Perth WA. Deadly Denim is a business with a social impact, aiming to be as sustainable as possible, working with recycled jackets and customisation through textiles, showcasing Indigenous artists and their designs. 

“What started off as a passion project has now blossomed into a thriving business that blends all things we love into one: Our culture, Sustainable Fashion & giving back to the community.”

Sustainability is at the core of every collection Deadly Denim creates, the latest features the artwork by Bobbi Lockyer and Leona McGrath.

Bobbi Lockyer is a Ngarluma, Karriyarra, Yawuru, Nyulnyul woman and artist. The theme of this collection is based around their shared passion of bringing cultural connection back to pregnancy and birthing.

Leona McGrath is a descendent of the Woopaburra people of Great Keppel Island and the KuKu Yalanji people of Far North QLD. Leona is a mother, grandmother, artist and registered midwife.

Dunjiba Fashions

from Dunjiba Community Artists supported by Ku Arts

Kay Finn and Audrey Stewart - Photo taken in Dunjiba (Oodnadatta, SA) by Melanie Henderson, Ku Arts, 2021
About

Designed by and for the community, Dunjiba Fashions is a celebration of Dunjiba; a contemporary clothing capsule of sportswear and bush skirts blazoned with vibrant textile patterns designed by artists within Ku Arts workshops over the last 3 years.

The Dunjiba Fashions project brings into light these unparalleled designs; from fabric samples, patternmaking to production, photography and documentation. The Dunjiba Fashions project centres on realising community ambitions in contemporary textile and fashion design.

Jaru Girl Designs

Bianca Long 

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About

The Connection to Country collection from Bianca Long of Jaru Girl Designs, has been inspired by the vibrant colours of the beautiful Kimberley region, North West Australia. Growing up on  DJaru Country, Halls Creek in the East Kimberley, her artwork reflects her family stories and travels across the region.

This inaugural Jaru Girl Designs collection is a collaboration between Bianca as the artist and fashion designer Linda Molinkjic of Lin Pin, who since late 2019, have been working together to create a collection of women, men and children.

The collection is based on 8 paintings. “The My Country painting reflects the Jaru Country. The Conkerberry Bush Plum artwork is of a bush plum that is found across the Kimberley. The Archipelago painting is of the Bucceener Archipelgo near Derby, West Kimberley. The Water, Creek and Billabong painting reflects water that is very important for everyone. The River flowing onto mudflats painting which represents rivers that flow onto mudflats all around the Kimberley. The Travelling though Country painting shows the different country that we have for travelling to work and to see family and friends and rugged country which is of the Kimberley region.” – Bianca Long. 

Jaru Girl Designs follows a code of ethics and a modern ethos so that each of its collections are sustainable and shun mass production. The garments are made, and material printed in Australia.

 

Jina-Jina

Yinjaa-Barni Art

About

“The Yinjaa-Barni Art Centre wanted this range to be designed around our principal artist Clifton Mack. In memory of the beautiful artworks, he made over the 18 years of painting, 2001 to 2019. He was a quiet, highly respected and gentle artist for whom painting brought great pleasure. His works are admired by many.”

The designs work with natural silk, linen and faille, digitally printed, designed, and made in Australia.

Marrawuddi Art Centre and Injalak Art Centre

North Home Textiles

About

North’s 2021 Collection, Stone Country, brings together the work of over five artists from West Arnhem Land and Kakadu, representing their rich culture of over 65,000 years. Deriving from Bim (Rock Art), the West Arnhem Collection explores themes of spiritual and ancestral beings from all represented artists’ homelands and Djang (dreaming stories). Their chosen works all communicate traditional painting methods through ochre and Rarrk (crosshatching), complemented by emerging artists work with contemporary ink methods. North are thrilled to share Kakadu and West Arnhem’s Bininj Culture with you this 2021.

North works intricately close with both Marrawuddi and Injalak Art Centres in parallel with Copyright Agency who are representing all artists involved, to ensure appropriate licensing are done ethically and appropriately.

The Collection is worked on for months leading up to its launch in August, ensuring everything is approved by all artist involved. Both Marrawuddi and Injalak are members of the Indigenous Art Code and ANKA, ensuring all art dealings are too, done transparently, ethically and appropriately. The Collection is made in Australia using 100% linen and silk viscose blend. All fabric is accredited and sourced ethically.

Moydra Designs

By Yvonne Odegard

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About

The Gunumijtanda Gulumoerrgin Collection comes from Larrakia Nation Arts and designer Yvonne Odegaard of  Moydra Designs.

The collection has been created from natural fibres, silk, linen and cotton using environmentally friendly paint and eco dyes. The designs are inspired by bush and Sea Tucker from Larrakia Country, with stories from Yvonne’s Larrakia grandmother and Larrakia father ancestors.

“I continue to create my art on canvas, jewellery and fabrics to keep my culture alive and strong… My jewellery I make is collected from Wagait Beach, such as bush seeds, washed up rope, mangrove wood and driftwood. My fashion designs… reflect the unique tropical climate of Darwin, Northern Territory.”

Ngali

Denni Francisco

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About

Translating to ‘we’ or ‘us’ in a number of eastern Australian Aboriginal languages, Ngali by Denni Francisco is creating the ‘us’ we’d like to see: a harmonious, sustainable and equitable union of people with Country and each other. Ngali presents a mutually respectful collaboration with Gija artist, Lindsay Malay. 

“Together we create. As a Wiradjuri woman, creating Ngali is a journey embedded in reflexivity and culture. When I began I reflected on what fashion as a platform could do to celebrate our culture to a wider audience and how our participation in the fashion industry could help change mindsets about fashion consumption and respect for Country.”Denni Francisco

The process of Ngali’s work operates through the lens of Yindayamarra, fashion that shows respect, is polite, considered, gentle to Country, and honours the cross country collaborations with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives.

Numus Design

Naomy Briston

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Coming soon…

About

Numus Design from Larrakia woman Naomi Briston, draws on the printing techniques learnt from her fathers 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!”

Her Saltwater BushTucker Dreaming collection features five print designs. With each piece representing her childhood, hunting with her family on her mother country as a saltwater woman.

“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.”

Papulankutja Artists collaboration

with Black Cat Couture

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About

The collection, Vibrant Desert, is a collaboration between Papulankutja Artists and Black Cat Couture.

“As artists from Papulankutja and Mantamarru (Blackstone and Jameson), we love to paint and share ancestral stories in vivid colours.”
“As a designer, I love to make clothes that celebrate fabric designs respectfully and are colourful with a sense of fun. The designs lend themselves beautifully to a collection with a retro vibe.”
“We feel as artists, fabric designers and a clothing and fashion designer we are a wonderful match.”

The fabrics in the collection feature original paintings by 10 different artists from Papulankutja, with each design being put onto fabric for the very first time through digital printing.

Darwin based designer Marcia of Black Cat Couture is working closely with the artists throughout the garment design process. Her work is inspired by 60’s vintage clothing patterns reimagined in contemporary ways, both bold and wearable, and her flair for combining unexpected fabrics, designs and colours is a fabulous match for the artists of Papalankutja!

Through this project, the artists involved are learning the process of translating their designs to fabric, inspiring ideas for further innovation and collaborations – watch this space!

Tiwi Designs

with Ossom

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About

The Elemental collection is a collaboration between artists from Tiwi Designs Art Centre and Darwin-based slow fashion brand Ossum.

The pieces feature hand-printed fabrics from Tiwi Designs, each artwork with its own narrative, cultural stories, dreaming, and memory. Hand made and designed in Darwin, the collection encourages people to learn and share in these unique stories. 

The range features beautiful silk, cotton, and linen fabrics. Like the artworks from Tiwi, the garments are bold, minimalistic with predominantly geometrical lines and free silhouettes. A range of accessories has also been made from fabric leftovers, helping to minimise the amount of fabric waste. 

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts

About

Born out of the Waringarri Textiles project, the BOONKAJ collection of hand-block printed linens and fine cottons, maintains connection of young women with the cultural traditions of bush plant knowledge, inspiring their beautiful designs.

Design motifs represent Gerdwoon (boab nut), Jilinybeng (bush cucumber), Jamardaj (bush fig), Moorrooloomboong (prickly wattle) and bush medicines.

Waringarri artists bring together a sophisticated collection that evokes the lyrical beauty of bush plants and the dramatic colours of the Kimberley.

 

With featured accessories from artists of :

Numbulwar Numburindi Arts

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Stay Tuned!

More exciting announcements are to come. 

For further information, subscribe to the IFP mailing list below and be sure to follow @IndigenousFashionProjects on Facebook and Instagram!