First Nations Fashion: Walking In Two Worlds Review @ Brisbane Festival 2021

  • Written by 
  • Monday, 06 September 2021 14:59
Published in Fashion News  
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'First Nations Fashion' 'First Nations Fashion' Image © Pamela Pirovic

The 'First Nations Fashion: Walking In Two Worlds' showcase highlighted the talent of local Indigenous fashion and was a joyous celebration of culture.


Opening with a traditional greeting and modern poem, the show put together music, video, modern dance, live hip hop and ceremony to produce an exuberant, immersive experience.

The fashion on display ranged from swimwear, to day wear, evening and more avant-garde experiments in textile and design. With summer fast approaching, particular standouts included the bright blues of Ihraa Swim, and the feminine dusky roses of Indii Swimwear. The prints of Magpie Goose gave everyday clothes a unique and unexpected twist. For more formal wear, the gorgeous jewel colours of the gowns in Briana Enoch’s Jarawee label were stunning, and made a wonderful contrast to the crystal, futuristic tones of Paul McCann’s work. His iridescent cling-wrap-y fabrics seemed to be hand-painted, and unlike anything else on the runway. The Indigenous models catered to all shapes, sizes and age ranges, celebrating all types of beauty. Audience members left with a long list of items they’ll surely hunt down on Instagram, and order direct from the creator.

FN Fashion LuisaRyan
Image - Luisa Ryan

In addition to the fashion itself, the music was a true highlight. I want to order the soundtrack immediately. It was clearly full of funky Indigenous artists that don’t get nearly enough airplay on mainstream radio. Adding to the strong musical vein running through the show, hip hop artist Kaylah Truth performed live for one design set, while the models stalked around her. Mixing up the calm forest scenes on the video screen, with recorded music and a live set made the evening feel consistently fresh, the atmosphere was constantly changing and challenging the audience. An absolute stand-out moment was when one designer, hit by the spotlight once her show had finished, not only stood to acknowledge the performance but celebrated her achievement with traditional dance. The audience leapt to its feet.

'First Nations Fashion: Walking in Two Worlds' demonstrated not only the ever-growing maturity and creativity of the Brisbane fashion scene, but also the strong Indigenous voices within it, and leading it. Track down an Indigenous designer and place your orders today.

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