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Australian Indigenous FW highlights aboriginal culture
Apr '14
Centuries old Aussie aboriginal culture grabbed the spotlight at the recently held inaugural edition of Australian Indigenous Fashion Week (AIFW), a runway-cum-trade event that highlighted designs crafted by the  aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders from across Australia.
With the primary aim to serve as a platform to support the emerging and established indigenous designers, the soiree showcased ranges of wearable contemporary fashion and accessories peppered with over 60,000 years old signature traditional elements belonging to the varied ethnic groups of the country.
Byron Bay-based MiMi designs’ designer Mia Brennan featured a bohemian-inspired line, made from unusual rock and clay imprinted silk fabric which was buried underground for three weeks, while the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology grad Cairns-based designer Grace Lillian Lee displayed an extraordinary version of resort-style island silk dress, adorned with charcoal drawings and prints.
In addition to the above mentioned designers, names like Alison Page, Lucy Simpson and Desert Designs also presented their eclectic collections of echidna quill decorated novel clothing pieces made from block or hand-printed silks and other woven fabrics and textiles.
Before partaking in the AIFW, the indigenous design participants had gone through an intensive year-and-a half-long design program at Sydney’s Whitehouse School of Design, under the mentorship of former Sass & Bide designer Sophie Nixon.
The Sydney event also acted as a medium to support and encourage more than 18 indigenous Australian fashion models, such as Grace Atkinson and Katrina Keeler, who strutted their stuff at the inaugural catwalk event.  

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