Culturally significant.

Words by

Veronica Stanford

VAMFF Day Two saw the Global Indigenous Runway take place.

The hour-long show, presented as part of the Offsite Runway Series, gave Indigenous designers the chance to present their garments at the Melbourne Museum.

Indigenous people also had the chance to take the runway as models, without having had any formal training. The majority of the girls who walked had never modelled before, with others having never even worn a pair of heels.

The event aimed to present Indigenous people with an opportunity to build confidence and self-esteem, in an effort to promote Indigenous culture and share possible pathways for Indigenous youth.

The event has gained significant recognition in recent years, with nominations for several awards including the Australian Reconciliation National Award in 2014 and 2016. 

Through participation in the event, Indigenous youth were able to gain further cultural awareness and an appreciation of identity. For some, this was a first introduction to fashion. Participants were given a valuable insight into the industry, as well as provided with practical work experience, both on and off stage.

This year’s show opened with Emu Designs and then proceeded to showcase the best footwear, headwear and apparel labels run by Indigenous people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands, First Nations, Native America, New Zealand and Pacific Nations.

Designers included Jeanine Clarkin, Adriana Dent, Lyn-Al Young, Linda LaVelle, Arkie Barton, Mereana Ngatai, Nerida Johnson, Heather Kennedy, Shona Tawhiao, Colleen Tighe Johnson, Natalie Cunningham, David Roil, Nicholas Donlen, Tessa Lont, Mia Morgan and Farrah Sugar. 


Anthony Tosello

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