The official launch of an Indigenous and ethic women’s magazine, inspirational talks, Indigenous businesses and fashion all played a role in last week’s inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week (AIFW).
Strutting down the runway and opening the show was no other than the beautiful Samantha Harris, wearing designs that were a hint traditional, but with a modern twist.
The 13 AIFW Design Program participants, plus three community designers arrived in Sydney from all over Australia for the chance to be a part of history, showcasing their original designs.
One of the designers, Lyn-al Young, fittingly the youngest says she was “excited but nervous” before the show commenced.
Lyn-Al is a Gunnai and Waradgerie woman fresh out of high school and leapt at the opportunity to be involved in AIFW.
“Aboriginal people have overcome many obstacles, becoming successful across many industries and I see fashion design as a new area for our people to be a huge success in,” Lyn-Al says.
She had only completed her Certificate II and III in sewing and pattern-making though a school VET course when she was invited to apply.
Someone that inspired Lyn-Al’s personal style and design is Audrey Hepburn for her femininity, class and elegance.
“I believe fashion design and everyday fashion enables us to express ourselves and is a reflection of each individual’s identity. I express my identity in fashion through incorporating Gunnai/Waradgerie culture into the designs and construction of my garments,” she says.
“Just being able to be creative and express myself through fashion,” she says is what she likes best about being a designer.
“I find it exciting to search and alter second-hand clothes at op shop’s, then accessorising with modern pieces to make them current. For instance I bought my Valedictory Year 12 graduation dress from the local op shop, altered and accessorised with modern jewellery, heels and bag.”
Now she, along with the other designers, have had the opportunity to showcase her designs on a national level.
Other designers showing on the day included; Desert Designs, From Tree Carvings to Silk Markings, Mimi Designs, EMU Designs, AARLI, A Temporal, Pandanah, Injalak Arts, Jayne Maes, Wild Barra, Kathy Buzzacott Jewellery, HORI, Caressa and Babbara Designs, Erub Arts & Grace Lee, Wake Up Women, Larapinta Valley and Elcho ArtsAkin Collection.