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Culture to Couture

Although much of the 2021 DAAF is delivered digitally, there are still two very exciting events taking place on Larrakia Country.

By Tierney Seccull

First Nations textiles and fashion cultivate in a colourful showcase of wearable art at the Country to Couture fashion show. Innovation, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers are celebrated at the National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA).

Katena Valastro is Event Coordinator of Country to Couture and NIFA, and says the team is thrilled the show can go ahead.

“It’s really exciting, especially because the designers have worked really hard to physically get their designs to Darwin – there are quite a few logistics involved.”

Kicking off in 2016, and back for its sixth year, the highly anticipated fashion event has cemented Indigenous fashion as a topic of discussion in a mainstream context.

“It’s well overdue – I think it’s such a beautiful and important movement. It’s not just a movement, but also a big statement. I think there was a little bit of nervousness around whether being into Indigenous fashion was just a phase or a trend, but it will be here forever, it has been here forever. Continuing to see it on our runway is really important,” Valastro says.

Although the NIFA has sold out, fashion fanatics and arts lovers can still get their fill with a livestream from presenting partner NITV.

Country to Couture features works from 16 designers, artists and art centres from across Australia, all contributing wearable art with elements of culture and history relevant to their Country. With big hitters like Aussie fashion super brand Country Road on board, awareness is certainly ramping up.

“It’s just a matter of time before it flows into mainstream, because it’s such an amazing piece of culture that exists in Australia. We’re very proud to play a part in getting it out there.”


National Indigenous Fashion Awards
WHEN TUE 3 AUG | 8.30PM
AT NITV LIVESTREAM
INFO nifa.com.au

Country to Couture
WHEN WED 4 AUG | 8.30PM, DOORS 8PM
AT DARWIN CONVENTION CENTRE
COST $55 
AT ifp.org.au | darwinfestival.org.au

Thumbnail & header: The Warlu Collection (full), Warlukurlangu Artists and North, Country to Couture 2020.

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