Aboriginal Dress Designers
While the art culture and designs of Aboriginal people have existed for longer than any other civilisation, it’s only recently that Aboriginal Dress Designers are taking centre stage at Fashion Week, magazines and featuring on our TV screens.
As fashion priorities shift to become more inclusive, there’s a new and growing cohort of Aboriginal dress designers taking the limelight they deserve. Their creativity, undeniable talent, and humanitarian efforts to give back to community means these creatives are also designing a better future for their communities and a better understanding of Aboriginal culture and design in the world of fashion.
Most are independent of the First Nations Fashion and Design collective that dominated Australian Fashion Week in 2021. If you don’t have these Aboriginal dress designers on your radar, add them now!
Fashion and art are often one in the same, as artist and Aboriginal dress designer Lyn-Al Young showcases her Gunnai, Waradjuri, Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta culture in her designs. Featured in Vogue, The Bachelor and The Project, Lyn-Al takes nature, spirituality and connection to land and creates pieces that will stay with you. Everyone needs to understand Fasheaming.
A slow fashion, ethically produced hand printed label, Ngarru Miimi is designed in Wiradjuri country by the talented Lillardia Briggs-Houston. Lillardia featured recently in Australian Fashion Week and was a dual nominee for the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards in 2019. Bringing fashion and textiles that show kinship and culture, this Aboriginal dress designer brings shape, colour, waves and earth to her timeless designs.
Making their mark with beautiful bright designs and dresses that speak to the soul, Kirrikin Australia is a 100% Aboriginal Owned Social Enterprise full of ethical clothing and accessories to suit any style. Based in Boorloo, and designed by Amanda Healey, Kirrikin is quickly becoming the word on everyone’s lips.
Simone Arnol is not only a dress designer but an artist, photographer, and fashion curator living with Stage 4 Cancer. On Gunggandji Yarrabah land, Simone takes real life and turns it into art. From recent collections that reflect land, water and sky, to performances of significance, Simone is taking life as fashion and art to the next level.
The Queensland Museum recently acquired Simone’s “Shimmer” Collection from the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2020 Fashion Performance “Water is Sacred” which was a collaboration with the Djummgaal Elders from Yarrabah.
Curating stunning luxury resort and swimwear, Maara Collective has become a nationally-recognised and award-winning label that brings effortlessness and earthy tones to an ethereal, spiritual yet sophisticated arena of design. Giving proceeds back to support training and education in remote Aboriginal communities through Buy1Give1 program, Aboriginal dress designer Julie Shaw is fast becoming one of the most popular Aboriginal dress designers in Australia.
Colleen Tighe Johnson
Designer Colleen Tighe Johnson is taking her love for sharing ancestral stories and spirit and turning it into fashion. Her label Buluuy Mirri is created on Gomeroi land, with Colleen showcasing her intrinsic eye for detail and hard-working talent to the runways in stunning and theatrical ways.
Creating beautiful Aboriginal art since 2004, Arkie the Label is a 100% Aboriginal owned label, taking their vibrant and striking textiles and fine art to the streets and to fashion. Showcasing their Aboriginal dress designs in galleries and creating their art in Naarm on the lands of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, the designer behind this brilliant label is Arkie Barton
Crafting fashion, designs and textiles into bespoke and original pieces to last, Lore is designed by Wakka Wakka, Gurang Gurang, Butchulla woman Shannon Brett. With her side hustle taking off, Shannon takes organic shapes, colours and textures and turns them into everyday street style that screams individuality.
Featured Image: Lore Fabrics and Fashion
Don’t miss more exciting Aboriginal Fashion Designers