Chirriger – Fashion from World’s Oldest Living Culture
First Published: 13 September 2017.
Samantha Harris has led the first ever runway of Aboriginal Fashion design at Perth’s Fashion Festival to a standing-room-only crowd in Forrest Chase. The Aboriginal fashion show opened with a moving Welcome to Country ceremony. Australia’s most high profile Aboriginal fashion star then led a team of local Aboriginal models along the runway. Showcasing a top class design collection, Chirriger, they were met with a standing ovation.
Aboriginal artists Peter Farmer and Kylie Graham joined forces with Red Opium fashion designer Sandra Rives to produce the range. Farmer’s and Graham’s artworks were printed on to ready-to-wear silk garments designed by Rives. The prints carry stories significant to Noongar people. Fittingly, the name Chirriger comes from a Noongar totem. Namely, a Chirriger is a native bird, also known as the blue fairy wren. “We hope that women of all backgrounds will enjoy wearing these beautiful garments with pride. We hope they’ll help provide a deeper understanding of the landscape, plants and animals on this continent from an aboriginal perspective”, said Farmer.
Afterwards, Harris spoke to the fashion crowd about how much she loved the collection. She shared with everyone how she confided to her mum on the phone about how much she loved the collection. Her mother’s response was to ask her daughter if she could get her something. Everyone laughed warmly.
A fashion first, the Chirriger Aboriginal fashion design runway proved to be an enormous hit with a large and appreciative fashion forward crowd. Everyone loved it. They milled around afterwards for ages saying as much.
Photos: Stefan Gosatti
To see more recent runway offerings by Aboriginal fashion designers, go to: Always Was Always Will be: How First Nations Creatives Took Australian Fashion Week by Storm.
You may also want to see our list of talented Aboriginal fashion designers at: Aboriginal Fashion Designers.