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Australia National Indigenous Fashion Awards celebrate First Nations fashion designers

02:47  05 august  2021
02:47  05 august  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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a woman standing in front of a crowd: The National Indigenous Fashion Awards celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. (ABC News: Che Chorley) © Provided by ABC NEWS The National Indigenous Fashion Awards celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. (ABC News: Che Chorley)

A winner of the National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) believes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fashion is set to be recognised internationally.

Wiradjuri woman Denni Francisco, whose label Ngali won the 2021 Fashion Design Award, said Indigenous designers were taking their "rightful place" on runways.

"I think the light that has been shone on Indigenous fashion right now is timely and we certainly have a space in the fashion space," said Melbourne-based Francisco, one of six category winners in the awards presented on Larrakia country in Darwin.

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The awards recognise and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers.

Francisco's accolade was for a commercial label producing a minimum of two collections — clothes, jewellery or accessories — of original design.

Award 'very humbling': Francisco

Francisco presented her designs at the Country to Couture fashion event in Darwin on Wednesday night, an event which showcased the marriage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary art and high-end fashion.

"This is very humbling," Francisco said.

"It was a great way to be recognised for the work,.

"This year's collection is called manga, which translates to elder sister riches, in honour of my elder sister."

Francisco said her passion for designing started at home in Melbourne.

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"I got into fashion by being a single parent," she recalled.

"I was designing for my daughter, and then people said, 'Can you do that for me? Can I get that outfit for my daughter?' And that's how I got into fashion."

The awards are presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation as part of Indigenous Fashion Projects.

This year 31 Indigenous artists and fashion designers were nominated.

The 2021 winners are:

  • Paul McCann for the Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art Award
  • Denni Francisco, Ngali for the Fashion Design Award
  • Eunice Napanangka Jack, Ikuntji Artists for the Textile Design Award
  • Anindilyakwa Arts with Dr Aly de Groot and Anna Reynolds for the Community Collaboration Award
  • Mylene Holroyd of Pormpuraaw Art & Culture featuring Simone Arnol designs for the Environmental and Social Contribution Award
  • Bima Wear for the Special Recognition Award

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