Indigenous design set to soar

AFTER rave reviews at Melbourne's Indigenous Fashion Unearthed runway on Saturday, Suffolk Park designer Mia Brennan believes that indigenous fashion is on the brink of a renaissance.

However, according to the show's founders, indigenous designers may be picked up internationally before they are embraced on home turf.

Part of L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival's Cultural Program, the show brought together kindred cultures, providing a platform for Aboriginal and Maori fashion designers, models, make-up artists and hairstylists to showcase their works at Melbourne's famous Spiegeltent.

Mia Brennan
Mia Brennan

The only designer to represent the Northern Rivers, Ms Brennan said the inaugural Unearthed event had "planted a seed''.

"There was a huge amount of talent and it was such an inspiration. Indigenous fashion has been chipping away in the background but it's about to skyrocket," said the Northern Rivers mum.

Show co-founder Wayne Quilliam said the sell-out show attracted the interest of international media and buyers.

Mr Quilliam said the eyes of some major fashion buyers were on the indigenous designers, however much of the interest came from international buyers rather than from the Australian fashion industry.

"Unfortunately most of the success will circumvent Australia," The international photographer said.

"The subtle beauty and wonderment of contemporary indigenous designers is usually only recognised outside of Australia.

"Here they don't like anything that isn't your typical blackfellas painted up for a corroboree."

Ms Brennan said she relished the opportunity to showcase her label Mimi Designs, a contemporary ready-to-wear collection which pays subtle earthy homage to her Kamilaroi ancestry.

Ms Brennan collaborated with textile designer Lucy Simpson, of label Gaawaa Miyay (River Daughter) to create runway favourites.

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