First Nations Fashion Show Toured Throughout Europe to Tell the True Story of Australia

An all Indigenous Australian group of fashion creatives held a series of fashion shows throughout Europe. The fashion show was an opportunity to rectify foreign misconceptions about First Nations and Australian history as well as share their designs. 

Amongst the group were models, fashion designers, a photographer and a dancer. The group had been invited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and toured throughout Europe to hold their show in various museums and art galleries. 

Jack Collard performed as part of the show. Courtesy of Rob Hookey, ABC News.

The fashion crew thought that their shows had a big impact on people overseas and that they were able to share their culture with people who were not aware of Indigenous Australian history at all. The shows were able to generate an interest in the Australian First Nations history to a wide audience. All their designs had links to Country, culture and stories, (ABC News, 2022).

Amongst the audience of these fashion shows, there were a number of influential people watching. There were people from NATO and varying levels of policy makers from the EU and United Nations. Mrs McGuire, one of the models in the show spoke to ABC News (2022) and said: 

“The reason why we were there wasn’t just to sell pretty clothes off the rack.”

“It was about really telling a story, or the story, the real story of Australia, and I think we found a lot of strength in that.”

Generating a lot of interest in Australian history. Courtesy of Rob Hookey, ABC News.

The shows generated a lot of interest in First Nations history and Ms Amanda Healy, the managing director of fashion label Kirrikin and the tour organiser of these shows spoke to ABC News (2022) and said:

“The other thing that I think is really important is the experience that this group had was quite life changing for so many.”

Ms McGuire said that it was important to ensure the interest in First Nations work was long lasting.

“Aboriginal art and design is really on trend so the fashion industry and the media are picking it up … But we don’t want this to just be a trend, we want it to be real."