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Of all the VAMFF events this year, I was inspired most by the Global Indigenous Runway on Tuesday 8th March at the Melbourne Museum. Supported by a full house of fashionistas, culture-hungry creatives and industry elite from around the world, the Global Indigenous Runway presented much more than just an incredible array of outfits.

Each and every individual involved contributed to the success of the event, and a passionate team of Indigenous make-up artists, hair stylists, designers, event staff and project crew came together, proving what can be achieved when given the opportunity. Showcasing a contemporary take on culture-inspired garments with an ethnical edge, the Global Indigenous Runway paid tribute to traditional Indigenous pieces.

Exuding boldness and fashion flair, traditional-inspired garments reflected the significance of cultural origins, and each signature designer brand offered their own unique story, connecting culture, history and land.

A groundbreaking initiative born in Melbourne, the Global Indigenous Runway project brings together emerging designers, models and production team members from Indigenous backgrounds to showcase their talents and heritage, helping to build career pathways into the fashion industry.

This year, Victorian Aboriginal designers and models joined with participants from New Zealand (Maori), Australia (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander), Canada (First Nations), and the Pacific Nations to celebrate the history and future of global Indigenous fashion. Experiencing a journey of self-discovery, cultural awareness and appreciation of identity, many of the participants were introduced to the world of fashion for the first time through the project, gaining the confidence and self-esteem to participate and feature on the runway or gain work experience backstage.

Over 2,500 individuals from across Australia and New Zealand have participated in the program over the past five years and it is recognised as one of the most celebrated initiatives and runway events at Australia’s top fashion festivals. The Global Indigenous Runway was this year welcomed as an Official Event of the 2016 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Offsite Runway Series, and delivered a breath taking range of collections from the likes of Emu Designs, Creenisgaa, Nerida Johnson from Henare Creatives, Heather Kennedy, Helen Oro, Jeanine Clarkin, Lyn Al Young, Rauwhiro, Arkie Barton, Tribal Affiliations, Colleen Tighe Johnson, Albertini, David Roil and Shona Tawhiao.

Ethereal and spiritual reflections were juxtaposed with strong and static silhouettes; delicate and detailed prints and patterns adorned textural layers; and an overall air of a resounding strength in identity lapped up and down the runway as Indigenous models represented their Indigenous designers, brothers and sisters uniting to deliver a message of awareness, of cultural importance and of the resurgence of tradition.

Photos: Collecting Melbourne.

The Fashion Advocate x

The Fashion Advocate Melbourne fashion blogger Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle

The Fashion Advocate Melbourne fashion blogger Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle

The Fashion Advocate Melbourne fashion blogger Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle

The Fashion Advocate Melbourne fashion blogger Australian made fashion, beauty and lifestyle

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