Country to Couture at DAAF

September 30, 2022

Fine art and high fashion were one at the Country to Couture runway shows, which took place on Larrakia Country in August. The event was presented by the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair (DAAF) Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects (IFP), who have been instrumental in celebrating Indigenous art and fashion, and elevating it to the next level with their events.

Two sold-out runway shows delivered a stunning display of 16 unique collections by renowned and up and coming Australian designers, some of which feature the work of our visual artist members, which we aided in the process of licensing. It was wonderful to see the work come alive on the runway after overseeing much of the collaboration between the artists and designers.

The shows included pieces from Ngali, Linda Puna X Unreal Fur, House of Darwin, and Juluwarlu Art Group, with creative direction by Shilo McNamee, and styling by Perina Drummond. The shows were supported by Northern Territory Government and Country Road.

Copyright Agency’s CEO and staff from our visual arts department were fortunate enough to visit DAAF and met with artists, art centre managers and stakeholders at the fair.

CEO Josephine Johnston said: “It was very exciting to be at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, getting to meet and engage with all the wonderful artists and art centres the Copyright Agency is honoured to represent.”

She particularly enjoyed seeing the skateboard decks featuring the work of Ray Mudjandi of Marrawuddi Arts & Culture. Copyright Agency licensed three of Ray’s artworks for skate decks for the brand House of Darwin, which were also featured in the Country to Couture runway show, pictured below.

Backstage, House of Darwin by Shaun Edwards in collaboration with Luna Tunes, Country to Couture, 2022, Mel Brautigam @territorysavvy.

The National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFAs) were held on 3 August, outside at the Deckchair cinema, with six categories of awards presented.

Denni Francisco of Ngali, featuring the work of Lindsay Malay won the Fashion Designer Award, supported by Country Road for the second time running. Ngali is a sustainable fashion brand created by Wiradjuri woman Denni Francisco. Ngali will be awarded with a 12 month business mentorship from Country Road.

Ngali by Denni Francisco, textile adapted from Lindsay Malay, Country to Couture, 2022, Dylan Buckee.

Linda Puna of Mimili Maku Arts Centre and her collaboration with Unreal Fur were the recipients of the Community Collaboration Award, supported by Canberra Centre, for their remarkable capsule collection that took 18 months to produce. Linda is an outstanding disability advocate and promotes opportunities for those interested in the arts in her Community. She directed a photoshoot for the collection, enlisting local Indigenous models, photographers, videographers to assist with the shoot in order to create work for the youth in her Community.

Copyright Agency licensed both Linda Puna X Unreal Fur and Ngali/Lindsay Malay collaborations and we are thrilled that their work has been recognised in this way.

We’d like to congratulate all of the 2022 NIFA winners and all who put together a spectacular show at Country to Couture, proving Australia’s fashion and art industries are thriving. The full list of winners can be viewed here.




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