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  • Helen Gramotnev


While Brisbane is not a stranger to fashion events, this is the first time it has graced the amphitheatre of the South Bank Piazza. Multicultural Australian artist, Grace Lillian Lee, created a literal platform in way of a runway for cultural celebration for the 2021 Brisbane Festival.

First Nations Fashion: Walking in Two Worlds is a large-scale theatrical experience. While a group of First Nations dancers tell their stories through movement, the fashion models showcase pieces ranging from swimwear and casual attire to formal dresses and evening gowns, inspired by the Australian landscape and the Australian Indigenous art and culture. On the backdrop of the music from hip hop artist Kaylah Truth, ready-to-wear pieces amaze and inspire the audiences.

The fashion event is a unique and uplifting experience. Featuring designers from across Australia and twenty local models, the show seamlessly brings together the world of the First Nations people and the world of contemporary fashion, blending history and progress. The identity and the personality of the designers comes through strongly in the pieces, revealing the elegance of Murrii Quu Couture, and the exquisite flow of Jarawee, alongside of Lisa Waup X Vermeer’s intricate and earthy creations and Ihraa Swim’s luminous swimwear collection. The playfulness of Magpie Goose and the golden, beachy designs of Elverina Johnson ensure that this show is full of character and imagination. The final collection by Paul McCann ends the show with a touch of ocean fantasy, celebrating all things Australian, revealing an element of pride in the country’s heritage and long history.

This is a world of fashion and culture of First Nation Australians; a show that blends dance, storytelling, and art together, superimposing it onto vibrant, elegant, and daring pieces that are sure to become a hit with fashion lovers around Australia.

The 2021 Brisbane Festival runs from 3–25 September.


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