First Nations fashion is more than the fabric

A party-like atmosphere at the Emerging Mob in Fashion show had the crowd out of their seats.

In Naarm’s Grand Royal Exhibition Building with its domed fresco-painted ceilings, First Nations fashion designers have been hand-picked to show off their new collections.

Of the 11 premium shows at the Melbourne Fashion Festival, Thursday’s event was the only one dedicated solely to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designs.

A male and female model are walking to the end of the runway wearing all white with traditional aboriginal jewelry

Cousins ​​Preston and Aavaisha at the Melbourne Fashion Festival.(ABC News: Stephanie Boltje)

Cousins ​​Preston and Aavaisha Cockatoo-Collins fist-pump at the end of the runway.

They’re wearing red-tailed black cockatoo feathers in tribute to their family name.

Preston’s mum and Aavaisha’s aunt, Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, says her designs are personal to their home in North Stradbroke Island, Queensland.

“The design is informed by moments with my mother, written words from my grandmother, and also our beautiful natural environment from the island,” she says.

“I grab all of that, with permission, and put that into my patterns and the way that I shape my garments.”

The “Under the Full Moon” collection pays homage to the light that flickers off the shell middens.

“I feel like it’s so important that we bring culture into modeling

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