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Australian Fashion Week 2022 was held in Sydney from 9-13 May and the event celebrated First Nations’ designers and artists. The Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway featured the work of five Aboriginal women and their connection to country through art. Viewers sat of Gadigal Country in Sydney and experienced the new collections debuted by Amanda Healy, Liandra Gaykamangu, Julie Shaw, Natalie Cunningham and Denni Francisco.

Image courtesy of Ngali

Denni Francisco’s fashion label, Ngali, is an eco-conscious label that collaborates with First Nations’ designers. ‘Ngali’ means ‘we’ or ‘us’ in Aboriginal languages, which represents Denni’s vision for the future when considering the connection between people and our environment. Ngali’s new collection uses fabrics that have been designed to last, live on and eventually be upcycled.

Spotlighting Aboriginal fashion marks a progression towards greater representation of First Nations peoples in Australia. Western designers can look to Aboriginal designers for inspiration on how to be more ethical and sustainable, as the Indigenous way of life is far less consumption-based. Rather, First Nations peoples are more focused on connection to land, Country and family, which is expressed through Aboriginal artwork and designs.