Indigenous fashion label Ngali has presented the first-ever First Nations solo runway show at Australian Fashion Week.
The Murriyang collection at Carriageworks in Sydney on Wednesday featured a cast of all First Nations models including Samantha Harris.
The name means “skyworld” in the Wiradjuri language and the collection’s bright prints are a celebration of the land, water and sky of Wiradjuri country in NSW.
The show was well received, according to Ngali’s founder Denni Francisco, who hopes her history-making show will be the first of many by First Nations designers.
“It just says that it’s time… I think it’s going to be the start of many because people are now seeing just what is actually created within our space,” she told AAP during a post-show debrief.
The label garnered international attention at Milan Fashion Week in 2022 and opened its first retail store in Melbourne in October last year.
In Wednesday’s show her garments featured layered prints in earthy peaches and greys as well as patterns in shades of blue.
Functional streetwear pieces in cream and white were also a highlight along with monochrome fringed sleeveless tops.
Styled with woven earrings and hairpieces, the runway looks were put together by Ngali and half a dozen other Indigenous designers who contributed footwear, millinery and accessories.
“Ngali’s process is to present fashion that shows respect, is polite, considered, gentle to country and shows honour to the cross-country collaborations we have with other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creatives,” she said.
It contributes part of its sales to Dot Com Mob, which provides technology and IT education in remote Indigenous communities.
Also on Wednesday, Brisbane designer Gail Sorronda hit the Carriageworks runway and Melbourne’s Joslin is slated to show at Clovelly Beach.
The evening will include six more First Nations designers featured on the David Jones Indigenous Fashion Projects Runway.
Fashion Week is on at Carriageworks in Sydney until Friday.
(Australian Associated Press)