A group of Indigenous delegates who travelled to Belgium have put on a spectacular runway show for guests of the Australian Embassy to Belgium, Luxembourg, EU and NATO.
On Tuesday, May 17 Amanda Healy of Kirrkin and Liandra Gaykamangu of Liandra Swim presented their collections to guests at the Art and History Museum in Brussels.
Denni Francisco of Ngali and Julie Shaw of MAARA Collective also sent pieces to be shown.
The show was put together in a combined effort by Healy and the Australian Embassy to Belgium, Luxembourg and Mission to the EU and NATO.
Opening with a Welcome to Country from Gaykamangu and Healy, this was followed by a performance from Yidaki (didgeridoo) player and Noongar man, Jack Collard.
Model and Noongar woman Shannon McGuire opened and closed the show in iconic pieces from Liandra Swim and Kirrikin.
Indigenous models Cassie Puruntatameri and Haylee McLean also travelled from Australia to walk the runway in Brussels.
Ms McLean said she was thrilled to walk her first runway ever in Europe.
“I feel so good, it went so well and I’m so happy,” she said.
“This was my first ever runway show and what a way to do it in Europe.”
Founder and designer of Ngali, Francisco said she was excited at the opportunity to share Ngali on the world stage.
“Part of the ‘why’ of starting Ngali was to help celebrate and share our First Nations culture,” she said.
“We want to collaborate with our First Nations artists to take stunning artworks beyond wall display and have them walk the streets anywhere in the world.
“Showing in Belgium helps us to achieve that vision.”
Healy said there has been a huge impact of showing Indigenous fashion on a European runway.
“Just to see how it’s received, to the conversations afterwards, where does it lead, the potential and the possibility, ” she said.
“And to see our people, our mob here, standing proud, tall and in one of the biggest cities in Europe.
“We’re certainly starting to see people’s interest in us and break down barriers and starting to open doors so it’s really exciting.
“There’s really endless possibilities here. In Europe they seem to very much understand aesthetic and understand the stories that led to where we are.”
The Indigenous delegates will continue to travel Europe to present their talents in the next few weeks.