Representatives from Indigenous fashion houses Kirrkin, Liandra Swim, MAARA Collective and Ngali showcased their designs at the Australian ambassador’s residence, Abbey Lea in Ireland.
On Friday, May 27 Australian ambassador to Ireland Gary Gray and Pippa McIntosh held an Indigenous fashion event at their residence, inviting local boutique owners and other guests of interests.
This event follows on the fashion show that was held in Brussels as part of the Mission to the EU which has been posted in Brussels and is seeking to establish a free trade agreement.
Mr Gray said it was an honour to have the Indigenous fashion houses present their collections at his residence.
“Australian Indigenous culture and art is among the most beautiful in the world,” he said.
“To have this travelling troupe visit our residence was a moment of pride and deep emotional connection.
“Look at the beauty, design and Indigenous culture on show. Our Australian Indigenous fashion industry is going places.”
Models who travelled with the group, Shannon McGuire, Haylee McLean and Cassie Puruntatameri showcased designs throughout the event.
Connacht rugby player and Wiradjuri man John Porch also attended the event and wore a blue Kirrikin set.
Additionally, a viewing room was set up with items of clothing from all four designers for guests to walk through and look at up close.
Creative director and designer of Liandra Swim, Yolngu woman Liandra Gaykamangu said this event made it even more accessible for her to launch her designs internationally through an e-commerce platform.
“One of the things that I think is really interesting in the 21st century is that technology has made it so easily accessible both for the buyer and for the seller,” she said.
“And I think when we talk about Australia and our Indigenous culture, there’s not been a better time where we can be fully in control of that.
“So no longer do we have to be limited by domestic sales, we can be international powerhouse brands which is part for me at least of why I’m so interested in coming on this European tour, is because I want to be able to understand European retail.
“So it’s really interesting to be able to come here for research purposes, and then also be able to elevate our brands in the international space and be able to hit the consumer directly through our own e-commerce websites.”
Drawing local media attention, journalist from the Irish Times Deirdre McQuillan said they have never seen anything like this come to Dublin before.
“The quality and also the dimensions of the stories that the prints told which tells you so much about different communities that’s something very new and very special,” she said.
“I love the colour and its just an extraordinary event.
“We’ve never had anything like this before in Dublin so it was great to welcome such gifted creations from Australia.”
This was the final stop on the Indigenous creatives European tour.