For Yolngu woman Liandra Gaykamangu, designing and being an Indigenous creative means making conscious decisions of how she wants to portray her Yolngu history and Country.

Travelling to Ursluines Mechelen Fashion School in Mechelen, Belgium Gaykamangu spoke to students about the intricacies of creating a fashion brand fused with Indigenous culture.

Gaykamangu shared with the students the reason she does not use traditional Indigenous art as print in her designs.

“I actively don’t do traditional art because for me, it’s very sacred,” she said.

“And until it feels right, this is where it goes beyond selling a product, it’s about doing justice to our culture, our family and people in general.

“And so for me it takes a lot of consultations with family members before I can put artwork on print.

“So what I do instead is a very contemporary take on it, and I draw my prints and then I build a collection based on a theme.”

Gaykamangu said her family have even asked her why she doesn’t use traditional Indigenous artwork.

“My family you know, they’ve sat me down and said ‘you’ve got all this artwork, why aren’t you using it?’,” she said.

“And I said ‘because the timing isn’t right’.

“It’s not just about making a dollar, I think there’s a strong appetite for Indigenous fashion I think in Australia as well as internationally but everything needs to make sense.”

Gaykamangu said to the students her brand has been created consciously, with Indigenous Australia in mind.

“I use my pieces as a way to have those conversations and to advocate and be proud,” she said.

“And whoever’s wearing them to be advocating and be proud of Indigenous Australia as well.

“I like to make it very clear that my brand is definitely for everybody because I want lots of people to feel that they can connect, learn about and be speaking to the world when they put my pieces on.”