Good News: Indigenous Fashion at VAMFF


This year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) features one of the strongest Indigenous and cultural programs in its 20 year history.

On Thursday 3 March, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) Fashion Performance –Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal– showcased the vibrant cultures of North Queensland through dance, song and style.

Eleven designers collaborated to showcase wearable fashion which included felting techniques from Mornington Island, beading, feathers and bright colours to represent the tropics and the Great Barrier Reef and fibres, stencils and hand dyed fabrics, to reflect the northern rainforest environment.

Curated by designer Grace Lillian Lee (perhaps best known for her gorgeous woven accessories), the unique experience featured 20 models from North Queensland and the Torres Strait, who all received modelling and choreography training in the lead up to the event.


CIAF Artistic Director Janina Harding said, “this performance fulfils the CIAF vision: as a platform for Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to present and promote their distinctive artistic and cultural expression.”

In addition to Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal, VAMFF will also feature the ‘Global Indigenous Runway‘ this Tuesday 8 March, as part of its off site runway series.

The ‘Runway’ is a modern interpretation of Indigenous fashion from around the world, where designers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA and Pacific Nations, will honour ancient cultures and traditions in new and contemporary ways.

Delivered in partnership with Global Indigenous Management, the showcase will exude boldness, personality and of course, fashion flair.

Great to see Indigenous design being celebrated at such an iconic event!

Find out more about the VAMFF Indigenous & cultural program here.