Honouring Our Past As The Future Of Fashion

Liandra Swim

First Nations designers took centre stage at Australian Fashion Week with Ngali, Ikuntji Artists and Liandra Swim holding their own among our most known names in the industry.

The annual fashion extravaganza at Sydney’s Carriageworks in Eveleigh saw the first ever stand-alone First Nations designer shows in the events 27 year history.

“I walk that fine line in my life as a person,” Liandra Swim founder and creative director Liandra Gaykamangu told Confidential.

“I show up in a room and sure, I am a First Nations person but that is not all I am. I am a CEO, I am a mum, I am multifaceted and that is the same with the brand. Yes, it represents a part of who I am as well and in a contemporary way but in a way that I want the brand to be a mainstream label. I am chasing after the other contemporaries in my industry,” she said.

“I am super proud to be a First Nations label but the label is for everyone.”

Gaykamangu is at the fore of young designers transforming the industry with their conscious businesses that look to do good beyond just sustainability, and consider social causes too.

Liandra Swim, based out of Darwin, supports the local indigenous communities by using local production and talent, and telling the story of lived experiences and First Nations culture through her hand drawn prints, with each piece named after an influential indigenous woman.

Tipped as one to watch, the emerging designer has achieved a swift rise to prominence among the often fickle fashion, winning recognition in the prestigious Next Gen program and already stocked in David Jones and The Iconic.

On Friday, she showed first resort wear collection.

“That is what I love about fashion, it allows you to speak without using your words,” Gaykamangu said. “It allows you to show up every single day and share a message with the world and you can do it in a subtle way or you can be really loud about it, whatever suits an individual.”

Jesinta Franklin sat front row at her show on Friday, the last day of the week-long event that has drawn more than 50 designers to the runway. Vogue Australia’s Edwina McCann said:

“It’s wonderful to see indigenous designers taking their rightful place on the runways and driving the truly unique signature of our industry forward”.

Source: Jonathan Moran (Daily Telegraph)