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Wiradjuri designer Denni Francisco wins top prize for second year at National Indigenous Fashion Awards 2022 | australian fashion




A Wiradjuri designer whose Yindyamarra fashion philosophy of being respectful, polite, thoughtful and gentle to the country has won the Designer of the Year award at the National Indigenous Fashion Awards.

For the second year in a row, Denni Francisco de Ngali won the fashion designer award for his stylish, couture-focused womenswear that features digital prints and hand-embellished details adapted from works by First Nations artists. from all over the country.

Francisco’s latest collection, shown in May during Australian Fashion Week, featured work by Gija artist Lindsay Malay from North West Kimberly.

A Wiradjuri woman, Francisco describes her design philosophy as Yindyamarra or fashion that shows respect, is polite, thoughtful, gentle to the country and honors collaborations across the country with other Aboriginal and Strait Islander creatives. Torres.

Francisco became a key figure in the Australian fashion industry, consulting on projects such as the creation of an Australian fashion brand.

From a hand-tied mkko (bark skirt) to statement streetwear, the breadth of Indigenous design excellence was celebrated at the National Indigenous Fashion Awards (Nifa) on a warm dry season evening in Darwin on Wednesday.

Esther Yarllarlla, standing next to Djomi with nja-djngka (dilly bags), mkko pubic cover and fabric design, 2022.
Artist Esther Yarllarlla with nja-djngka (dilly bags), mkko pubic cover and fabric design. Photography: Jessica Stalenberg / Bbbarra Womens Center

Held on Larrakia Country in Darwin as part of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fairthe awards recognized outstanding contributions in six areas: from traditional adornment, textile design, fashion design and wearable art to community collaboration and business achievement.

Esther Yarllarlla won the traditional dress award for a mkko (bark skirt) commissioned by the Bbbarra Womens Centre. Yarllarlla is a Kunibidji artist living in Maningrida, Arnhem Land, and her traditional woven and knotted works are made from banyan trees that grow next to her house, which she harvests by hand and processes to create string bags, mats, baskets and sculptures.

Models walk in designs by Clothing The Gaps during the First Nations Fashion + Design show during Australian Fashion Week in May 2022 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)
Models parade in designs by Clothing the Gaps during the First Nations Fashion and Design show during Australian Fashion Week in May in Sydney. Photography: Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

Laura Thompson of social enterprise streetwear brand Clothing the Gaps was honored for her business achievements. Clothing and accessories made ethically by Clothing the Gaps celebrate Indigenous identity and sovereignty, and the brands’ stance on cultural appropriation has been influential beyond the fashion industry.

Philomena Yeatman of Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct with textile design.
Philomena Yeatman of Yarrabah Arts & Cultural Precinct with textile design. Photography: Bernard Singleton

Artist and weaver Philomena Yeatman won the textile design award. Yeatman uses a combination of modern materials and pandanus, cabbage palm and natural dyes to create his textile works, which are inspired by the history of his Gunggandji and Kuku Yalanji family. Based in Yarrabah, Far North Queensland, Yeatman’s art is widely collected, including by institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery.

Lillardia Briggs-Houston wears her award-winning Walung stone print jumpsuit on a hand-printed silk velvet devoré, with a printed veil and seeded earrings.
Lillardia Briggs-Houston wears her award-winning Walung stone-print jumpsuit over a hand-printed silk velvet devourer, with a printed veil and seed earrings

Textile and fashion designer Lillardia Briggs-Houston of Ngarru Miimi was nominated for her work in textile design and wearable arts, winning the wearable arts category with a printed and hand painted jumpsuit. The costume, which also included reed ornaments, a printed veil and bottlebrush seed earrings, was created in Wiradjuri country in Narrungdera/Narrandera. Briggs-Houstons ready-to-wear also made the cover of Vogue Australia.

Linda Puna (second from left) and family members of Mimili Community, wearing Linda Punas' collaboration with Unreal Fur.
Linda Puna (second from left) and family members in the Mimili community, wearing Punas’ collaboration with Unreal Fur. Photography: Meg Hansen

Mimili Maku Arts, Linda Puna and Unreal Fur were recognized for their community collaboration. The Punas capsule collection for Unreal Fur, 18 months in the making, has been backed by the Copyright Agency to maintain best practices throughout the design process. The result was a collection of pastel printed puffer jackets, a reversible faux fur jacket and a black overcoat embroidered with the Punas Ngayuku Ngura (My Home) artwork. Filming for the fundraising campaign took place on the grounds of Aangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) and included behind-the-scenes opportunities for young women in the community.

The Nifas are part of a series of events this week celebrating Aboriginal art, design and culture as part of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, which opens on Thursday.

On Friday, the winners of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards The country’s richest art prize, with a $190,000 prize in seven categories, will be announced at sunset on the lawns of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

On Saturday, the National Indigenous Music Awards will induct Gurrumul into the Hall of Fame. A tribute to the late great Archie Roach is in the works.




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