• 'Enlightenment'. Cotton webbing / timber cane / goose feathers / cotton and wool thread, designed by Grace Lillian Lee. Worn by Dancer Luke Currie-Richardson (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFA) will be celebrated this week, shining a spotlight on the many talented First Nations designers and creatives working in the industry.
By
Emily Nicol

Source:
NITV News
4 Aug 2020 - 2:53 PM  UPDATED 4 Aug 2020 - 4:16 PM

The first ever National Indigenous Fashion Awards (NIFAs) will kicking off the 2020 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair this week, in a nod of recognition to the innovation, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artists and fashion designers.

In an entirely digital format, fashion lovers from around the country will be able to tune in to watch the awards ceremony via NITV's social media channels.

The NIFAs aim to promote and offer development opportunities for designers and offering a total of $60,000 in prizes. A panel of judges will look at each entrant's "design quality and originality, styling, cultural advancement and expression, product quality, commercial capability" and more.

NIFA judge and the Head Of Design for Womenswear, Women’s Accessories, Children's wear at Country Road, Maria Rinaldi-Cant, told NITV News that fashion has always been a means of storytelling.

"To design a garment is to create a narrative,” said Ms Rinaldi-Cant.

“I look forward to learning more about the wonderful stories each designer has woven throughout their collection and am honoured to help shine a light on the incredible talent of Australia’s First Nations artists," she said.

Ms RInaldi-Cant said, as an awards judge, she would be looking for innovation in design and how each collection celebrates community and art.

This year's awards received over 30 nominations from stylists, models, creative producers and artistic directors across six categories spanning the innovation, creativity, diversity and ethical practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

The nominees in each category are:

● Cultural Adornment and Wearable Art Award – co-presented with DAAFF 

  • LISA WAUP
  • LILLARDYA ALLIRRA BRIGGS-HOUSTON
  • PEGGY GRIFFITHS
  • JAN GRIFFITHS
  • DEBRA BEAL

Textile Design Award – co-presented with RMIT University

  • LILLARDYA ALLIRRA BRIGGS-HOUSTON
  • RUKAJI DESIGNS
  • KIEREN KARRITPUL
  • DYMPHNA KERINAUIA, KAYE BROWN, MICHELLE WOODY, NINA LYDWINA PURUNTATAMERI, CORNELIA TIPUAMANTUMIRRI, AND BERNADETTE MUNGATOPI
  • IKUNTJI ARTISTS
  • SELINA NADJOWH

Community Collaboration Award – co-presented with Northern Territory Government

  • JULIE SHAW OF MAARA COLLECTIVE WITH BULA'BULA ABORIGINAL CORPORATION
  • HOPE VALE ARTS AND CULTURAL CENTRE WITH QUT
  • PEOPLE, CULTURE & COUNTRY, A QLD STATE SCHOOLS ART PROJECT
  • BABBARRA WOMEN’S CENTRE WITH PUBLISHER TEXTILES
  • LISA GORMAN (GORMAN) AND TOMMY MAY, SONIA KURARRA, DAISY JAPULIJA, NADA RAWLINS, LISA UHL FROM MANGKAJA ARTS
  • MARNIN STUDIO WOMEN'S RESOURCE CENTRE WITH DESIGN WITHIN COUNTRY
  • IKUNTJI ARTISTS WITH MAGPIE GOOSE
  • KAIELA ARTS ARTISTS WITH SPACECRAFT STUDIO
  • TENNANT CREEK AUNTIES FOR RISE-NGURRAJUTA

Environmental and Social Contribution Award – co-presented with Northern Land Council

  • NINTI ONE LIMITED
  • ANINDILYAKWA ARTS FOR BUSH DYE
  • LIANDRA GAYKAMANGU FOR LIANDRA SWIM
  • PERINA DRUMMOND FOR JIRA MODELS

Special Recognition Award – co-presented with Northern Territory Government

  • BEDE TUNGUTALUM
  • LENORE DEMBSKI FOR PAPERBARK WOMAN
  • PERINA DRUMMOND FOR JIRA MODELS
  • GRACE LILLIAN LEE
  • SELINA NADJOWH FOR INJALAK ARTS

Fashion Design Award – co-presented with Country Road

 - The National Indigenous Fashion Awards will be streamed live on NITV's Facebook page on Wednesday 5th August, 6.30pm.