Spotted: Natural Hair and No-Makeup Makeup at the First Nations Fashion Runway Show at AAFW

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The first fashion week to take place in the world since the beginning of the global pandemic, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week has introduced a few new elements to this year’s event. A ‘Welcome to Country’ ritual was performed on May 31, kicking off the event, marking the first time this has been performed at Australian Fashion Week. This ritual also included a smoking ceremony by local traditional owner Matthew Doyle, who welcomed delegates to Gadigal Country, and a performance from the Muggera dance troupe.

On June 2, a celebration of First Nations designers kicked off the day with the work of eight creatives sent down the runway at Carriageworks in Sydney. According to WWD, the show included Amber Days by Corina Muir; Aarli by Teagan Cowlishaw; Clair Helen; Ngarru Miimi by Lillardia Allirra Briggs-Houston; Keema Co. by Nickeema Williams; Nungala Creative by Jessica Johnson; Sown in Time by Lynelle Flinders, and artist Grace Lillian Lee.

With the likes of Jessica Mauboy, Samantha Harris, Nathan Maguire and Julie Bishop sitting front row at the event, the crowd was treated to a runway filled with bright colours, patterns and textures. The hair and makeup sported by the models was relatively subtle, allowing the clothes to shine. Natural hair was embraced and celebrated in this show, with a handful of models wearing designs by Amber Days, Sown in Time and Clair Helen, displaying their curly, textured locks on the runway. 

According to the official Australian Fashion Week Instagram account, the incredibly moving show “was a celebration of First Nations culture, creativity and sovereignty, that left many of the audience in tears”. It was inspiring to see First Nations designers showcase their personal creations at this event and it was particularly inspiring to see activist, artist and Indigenous drag diva Felicia Foxx take to the runway in a stunning green gown, complete with bronzed makeup and a gold headpiece.

See the captivating beauty looks for yourself below.

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