Indigenous art and culture was celebrated on the runway at this year's Australian Fashion Week with First Nations designers and models taking centre stage.
Ngali founder and Wiradjuri woman Denni Francisco made history as the first Indigenous designer to have a standalone show at Fashion Week.
"It feels a little weird to be the first of anything," she said.
"What I'm really excited about is all the others that will come now, because this is just the start. This is how change happens, next year we may have two or three, which is fantastic."
Ngali's 2023 collection is titled Murriyang, which translates to 'skyworld' in the Wiradjuri language.
Denni Francisco said she was inspired by waterways seen from the sky, resulting in blue colourways and an emphasis on movement and flow in her garments.
Of the 30 models in Ngali's solo show, 12 were First Nations, including Bundjalung and Arakwal model Elaine George who was the first Indigenous model on the cover of Vogue Australia in 1993.
George had tears in her eyes as she graced the catwalk in what was an emotional event for many.
"To sit at a runway as people did yesterday, and then have the Welcome to Country being delivered with the historical context of what that actually means to be on Gadigal land, and who we are as First Nations people, became an entry point to what it was that people were going to view coming down the runway," Ms Francisco said.
"So many people are interested in First Nations culture, but sometimes they don't quite know how to go about it, finding out more, and I think that fashion is a very soft entry to that."
It comes two years after AFW had its first Welcome to Country.
In another historical first, Ikunjti Artists collective became the first Aboriginal art centre to stage a solo runway show at AAFW.
Hailing from the remote town of Haasts Bluff, 230 kilometres west of Alice Springs in the West MacDonnell Ranges, Ikuntji artists draw inspiration from their Tjukurrpa (Dreaming).
Ikuntji Arts Centre Manger Dr Chrischona Schmidt said the artists were excited, proud and overwhelmed to be showcasing their designs on the national stage.
"We're giving people ideas of how fabulous you can look in Indigenous fabrics," Dr Schmidt said.
"They're all inspired by the actual dreaming of each artist, and often, because they're female artists, they paint their grandmother's designs."
The community of around 150 people has been home to several notable Indigenous artists including Makinti Napanangka and Daisy Jugadai Napaltjarri.
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The collection features designs inspired by the ancient landscapes of the Western Desert.
An all-Indigenous model cast, including Malyangapa and Barkindji rapper Barkaa, wore designs made from fabrics designed by Ikuntji artists.
The show received a standing ovation.
"People now stop and recognise Ikuntji artists, and they know that's the designs from that little arts centre three hours west of Alice Springs," Dr Schmidt said.
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