Year 11 Design students at Woodcroft College were tasked with the visual study topic 'how can fashion designers represent their culture through their work?'. As an introduction to the topic, students examined examples of Haute Couture, Couture and Ready to Wear fashion, identifying similarities between those examples shown in the Vogue Spring 2023 Couture.

Guided by their teacher and in small groups, students investigated the work of Marrithiyel artist and designer Paul McCann and Yolŋu woman Rachel Dikul Baker, the founder of Australian Woven Connections (AWC). After watching the National Indigenous Fashion Awards 2023, students selected a designer to focus on for their practical response to their work. Using recycled fabrics, the students made elaborate garments and wearable works of art by gluing and stapling the fabric together to create bold compositions.

Fusing Art and Design with the Body and Country

In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art in the Classroom volume 2, artist and designer Tegan Cowlishaw introduces audiences to First Nations Fashion and Design. Teagan Jan Cowlishaw’s family kinship lies with the Nyikina people and her paternal connections are with the Bardi and Nyul Nyul people on the Dampier Peninsula, WA. She is also a descendant of Chinese pirates from Shanghai.

We recommend reading Tegan's article in the book as she highlights her favourite First Nations designers including Paul McCann and Cungelella Art and Rachel Dikul Baker.