Indigenous Australian and Pacific Island fashion designers, emerging from Logan and Brisbane cities, have brought their heart and souls together to form two trendy new exhibitions.
Starting in January, The Logan Art Gallery will feature a range of exhibitions with style and swag, including two new exhibitions; Head and sole: swagga like us and Head and sole: caps and kicks.
Head and sole: caps and kicks features alongside the swagga exhibition and showcases sneakers and caps painted by local Indigenous Australian and Pacific artists such as Judy Watson, Richard Bell, Megan Cope and local graff-writing legends, G-Graffix collective headed by Matthew Te Paea.
You can even get involved with exhibition and join special invited guest artist, tattooist and reigning New Zealand freestyle hip hop rap champion Juse1 and create your very own stylish sneakers or cap designs, like his Cookie Monster kicks featured above.
Among the line up of leading fashion designers featured in the show, which will run 10 January to 15 February, is the winner of the 2013 Deadly Award for fashion design, Natalie Cunningham.
Cunningham, who lived in Beenleigh for eight years before relocating to the Sunshine Coast, says her range of swimwear featured in the upcoming exhibition had come from the need to supply beachwear for bigger busted women.
A descendant of Greek and Aboriginal Australian (Biripi and Ngarabal) ancestry, Cunningham grew up among a family of artists and seamstresses, crediting her flair for design to her family and cultural heritage.
For this range, she collaborated with Wiradjuri artist De Greer Yindimincarlie to create a series of bold Aboriginal Australian printed fabrics.
“I wanted to create a range of brightly coloured swimwear that reflects the indigenous cultures of this land, while also functioning to provide proper support for real women’s bodies,” she says.
Cunningham is joined in this exhibition by fellow Deadly Award design nominee, Nicholas Donlen who wowed audiences with his Murri peacock wedding dress during the sunset ceremony at the 2011 awards, and Samoan designer, Janice Brown.
Brown, who started off in retail during her high school years in Ipswich, has worked for major fashion brands across Australia and now produces her own designs under her Bejanjan Style label.
While she acknowledges her Pacific heritage plays a major part in her own personal fashion sense, Brown says she loves to merge so many abstract things together to create her own look.
“My designs are a celebration of diversity and creation and ultimately a reflection of who I am,” she says.
When asked if she had any advice for young up and coming designers, she says to avoid the trap of trying to make your designs exclusive.
“Be flexible; making your designs exclusive can be a big obstacle for young designers, especially when you’re aiming to generate revenue,” she says.
A series of hip-hop related public programs have been scheduled to coincide with this exhibition which includes live graff-writing demonstrations, rap workshops and performances by local award winning MC’s as well as break dancing performances by the renowned Elements Collective.