“From Country to Couture” celebrates the marriage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary fine art and high end fashion.

The success of the textile design movement in remote Indigenous communities has led to exciting collaborations with well known Australian designers. 

Guided by the Art Centre membership, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation felt it was time to showcase this exciting couture at a national level.

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation was proud to present 11 remarkable collections on its catwalk in 2019.

Re-live all the highlights of the Mangkaja x Gorman Collection and the From Country to Couture Show here

Grace Lillian Lee Creative Director

Grace Lillian Lee is a graduate from RMIT University with Honors in Fashion Design. An Artist, Designer and Curator from Cairns she uses her fashion knowledge as a platform to explore her cultural identity. Of multi-cultural background – including German, Danish, English and Chinese – it is her Torres Strait Islander heritage that has captured her imagination. With a strong desire to work with Communities and to encourage creative expression, delving deeper into Indigenous culture Grace moved towards mentoring young people in Aboriginal Art Centres. Here her purpose was to guide members towards developing their art into textiles and adornment in a contemporary way.

Through orchestrating the sharing of artistic culture between generations and exploring the social realities of heritage in a performance arena, Grace has shone the light on collaboration via a fashion platform.

She has already worked successfully with Mornington Island Art Centre in the Gulf of Carpentaria; Daly River community Nuiyu and Katherine; collaborated with Darnley Island in the Torres Straits and curated fashion performances for Stella Magazine in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea.

She is the founder of the CIAF Indigenous Fashion Performances that began in 2013 and has also produced Indigenous Fashion Performances in Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin and recently at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. She has also personally showcased her collections in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, New Zealand, and San Francisco.

Grace’s creations have exhibited at the Jam Factory, Adelaide and Cairns Regional Gallery. Her work has been acquired by the South Australia Museum, National Gallery of Victoria, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Cairns Regional Gallery and Australian Institute of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Studies.