Above: veterans of last year’s show, from left, Jade Parsons (22), her mother Theresa, Macy Liddle (14), Nicole Inkamala (25), and Cecilia Parsons (15).
Local Aboriginal models, girls and boys, women and men will again take to the runway in Alice this winter, showcasing the work of Aboriginal designers, local and national. The main Yapa Styles Runway Show will be on July 18 but in the lead-up there will be smaller shows, including a fund-raiser on May 2 and a curtain raiser at the Beanie Festival.
Organisers are designer Hannah Nungarrayi Trindorfer (left), her sister Merranda Thatcher and local boutique owner Michelle Garrett (Afor on Gregory Terrace). They have not been able to raise sponsorship but “if there’s a brick wall, I jump over it”, says the untiring Hannah, known for her nail art and accessories range inspired by the Warlpiri designs of her forebears.
She hosted a “meet and greet” last night at the Double Tree Hilton, well attended by models from last year’s show and more keen to try out this year. Runway training will start after Easter, with separate sessions for children and adults.
Merranda (right) would love a career in fashion – “if I was given the opportunity”. She is taking whatever comes her way – last year’s Yapa Styles show as well as NT Fashion Week in Darwin and two years ago Melbourne’s Unearthed: Indigenous Fashion Runway.
Michelle, who stocks only the work of independent designers, including Hannah’s, sees the Yapa Styles runway show as a great experience for the whole community – “it’s about total acceptance”. She says a bigger room at Double Tree Hilton will be necessary this year, as the audience for last year’s inaugural show was already at capacity.
Theresa Parsons is urging her daughters to take part again this year – she says the experience is great for building young people’s confidence. She took part last year, memorably modelling a $10,000 dress embroidered with opals by Gomeroi designer Colleen Tighe Johnson. She is not sure about this year though it sounds like she might yet be tempted. She recalls feeling shy at first but becoming more relaxed with practice and the photo shoots at sites around Alice “made everyone bond together”.
The little girls, meanwhile, don’t hesitate to flash smiles and strike poses. Naturals!
– Kieran Finnane
Below: front, Sharni Cardona (9), back from left, Nia Lord (7), Kyanne Cardona (12), Summer Lord (10), and Precaiz Nelson-Green. All of them will be first-timers this year, although Kyanne has previously modelled in the Wearable Arts Awards.
Bottom, from left Bev Angeles, Jessica Abbott (14), Kitana Shaw (14), Naomi Cameron, and in front Danisha Goodwin (5). “I like the dresses they wear,” says Kitana. She and Jessica will be first-timers, supported by staff members from St Josephs Flexible Learning Centre, Bev and Naomi.