Fashion designs may create local industry


p2370-fashion-28By ERWIN CHLANDA
The dream to turn the abundant artistic prowess in The Centre into a major local industry took a giant leap forward on Friday with a fashion parade showing off 100 creations from 12 local designers.
And that’s not all if what Brigida Stewart and Amanda McMillan are planning for becomes reality: They want to set up a $900,000 Israeli designed printer in  Alice Springs, capable of keeping in town the creative fruits of hundreds of local artists. Right now their work goes interstate or overseas to be turned into clothing fabric.
The Forkleaf Project is the label created by Ms Stewart and Ms McMillan in 2013, initially in collaboration with the Batchelor Institute, to “create real life training for Batchelor students,” says Ms Stewart.
However, the institute turned its back on the project and the two women are now forging ahead, with the keen support of the local arts world, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.
The designs shown on Friday ranged from silk prints made locally to digital designs currently emailed interstate or overseas for printing.
Local support was put beyond doubt by the 150 locals who cheered on the models on the  catwalk – aged two to 67.
Ms Stewart says next year – fingers crossed – will also bring a significant partnership. Details are still under wraps.
ABOVE RIGHT: Child outfit by Rafetna Afro Styles. Dress by Carmel Ryan.
ABOVE: Dress on left: Amanda McMillan for The Forkleaf Project. Dress at right by Rafetna.
ABOVE: Rafetna Afro styles.
ABOVE: Shirt on left: Sew 4 You by Bernice. Shirt on right: Ikuntji Artists.
ABOVE: Dress on the left designed by Philomena Hali, on the right by Shrike O’Malley.
ABOVE: Michelle Garret for Afor clothing (left) and Carmel Ryan.
ABOVE: Designers Simone and Sarah.
ABOVE: Girls facing away: Designers Lillian Inkamala and Brigida Stewart for The Forkleaf Project. Child facing forward: Designer Shrike O’Malley.
ABOVE: Dress by Brigida Stewart for The Forkleaf Project.


  1. I was at this event and it was fantastic.
    A great collaboration between the Star of Alice, the Forkleaf Project and all of the other wonderful designers.
    Congratulations to Amanda McMillan, Bridgida Stewart and Lisa Perry.
    It made me feel happy to be part of this community and I appreciate the creativity, collaboration and warmth that was generated by people’s hard work and generosity.

  2. Wow, these are fabulous prints and wonderful clothing designs!
    Very inspiring, congratulations to all involved.
    I really hope you all prosper and grow through your efforts in the future.
    Certainly it would be well deserved.


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