Whilst it is becoming more common for mainstream brands to collaborate with First Nations designers, it’s not often that First Nations fashion designers collaborate with fellow First Nations artists.
However on Monday at Melbourne Fashion Week Indigenous founded fashion brand Amber Days did just that.
Founded and owned by proud Yorta Yorta/Boonwurrung woman Corina Muir, Amber Days is an ethical children’s and womenswear label inspired by the Australian bush, desert and sea.
“We are so excited to have showcased our 3rd runway for MFW. I am so passionate about slow fashion and I think anything that shows the process and connects people to that piece of clothing is a beautiful thing,” said fashion designer Corina Muir.
Also inspired by her cultural background and local Australian environment is First Nations artist, creative director and founding Mob In Fashion member, Michelle Jackson.
Joining forces this week to lean on each other’s specialities, yesterday Muir and Jackson showcased their very first collaborative fashion collection titled Amber Days X La Terre Press – La Terre Press being Jackson’s creative studio.
“Corina and I met a couple of years ago at fashion week through Rhys Ripper and we really hit it off. I was over the moon when she asked me to collaborate on a collection with her,” said artist Michelle Jackson.
Ms Muir said she’s ‘obsessed’ with Ms Jackson’s art and creative mind.
“I have always hoped I would be lucky enough one day to be able to create with her, so when we came together to work on this collection I was so grateful and honoured. I have had so many times when I have had to pinch myself during this collaboration because I just feel so lucky to be able to collaborate with Michelle,” Ms Muir said.
Designed for holidays and poolside lounging the Amber Days X La Terre Press collection featured lightweight fabrics, pastel hues and loose silhouettes.
“Our high summer collection is all about easy-to-wear, beach-to-brunch styles. We want women to feel great without feeling restricted and to just feel effortlessly beautiful,” Ms Muir said.
“This collection we have used organic hemp for the majority of the pieces and organic cotton so our garments feel great and you can also feel good knowing that you are doing your bit to push against fashion that exploits our mother earth and people.”
“For me, fashion and art walk hand in hand and can be a free space to express, connect and stories to be told. I have been really lucky to have worked with a few brands to design pieces and bespoke prints but, this is the first time working on a full collection and seeing the pieces on the runway – which is completely blowing my mind,” said Ms Jackson.
When speaking on the future of brand and artist collaborations, both Muir and Jackson agree that this is something that not only supports both parties but further advocates for mob and emerging talent coming from Australian communities.
“Personally I love the process of working with our artists on collections, from the beginning to final artwork, it is such a special process as we weave our stories together and the journey then becomes part of the collection,” Ms Muir said.
“I look back at the collaborations I have done and they all played an important part of that particular time for me, it’s pretty amazing when you can sit with another Aboriginal woman and can both be vulnerable and really create something meaningful.
“All the collaborations I have done at Amber Days have all come about in their own unique way, and it’s almost like each time, each artist and I have just crossed paths at the perfect time in each other’s lives to create and share the particular story we are meant to at that moment.”
“Working with Corina has been such a joy in every way. She has given me complete creative freedom and has been so respectful and inclusive of me throughout the whole process,” Ms Jackson said.
With all that is going on the world right now both creatives used this opportunity to focus on the positive progression of Indigenous representation at Melbourne Fashion Week.
“As we all know, there has been a lot going on for us Mob and Corina and I have been able to share and speak in a safe space, as Sisters, about our thoughts and feelings and that has been really healing for me,” Ms Jackson told Style Up.
“I am extremely grateful for every opportunity that comes my way and to be able to create and spread a little bit of love in a world that is extremely dark and very heavy right now.”
Whilst this may have been the first collaboration between the two creatives, we predict it will not be their last, with Muir already teasing a second collection.
“So many exciting projects coming about in the Amber Days HQ. This is only just the beginning for Michelle and I’s collection, there is more to come,” Ms Muir said.
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