"19 Years Too Late"
Updated: Sep 11, 2017
I didn't realise my love for Australian Indigenous model Samantha Harris until she announced those words live on stage. An absolute statement and one that needed to be said.
These words sparked from Harris following Channel 9 news reporter Jerrie Demasi prompting Harris on her thoughts for the first aboriginal runway since 19 year's ago in Telstra Perth Fashion Festival.
The Aboriginal Runway on October 9, 1PM, was hosted at Forrest Chase in Perth City, and there was barely a seat vacant in the audience. Presented in partnership with Act-Belong-Commit, the show was both a vibrant and considerate affair. All seats had a note left from Act- Belong-Commit reminding each individual audience member of their unique value.
The show began with Nyungar elder Walter McGuire giving the welcome to country in Nyungar tongue followed by a mesmerising song. Before exiting the stage, he bid his audience to take care and to tread carefully when walking along Aboriginal ground.
All models, including Samantha Harris, walked to the designs of "Chirriger": a collection produced between Red Opium's designer Sandra Rives and local Aboriginal artist Peter Farmer -- whose artwork has also been recognised by the likes of fashion label Jimmy Choo. "Chirriger" is a Noongar term for "splendid blue fairy wren" and is considered to be one of the most beautiful birds in the South-West. It was a wondrous experience to witness the designs inspired by the oldest living culture in the world.
[Photo by @telstraperthfashionfestival]
"Personally, I think about time," said Samantha Harris. "I feel like it's 19 years too late. I am so proud and so honoured to be a part of the show. You know, I loved meeting Kylie and Peter and their lovely families, and yeah they really graced me, and I felt really comfortable and to be able to showcase their designs -- it's been really special."
"Everyone's wearing a piece of Australia basically. So, yeah, you know, not just a pretty dress."