From mother to daughter, from one visionary to another. The importance of sharing skills and cultural education remains prevalent today, just as it has done so for many thousands of years according to indigenous culture.
Far off the beaten track, roughly 80km northward of Darwin is a remote cluster of landmasses, collectively named the Tiwi Islands. Affectionately, it is known as the ‘Island of Smiles’, a warm reference to the Tiwi people who call this land home. Reflective of their vivacious nature is their equally vibrant prints and design, which cover a full spectrum of colour and geographic patterns, imbued with narratives of community and culture.
Despite their remote location and relatively small population, Tiwi women have independently worked together to design, produce and distribute their own fashion garments for the past 50 years. Operating under the autonomous label ‘Bima Wear’, the women are able to service the clothing needs of their community, while teaching the next generation of women the skills of traditional print and design.
After many months of working collaboratively from opposite ends of Australia, Bima Wear and Nobody Denim have co-produced a capsule collection that beautifully pairs together intricate indigenous Tiwi print design, with classic design notes that Nobody Denim are known for. The collection features 7 pieces, all unified by the striking Tunga print designed by Tara Munkanome.
“Tunga is a Tiwi bark basket. Women use it for gathering food and used for ceremony. It is made with tree fibre and wallaby bone to stitch it.”
- Theresa (Tara) Munkanome, Artist.
This extraordinary collaboration is as much about skills sharing and cultural education and understanding, as it is about designing a beautiful collection of garments. With much to learn about the First Nations ways and practices, we are honoured to exemplify Indigenous perspectives and voices within the Australian fashion space.
“Nobody Denim and Bima Wear share many similarities in the way we approach design, and the value we put on the community and the planet, but there is nothing like the sharing of different perspectives to incite great creative inspiration. It has been a pleasure working with the beautiful Bima Wear print and translating it into Nobody Denim product that is 100 per cent Australian made. We have loved working with Tara and the women of the Bima Wear collective despite the challenges of not being able to work together face-to-face this year.”
- Lauren Samuel, Senior Designer
Creative Director/Stylist - Rhys Ripper
Photographer - Drew Wheeler
HMU - Georgia Gaillard
Talent - Alinta Carberry
Photographer Assistant - Marlee Pasinetti