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Celebrating Diversity: A Recap of Fashions of Multicultural Australia

March 26, 2018

 

 

 

 

Welcome, and thank you for stopping by at our blog byte. Your go to source for multicultural related news, updates, upcoming events, and anything Gandhian we encounter. In this blog, we'll be recapping what has by far been our highlight for 2018, the launch of our entirely new project, Fashions of Multicultural Australia. 

 

FOMA is a project that's been in our sights for a long time coming. Rooted in the soft power of fashion diplomacy, this initiative was conceived with the objective of fostering social cohesion, establishing inroads for international trade and investment, and most importantly, facilitating cultural diplomacy between Australia and it's bilateral partners. When the initial fabrics of this project began unveiling themselves it was difficult to ignore the sense of excitement within our team; we all equally believed that we had stumbled across a concept that really underscored our central values as a team, and quite simply, had an undeniable Gandhi Creations feel to it. Safe to say, our team were all equally thrilled when it was decided that the soft launch of the FOMA platform would go ahead in March 2018.

 

For any of our less fashion inclined followers, or for anyone looking for some material to flex their intellectual muscles, we've found a handy little article to get you up to speed on fashion diplomacy. You can have a read of that here.

 

From it's earliest stages of development through to the soft launch on March 10 at Nanda\Hobbs Contemporary Art Gallery, an incredibly rewarding element of undergoing the FOMA initiative was the overwhelming support of Australian Foreign Embassies. The FOMA platform provided these Embassies the opportunity to showcase the very best fashion designers that their nations had to offer. In total, more than 20 Foreign Embassy representatives attended the soft launch, with a substantial number of these Embassies eagerly providing a designer to represent their nation, showcase their culture, and celebrate their ancestry through fashion. 

                                       

 

The FOMA soft launch featured the coutures of 12 incredible designers each depicting a vast range of unique cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, and stories. Coutures originating from locations such as Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan and Peru provided fresh insights into foreign cultures, whilst designs inspired by ancient Gomeroi dreaming stories, Islamic faith and tradition, and Christmas Island fashion trends prompted attendees to open their minds and challenge their assumptions of what defines Australian fashion. The looks themselves were as diverse as the cultures they represented, with a combination of modest, traditional, seasonal, and avant garde coutures being flaunted up and down the runway throughout the evening. We would also like to acknowledge our partners TAFE NSW, who not only supported FOMA in the lead up to our soft launch, but also highlighted Australia's industry foothold in multicultural fashion with their stunning runway segment for the finale of the runway show.

 

 Indigenous Australian designer Colleen Johnson's label ,Buluuy Mirrii, on show at the FOMA soft launch.

 

Three awards were conferred following the closure of the runway show, incorporated into the initiative to encourage further engagement with international designers, promote emerging local designers, and recognise designers who are actively leveraging their brands to benefit society. 

 

Congratulations to our three winners

Designer of the Year: Alberto Barros

International Designer of the Year: Abdullah Oztoprak

Symbol of Harmony Award: Marita Moreno, 7Hills Shoes, and Elementum

       

In producing and delivering FOMA, our team at Gandhi Creations were entirely confident that we could showcase to Australia the incredible feats that could be accomplished when diverse communities work with one another. One thing that we originally overlooked, or at least took for granted, was the inspiring way in which each cultural community would bind together in celebrating the designers representing their culture and country. Leading into the soft launch, we were constantly reminded of the sense of pride that each cultural community showed in not only their designer's involvement with the initiative, but also in the traditions, beliefs, and customs being represented on stage. Specifically, the rallying of Australia's Turkish and Filipino communities around designers Abdullah Oztoprak and Alberto Barros were an incredible eye opener and will always provide fond memories of FOMA's first ever instalment. 

 

On that note, we would like to thank each and every cultural community and diaspora residing in Australia that have made our initiative possible. It's your vibrancy and uniqueness that has not only inspired us to establish the FOMA platform, but has also made Australia the wonderful nation that it is. We cannot wait to continue telling your stories and celebrating your way of life through fashion for years to come.

 

For an extensive collection of images from our FOMA soft launch, click here