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Aus Fashion Week: Amanda Healy's new Kirrikin collection inspires 'ripples of change'

Emma Ruben -

The impact of fashion and its power socially has never been lost on Kirrikin founder and designer Amanda Healy.

From the Wonnarua nation, Healy debuted her new collection at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week on Tuesday night. Her new collection, named Ripples, was inspired by the evolving cultural landscape of Australian society and how fashion has played its part.

"The new collection is called Ripples and refers to the ripples of change that have been occurring in the broader Australian community," Healy said.

"The changes that we can see more often, more open mindedness about our history, and a willingness and interest to see social change for the better.

"It is also about the impact that fashion makes on us everyday, the way we interact with it in one way or another and it has the power to change views.

"Next year, we might be able to call the collection waves"

This collection is also a new iteration of Kirrikin's Sunday's best clothes, with a contrast of different silhouettes and structure Healy has not previously shown before.

"I've stretched myself this year and moved into day wear and some more tailored pieces," Healy said.

"You will still see our flowing dresses, but I like the reach into day wear, something you could wear to work or out to dinner."

Healy said she began Kirrikin in 2014 because she was inspired and annoyed about the lack of authentic Aboriginal fashion products.

"I could find no authentic Aboriginal products available, particularly scarves and ties, with no authentic connection to Aboriginal people," she said.

"There was no transparency about how (Indigenous artists) were being paid.

"I also fell in love with much of the artwork I saw and knew I could make them into beautiful products."

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The two artists whose prints featured in the Ripples collection are Yaawaalway woman Jessica Tedim and Gambangurr woman Helena Geiger.

Healy said part of their processes of creating a new collection means looking at sustainable practices and sources of income for their artists.

"We use a digital printing process which uses less water and chemical than traditional techniques," she said.

"We also use fabrics that break down easily.

"We want to create opportunities for our mob, in every part of the process and we are working at creating sustainable incomes for our artists."

In Kirrikin's future, Healy said she can only see more growth and better pay for Indigenous artists.

"I am hoping for continued growth and to confront and challenge current views of our people, culture and artworks," she said.

"I would like to see us creating a much better income for our artists, I think they are worth every penny.

"Why not wear something that is not only beautiful, but does beautiful things for our community?"

AAFW concludes Friday, May 13 with the First Nations Fashion + Design runway show.

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