A growing Indigenous design business has been awarded a contract to provide ceremonial uniforms for the upcoming First World War Centenary commemorations on the Western Front.
Darkies Designs, established in 2010 by Dion Devow who named his company in a deliberate reclamation of the pejorative term, is delighted to have won the Department of Veterans’ Affairs contract.
The events will be held over the next two years across France and Belgium to commemorate the battles of Fromelles, Pozieres, Ypres, Hamel and the 100th anniversary of the Armistice at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
Dion said the design and provision of the official uniforms by an Indigenous Australian business was a “fantastic chance for the shared reverence of all Australians to be showcased, and made all the more palpable through the cultural lenses of Indigenous Australian culture, identity and history.”
In explaining the engaging design of the tie (see photo below), Dion said: “The small black dots on either sides of the waved lines in this design represent the military and peoples who have travelled overseas to fight and defend our lands, and the wavy lines are the paths to and from these destinations.
“The bigger swirls represent the countries and places that our military have had to travel to, or through, in order to do this. The unsymmetrical black designs of the swirl (Larger Circle) indicate that there once was turmoil, distress and darkness during these periods, and that this turmoil still remains almost like a stain in the fabric of time through the memories of people that continue on those paths.
“There is also a series slanted horizontal lines which are actually also dots. These dotted lines represent periods of time before and after this series of travel. The budding poppies, which have always commemorated Remembrance Day, in this design double to signify healing towards the end of travel, with the beautiful red signifying new growth and commemorations.
“But this vibrant splash of scarlet red could also be a reminder of the blood that was shed in the past,” Dion said.
Darkies Design also provide a large range of clothing, services and promotional products.