WEARABLE ART: Fashion and textile designer Julie Appo was one of the first, if not the first, in her field.
WEARABLE ART: Fashion and textile designer Julie Appo was one of the first, if not the first, in her field. PAUL BEUTEL

Passion for fashion powers Bundy innovator

JULIE Appo's passion for fashion design began at a very early age.

Years later, it has become the principal driving force for her most recent work in the field of indigenous textile design and fashion.

"I clearly remember as a five-year-old spending hours sewing tiny dresses for dolls that I didn't even own,” Mrs Appo said.

"I would create the dresses from fabric scraps left over from garments mum (Phyllis) made for us,” she said.

"Mum used to hand sew our clothes, even school uniforms.”

Mrs Appo's passion was further ignited at the age of 7 when she discovered she could draw and started dreaming of studying art and becoming a fashion designer.

However with seven siblings, she was unable to attend art college and sought work in administration.

As fashion continued to tug at her heart in her early 30s, she made the decision to follow her youthful dreams.

It was not easy returning to school life after such a huge gap from the classroom but Mrs Appo completed studies in fashion design.

At the time, she led the way in indigenous fashion design and was one of the first, if not the first, in her field.

It was a difficult industry to earn a living in and she went back to work in administration.

Mrs Appo gained a further two degrees in the visual arts; and is mainly self-taught in graphic design.

"I wanted to develop a more cost-effective way to print fabric instead of the labour-intensive processes already in operation,” she said.

She developed the Fashioning our Futures project, which provided a new and innovative method of textile design.

As part of this year's Crush Festival, Mrs Appo will be hosting Dambali First Nations Garment Exhibition and Forum tomorrow from 5.30pm at the School of Arts building in Bourbong St.

The event is a culmination of work over the past two years during which Mrs Appo has engaged with indigenous artists developing skills to use their art for fabric printing.

Dambali is a Gooreng Gooreng word meaning tracks.

It signifies moving forward and represents Mrs Appo's passion for fostering and moving indigenous fashions and textile designs to greater heights.

Dambali offers the opportunity to celebrate the creation of wearable art.

The exhibition showcases both Mrs Appo's work as a fashion designer and her students' textile designs.

The forum will hold discussions for future events at the Crush Festival.

DETAILS

Dambali First Nations Fashion Exhibition and Forum

Date: Tomorrow, Friday, October 6

Time: 5.30-7pm

Where: School of Arts, Bourbong St

Cost: Free



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