Magpie Goose is Bringing Traditional Indigenous Designs to Contemporary Fashion
Magpie Goose is an ethically produced fashion label from the Northern Territory that’s come along and blown everyone’s socks off with their contemporary Indigenous designs.
Last April, Maggie McGowan was having a drink at Darwin Ski Club when her partner, Laura, asked her what she would be doing if she wasn’t a welfare rights lawyer. The answer wasn’t hard to find – she’d often thought about the potential of the screen-prints being made in remote Aboriginal communities around the NT.
By the end of the night, Magpie Goose was born; a label comprised of bright, bold and unique prints entirely hand printed by local Indigenous artists in the Northern Territory. A Kickstarter project soon followed with the goal of raising $20,000 to fund the first run of garment construction. They raised $100,000 in the first week and haven’t slowed down since. The pair have now opened an online store, and featured in pop-up stores and markets around the Northern Territory, Sydney and Melbourne, selling out almost every time.
Magpie Goose is currently being incubated byEnterprise Learning Projects(ELP), an organisation dedicated to fostering and supporting grassroots business development in partnership remote Aboriginal communities.Another bold, bright and exciting designer who’s our top pick this summer!
Magpie Goose video for Frankie Magazine, featuring Bábbarra Women’s Centre artists, printers and models!
Frankie Magazine, September 2017 edition.
The Age Crossword, Saturday April 29th 2017
ABC NEWS - PREVIEW: New Top End fashion label Magpie Goose, is hoping to create sustainable jobs in remote communities for Indigenous people in the Northern Territory.
ABC AUSTRALIA WIDE - FULL STORY: A new fashion label has launched in the Northern Territory. Magpie Goose is working with art centres in remote Aboriginal communities (in the Tiwi Islands, Gunbalanya, Wadeye and Maningrida) to create clothes printed in traditional designs. Screenprinting stories onto fabric is also a way for communities to keep their culture alive in a modern way.
Magpie Goose: A new non-profit fashion label puts a modern twist on traditional Top End Aboriginal prints.
Magpie Goose uses traditional screen-printed Aboriginal fabrics from the Top End. Photo: Sarah Mackie
Inside a large airy shed on the Tiwi Islands, two men are methodically screen-printing 30 metres of bright orange paint on white fabric.
Artist Mario Munkara points out the different design elements of the printed ceremonial pukumani burial poles, representing various styles of body painting and scarification used during funeral ceremonies.
"They used to have the scars around their chests, and the ladies used to have it on their breasts and shoulder," he says.
"Pukumani pole is traditional way for us when we carve, to think about our sorrow and the person who passed away."
The fabric, telling a very old cultural story, will soon be transformed into vibrant clothes for the new not-for-profit fashion label Magpie Goose.