For the first time ever, the Australian Turf Club (ATC) has partnered with Fabrics of Multicultural Australia (FOMA) to host a creative runway showcase as part of Greater Western Sydney’s pinnacle spring racing event, the Iron Jack Golden Eagle. Held at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on Saturday 31st October, the exciting new collaboration launched five capsule collections from emerging artists based in Greater Western Sydney exclusively for guests of the Grand Pavilion Luncheon.
Importantly, this collaboration successfully introduced many of Greater Western Sydney’s diverse communities to race day culture, providing them with the opportunity to experience first-hand the glamour, excitement, and social opportunities that come hand-in-hand with attending the races. Conversely, delivering this FOMA Runway Showcase provided several major new opportunities for the participating FOMA artists to grow their brands and connect with key personnel in the fashion and arts sectors.
As part of this first-ever collaboration with the Australian Turf Club, FOMA featured five culturally and linguistically diverse artists from Greater Western Sydney who showcased their garments to 300 guests attending the Australian Turf Club’s Grand Pavilion Luncheon during the 2020 ‘Iron Jack’ Golden Eagle Day.
The participating artists represented a broad range of cultures including the First Peoples of Aboriginal Australia, Jordan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. Each FOMA artist showcased a unique capsule collection that was produced specifically for this collaboration, and these collections were paired with custom head pieces created by Blue Mountains based milliner, Carol Maher, who used fabrics from the capsule collections of each designer to create special head pieces that combined race day fashion with the signature styles of each FOMA artist. The FOMA Runway Showcase in collaboration with the Australian Turf Club’s Golden Eagle Day featured the following designers:
- Colleen Tighe Johnson – Buluuy Mirrii – Descendant of the First Peoples of Aboriginal Australia, a proud Gomeroi woman (regional NSW)
- Gina Barjeel – Australian Jordanian Designer
- Anjilla Seddeqi – Australian Afghani Refugee Designer
- Mayen Benson – Johjos – Nigerian born Australian Designer
- Carole Maher – Contributing Couture Milliner, who has made 45 pieces using fabrics from each designer’s collections for the FOMA runway shows.
A diverse range of cultures were also incorporated into the project through the participating models, events team, and volunteers. Through the ‘Faces of FOMA’ program, models from a wide range of cultures including Aboriginal, Indian, Sudanese, Russian, Ugandan and Dutch were invited to walk the runway. Overall, participants from across 31 different cultures combined to deliver this runway showcase in collaboration with the Australian Turf Club.
Fabrics of Multicultural Australia (FOMA) is a sustainable platform that stimulates economic growth for the creative sector, generates bilateral trading opportunities, and fosters social cohesion. FOMA leverages the influence of arts and culture across a variety of mediums and showcases to a global audience the interweaving threads that collectively form the unique identity of contemporary Australia. FOMA is produced by Gandhi Creations, a multi-award winning social enterprise.
The Iron Jack Golden Eagle is Australia’s third richest race and the pinnacle event of Greater Western Sydney’s racing calendar. Boasting $7.5m in prize money, this 1500m race for four-year-olds also donates $750,000 in prize money to the winner’s charity of choice.