‘Aboriginal Wedding Dress’, designed by Robyn Caughlan

Made by Caughlan, Robyn in Penrith, New South Wales, 1988.

The Aboriginal wedding dress was designed by Robyn Caughlan in 1998 for a catwalk collection show of twenty of her designs which travelled to Egypt. The dress was worn by Aliera French in the 1999 ‘The Great Australian Fashion Show’ in Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada and Alexandria. All the garments were modelled by Indigenous models. This wedding gown suggests that the wearer is wedded to her land and it is coloured as the traditional Aboriginal flag with red earth, black sky and the central sun....


Outfit of red and black taffeta consisting of a tiered circular skirt, bodice with yellow sun appliqued at centre front, and red shawl collar.


Designed by Robyn Caughlan for a show of twenty of Robyn's outfits in 1998 which travelled to Egypt.

Robyn is a prolific artist and designer who has exhibited in many art shows, fashion parades and pageants. Her work has travelled to Saudi Arabia, New York, Las Vegas, Egypt, Auckland, Trinidad, Manila, and Namibia. She was voted Aboriginal Artist of the Year in 1990 and 1991 and subsequently became the director of the Boomalli Gallery, the first Sydney art gallery to be run by Indigenous artists and display work created only by Indigenous Australians. Robyn has painted many murals and has paintings in public collections but she has recently turned to fashion design as her creative outlet. She has been asked to design the Australian National Dress for the Miss Universe pageant for five consecutive years.

Indigenous fashion designers have mostly operated outside the mainstream of Australian fashion. This in itself raises interesting questions about the dynamics of the fashion industry and the interelationship between two distinct cultures that co-exist in Australia.
Caughlan, Robyn 1988


Worn by Aliera French in the 1999 'The Great Australian Fashion Show' in Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada and Alexandria.
Caughlan, Robyn 1998


Purchased 1999
15 December, 1999

Cite this Object

'Aboriginal Wedding Dress', designed by Robyn Caughlan 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 December 2017, <https://ma.as/166623>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/166623 |title='Aboriginal Wedding Dress', designed by Robyn Caughlan |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 December 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Love Is... Australian Wedding Fashion at the Powerhouse Museum.
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