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Prepare for spring with the next wave of dress designers


Along with a significant footprint in David Jones stores, the brand is already stocked by e-tailers Shopbop, Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi as well as Harvey Nichols and Matches in London, with chief executive and co-founder Chris Buchanan, formerly of Tigerlily, Ellery and Bettina Liano, helping propel the rapid growth.

Jermanus’s background at Tigerlily and Zimmerman can be seen in the intricate prints with a strong Indian influence, which are utilised alongside dead stock for extravagantly tiered dresses, cabana striped minis and generously proportioned tunics.

“We want to avoid producing collections for the sake of it,” Jermanus says. “We think of individual styles. Whose wardrobe will this end up in? Are they having fun in this? Where are they wearing it to?”

Collaboration with artists such as Newcastle’s Annie Everingham and calligrapher Sam Pauletto keep collections fresh, without drifting too far from Alemais’s bohemian-with-a-budget aesthetics, with dresses varying from $375 to $895.

“I have been behind the scenes in this industry collaborating for 20 years,” Jermanus says. “I learnt all aspects of the business because I wanted Alemais to be robust. Now I get to be the one initiating collaborations with other artists. That’s exciting.”

Ngali designs at the Country to Couture show Darwin, as part of the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, August 2 and designer Denni Francisco.Credit:Dylan Buckee, Getty

Another freshly awarded label is Ngali, which took out the 2022 National Fashion Design Award at the National Indigenous Fashion Awards in Darwin last week. Imagine if Prada designer Miuccia Prada visited the Northern Territory and you come close to designer Denni Francisco’s aesthetic, utilising the work of First Nations artists.


“Everything that we do as First Nations, we always do it collectively,” Francisco, a Wiradjuri woman and former owner of the popular children’s brand Billecart Clothing, said in her award acceptance speech. “When we can do everything that we can do to forge pathways for the people that follow us, that is what we are about.”

Dresses range from $295 to $395 and are sold through Ngali’s website but with Francisco now working with clothing chain Country Road for another 12 months with the award mentorship prize, expansion is expected.

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