Image: FLW 2011 Runner-up, Open: Katie & Maiki-Jane (back)

FLW 2011 Runner-up, Open: Katie & Maiki-Jane (back)

Isabella Mason wears the runner-up design of Katie Coogan-Mason & Maiki-Jane Blakeney from the Shoalhaven region of NSW.

Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum


To start the Open category, we have the sisters Katie Coogan-Mason & Maiki-Jane Blakeney, from the Shoalhaven region of NSW. Isabella Mason models their design, ‘Hoo hoo ka kaah’. Their chief inspiration was the male Superb Bird of Paradise. The vinyl bodice and weed mesh skirt were used for sheen and plenty of black. The skirt is hooped with poly piping, and back pockets of interfacing can be used to flip it up. The back-drop then created behind the head, and the better seen blue tarp in the skirt pleats refer to this bird during dance. The rear feature was inspired by the male Red Bird of Paradise, and made from carpet tape, shopping bags, and milliners webbing. A superb breastplate of blue felted wool is covered with bottle tops that were hammered, holed and nail polished, and with cable plug plastic. Their headdress has leaf and feather shapes in homage to the Chimbu people of PNG. It is made of tractor tyre inner-tube, flyscreen, glass beads and a mix of materials used in the dress. In construction, they used metal eyelets, tv cable, cotton thread, fishing line, lycra and a bra strap.

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