Cheryl Creed has always loved second hand shopping. As a child, she watched her mother and grandmother working on their vintage finds, adding and removing sleeves and hemming garments.
“Over the years, I’d collected beautiful dresses that hung in my wardrobe, I’d use them for dress up at family gatherings, taking photos of my family in the hats, gloves, wigs and dresses I had,” Cheryl said. Her love for clothing extended to modelling and in 2016 she appeared in her second walk on the runway, modelling Indigenous fashion at RIFTS Indigenous fashion show. Here she was given an opportunity. “The organisers simply asked if anyone was interested in becoming a designer and wanted to put a collection together for the 2017 fashion show. I put my hand up and said ‘yes me’ and that’s where it all began.” With no experience, Cheryl invested in a sewing machine and an overlook machine. She taught herself how to use the machines and began creating designs.
Pre loved fabrics and reconditioned items are still at the heart of her label, Murrii Quu Designs. “My designs are influenced by the garment I find on my treasure hunt in the second hand shops,” Cheryl said. “I look for quality, vintage fabric and materials and I can immediately envision what I can do with it, looking at the seams to see if they can be restichted, pulled apart and so on.” In an exciting first for the designer, Cheryl’s designs will feature at this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival (MBFF), the only Aboriginal designer showcasing on the runway this year. A friend encouraged her to submit her designs to MBFF and she was told her application received widespread support. To say she was pleased would be an understatement. “I’m sure my family and friends got sick of me talking about it all the time, I was over the moon! It was definitely a goosebumps moment finding out that my label in just under 12 months was going to grace the runway at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival, I wasn’t expecting it.”
Cheryl will be showcasing eight gowns at the festival, all of which she says are favourites. Like all gowns in the Murrii Quu collection, the pieces are one off, bespoke garments. “Women are assured that they are purchasing a one off, and won’t experience the embarrassment of going to an event and seeing another woman in the same gown–no woman wants that! But they can feel proud that there is another woman wearing Murrii Quu Designs created by an Aboriginal fashion stylist.
Beyond the runway, Cheryl hopes Murrii Quu designs might have a broader impact. Her upcylcling of material reduces the environmental impact of her clothing and Cheryl is proud to be at the head of a sustainable brand. “I’m conscience about our planet and the negative impact we are having on it. I’m helping to look after our planet.” Fostering family and community connections is also important for the up and coming designer. “I am an Aboriginal woman whose parent and grandparents were once denied the opportunity to dream. Through my label I’m giving them the opportunity to have that dream by seeing me do what I love, and I’m grateful for all the opportunities given to me to enable me to do just that,” she said. “It’s a bit if an honour to be a part of something more.”
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