In true agricultural spirit, the Ekka’s iconic natural fibres fashion parades are set to be amped up in 2017 with a host of new initiatives for the Ekka’s 140th year.

Celebrating Queensland-grown wool and cotton along with leather, bamboo and silk, the parades pay homage to all things natural during this year’s 140th Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) from August 11-20.

With a theme of ‘Back to Nature’, the parades will feature fashion designers from across Queensland, a speaker series aimed at providing education on natural fibre fashion, a Makers Market precinct, dual runway and student fashion design display.

The natural fibres parades are expected to assemble more than 20 established, emerging, student and regional fashion designers for a total of 30 shows across the 10 days of Ekka

Stylist Laura Churchill, who will produce and direct this year’s ‘Back to Nature’ themed natural fibres fashion parades for the RNA, says Queensland fashion designers have a distinct passion for natural fibres.

“We want our audiences to experience Queensland farming and then understand how our leading fashion designers interpret natural fibres into ready-to-wear designs and collections,” she said.

“Audiences can expect to feel immersed in Queensland countryside with each of our shows.”

New initiatives for this year’s Natural Fibres Parades include:

Fibre to Fashion conversation series – On four peak days of Ekka, the fashion stage will play host to a panel discussion of industry experts canvassing Queensland’s natural fibre and fabric production, sustainability issues, how designers work with natural fibres and the design process.

The Makers Market – Located next to the fashion stage, this new initiative will enable Ekka visitors to shop a host of Queensland designer natural fibre fashion and accessories.

Double runway – In an Ekka first, the fashion stage will feature dual runways, offering more opportunity for those coveted front row seats.

Student design display of natural fibre fashion – A display will feature winning entries from a natural fibre design competition among students from Brisbane fashion design tertiary institutions, including QUT, MSIT, Billy Blue and AICD.

The fashion designers for this year’s ‘Back to Nature’ natural fibres parades will be announced by May 2017. For more info, visit ekka.com.au.