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Australiana is a contemporary style aesthetic inspired by imagery and motifs of 20th century Australian culture.

The aesthetic draws heavily upon nostalgic Australian bric-a-brac and kitschy miscellanea found in Australian homes and sighted in 'the burbs' during a time of industrialisation from the 1960s onwards. Australiana incorporates Aboriginal culture and evolved as European settlers migrated to Australia in search of a 'better place' and introduced new ideas predominantly through style and cuisine through the 20th century.

At the root of Australiana is a sense of irony. To embody Australiana is to understand the contradictions of Australian culture, paying homage to the past, while optimistically moving towards a more collaborative future.


In the 1980s, Australia experienced a vibrant wave of color and cultural celebration. It was a time when Ken Done's bright and colorful tea towels were everywhere, and wearing a Coogi knit was considered a symbol of sophistication. The nation was swept up in Expo '88 mania, with clothing adorned with splashy images of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, koalas, and other elements of Australiana chic. The fashion scene was bold, brash, and embraced all things Australian.[1]

However, as the mid-1990s approached, a shift occurred, and the once-celebrated Australiana aesthetic faded into a state of cultural cringe. Anything that showcased Australian identity or heritage was met with disdain and embarrassment. It seemed as though the country had turned its back on its own cultural symbols and was looking elsewhere for inspiration.[1]

Yet, as fashion often operates in cycles, what falls out of favor has a tendency to resurface in new and unexpected ways. In recent years, a remarkable transformation has taken place. Independent labels and designers have emerged, reclaiming the very symbols that were once subjected to mockery and transforming them into something entirely different: cool.[1]

Australiana 2.0 reemerged in the late 2010s, showcasing a renewed appreciation for the nation's cultural heritage and embracing a sense of pride and irreverence. These independent brands have breathed new life into iconic Australiana motifs, creating unique and contemporary fashion pieces that captivate both locals and international audiences alike.[1]


Koalas, kangaroos, galahs, flora and fauna, waratahs, hibiscus, Aboriginal art, scrunchies, bright colours, cheesy smiles, red dirt, yellow sand, terrazzo, collage, loud highway murals, ice cream trucks, low set cream brick homes and Queenslanders on stilts (think Brunswick in VIC and QLD, old Burleigh and Bondi Beach), 'the burbs’, Healthy Harold life education, 'PE', navy blue carpet in shopping malls, vegemite, backyard cricket, old Dunk Island, fairy bread, sangas, saying the word ‘ta’, forgetting the ‘brolly’, buying lollies from 711, chips with chicken salt from the local fish and chips shop, vast beaches, White Shoe Brigade, buttery yellow blonde with dark regrowth.


Australiana fashion is a style inspired by the unique cultural identity and natural beauty of Australia. It celebrates the country's landscapes, flora and fauna, indigenous heritage, and laid-back lifestyle. The fashion aesthetic incorporates elements that evoke a sense of nostalgia, irreverence, and the Australian larrikin spirit.

Key motifs in Australiana fashion include opalescent and iridescent colors, contrasting color schemes, colors that don't traditionally go together, and white with splashes of bright primary colors. The use of native Australian flora and fauna prints, such as eucalyptus leaves, kangaroos, and koalas, is also common.

The key values of Australiana fashion include a sense of nostalgia for Australia's cultural past, a laid-back and fun-loving attitude, and an occasional sense of irony. It embraces the country's relaxed and outdoorsy lifestyle, often incorporating beachwear, surf-inspired elements, and casual attire.

Australiana fashion is related to other aesthetics such as Beach Bunny, Vacation Dadcore, Kiwiana (New Zealand-inspired fashion), Ozploitation (a style influenced by Australian film and pop culture), and Surf Crush (a fashion trend inspired by surf culture).

Fashion Design Council of Australia[]

From 1983 to 1993, the Fashion Design Council (FDC) made a significant impact on Australian fashion. Founded by Robert Pearce, Kate Durham, and Robert Buckingham, the FDC represented a collective of designers, models, and creatives who rejected European style conventions and drew inspiration from the vibrant party scene. Members like Martin Grant, Kara Baker, and Peter Morrissey embraced originality and idiosyncratic designs, with the FDC providing crucial support and promotion for emerging talents. The FDC's events, publications, and installations pushed the boundaries of Australian fashion and left a lasting legacy. Notably, Robert Pearce's magazine Collections, now archived by the National Gallery of Victoria, continues to serve as a cultural treasure, offering a captivating glimpse into the era's fashion and inspiring visitors with its editorial spreads.[2]


Some pieces in the fashion aesthetic include:

  • Country Road logo sweatshirts
  • Ken Done sweatshirts
  • Colourful Coogi knits[3]
  • Anything Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee (Flamingo Park)
  • Rip Curl
  • City Beach
  • Fanny pack
  • Loafers
  • Wide brim hats
  • Bucket hats with terry towelling or flower motifs
  • Neon spray jackets



  • Crocodile Dundee (1986)
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
  • Muriel’s Wedding (1994)
  • The Castle (1997)
  • Step Into Paradise (2020)


  • Skippy the Bush Kangaroo (1968)
  • Aerobics Oz Style (1982)
  • Round the Twist (1990)
  • Finders Keepers (1991)
  • Hey Hey It's Saturday (1971)
  • Pugwall (1989)
  • Neighbours (1985)
  • Home and Away (1988)
  • Heartbreak High (1994; 2022)



  • Down Under, Men at Work
  • No Lies, Noiseworks
  • The Horses, Daryl Braithwaite
  • Great Southern Land, ICEHOUSE
  • Throw Your Arms Around Me, Hunters & Collectors
  • Eagle Rock, Daddy Cool
  • Khe Sanh, Cold Chisel

Spotify Playlists[]



  • Emma Mullholland
  • Gorman
  • Romance Was Born[4]
  • Coogi[3]
  • Ken Done[5]


External Links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Alana Schetzer (June 1, 2018 18:46 EDT). Australiana 2.0: how cultural cringe became cool. The Guardian. Retrieved June 23, 2023. Archived.
  2. Wendy Syfret (November 5, 2016). Remembering Australia's Coolest '80s Fashion Magazine. i-D Vice. Retrieved June 23, 2023. Archived.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Marlena Chanel Host (March 2, 2016). Notorious Coogi. Cooper Hewitt. Retrieved June 23, 2023. Archived.
  4. Steff Yotka (August 2, 2019). How Romance Was Born Went From Passion Project to Australia’s Most Exciting Brand. Vogue. Retrieved June 23, 2023. Archived.
  5. Monica Tan (March 29, 2016). Ken Done: sell-out, one-hit wonder, or Australia’s most underrated artist?. The Guardian. Retrieved June 23, 2023. Archived.