The concept of Australian fashion as a distinctive style and cultural preoccupation has been long contested. However, historical records and contemporary consumer behavior show that fashion has been integral to the formation of national identity and sense of self. Since European settlement, there have been periods when Australians have embraced and promoted Australian style as unique and not merely derivative of overseas (mostly European and American) trends. This article traces the development of a discourse about Australian fashion to contextualize a number of recent publications and art gallery exhibitions about Australian fashion that explore various aspects of its history, development, distinctiveness, and future. These publications and exhibitions are collectively building the framework for a revitalized perception of the significance and potential of Australian fashion in the global fashion context.

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