On Saturday, August 21, the SWAIA Gala featured new collections by Indigenous designers Delina White (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe) of I Am Anishinaabe, Yolonda Skelton, and Loren (Acoma Pueblo), and Valentina (Navajo) Aragon of ACONAV.
All of the presentations of the designers were beautiful and breathtaking! The first designer was ACONAV, who debuted the Phoenix Collection. Designer Loren opened up his presentation with a performance by Natalie Benally with a dance of her own choreography; the composition was provided by Ehren Kee Natay that brought this dance to life. The dance performance and musical composition were inspired by ACONAV’s latest collection, the Phoenix.
The second showcase was Gitxsan designer Yolonda Skelton’s Ancestral Threads collection, whose collection was comprised of Pacific Northwest designs; also featured were applique designs. The model’s jewelry was by Copper Canoe Woman.
The third designer was I Am Anishinaabe by Delina White, who put on a unique presentation–a pair of models walked out on the runway together dancing and looking at each other. It was definitely a different showcase typically seen in fashion shows.
The fashion show was produced by curator and art historian Amber-Dawn Bear Robe (Siksika Nation).
Models from Supernaturals Modelling Agency took the runway for the Gala fashion show.
Check out the looks from the Gala runway (recaps of ACONAV’s collection will appear in our next issue, which is the Fashion and Style issue)(photo credit: H|K Productions):