STAND AND DE­LIVER

Two up­com­ing fash­ion weeks seek to pro­mote the best of Indige­nous style

The Kit - - THEKITCA - —Veronica Saroli

In a year sul­lied by “ap­pro­pri­a­tion prizes,” fash­ion shows high­light­ing Indige­nous de­sign­ers are work­ing on chang­ing the con­ver- sa­tion from cul­tural ap­pro­pri­a­tion to cul­tural ap­pre­ci­a­tion. The first Vancouver Indige­nous Fash­ion Week—which kicks off on July 26— was founded by for­mer model Joleen Mit­ton, whose back­ground is Plains Cree, French and Scot­tish. Through her work men­tor­ing Indige­nous girls, she no­ticed the pos­i­tive im­pact fash­ion had on their re­la­tion­ship to their cul­ture. Dur­ing the four-day cel­e­bra­tion, more than 40 de­sign­ers’ looks will be mod­elled by peo­ple of First Na­tion, Métis and Inuit de­scent.

A prov­ince over, in Al­berta, Mount Royal Univer­sity and PARK, a group ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing Western-Cana­dian fash­ion, are plan­ning the sec­ond Otah­pi­aaki, an Indige­nous beauty, fash­ion and de­sign week, tak­ing place this fall in Cal­gary. There will be three de­signer show­cases in­spired by truth, youth and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, as well as busi­ness ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams pro­vided by Sewing Seeds In­ter­na­tional. The best part just might be Sewing Seeds pro­vid­ing sewing ma­chines and ma­te­ri­als to ju­nior and high school stu­dents to in­tro­duce them to the joy of fash­ion. In­vest­ing in new de­sign­ers and your wardrobe? We’re in.

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