August 21, 2017

Collect and Wear Birchbark Art

In the past year, we've grown close with many local artists who are continuing ancient traditions through cultural adornment and fashion.

One family of artists creates stunning birchbark baskets and necklace medallions that are truly extraordinary.

Brenda and Rebecca Cree, along with Rebecca's son Chuck Stoneboy, create amazing one-of-a-kind pendants and baskets featuring natural birchbark harvested from the Turtle Mountain region in North Dakota.

June 29, 2017

Streetwear: Make a Statement

Throughout the '80s and '90s, American fashion was typified and recognized by two staples: a t-shirt and a pair jeans. The t-shirt became a way for people to announce their feelings or affiliations without ever speaking a word.

Minority designers found the tee to be especially powerful in subverting accepted norms and offering new perspectives. Today, dozens of Native American artists emblazon the standard 'American tee' with slogans and images that oftentimes directly counter mainstream pop culture.

April 25, 2017

Oh No, Valentino | Appropriation and the Case of the Stolen Beadwork

In 2015, Italian fashion brand Valentino looked to Canadian Métis artist Christi Belcourt for their 2016 Resort collection, and it was touted as a beautiful example of a respectful collaboration. The designers at Valentino became aware of Belcourt’s paintings, which are pointillist renditions of traditional Métis beadwork and floral patterns, and asked if they could transfer her painting, Water Song, to a range of fabrics for their upcoming collection. Some fabrics were solid, others sheer, with her dazzling bead-like florals printed or embroidered across dresses, jackets, skirts and tops.

April 19, 2017

Quillwork | Ancient Practices Kept Alive Today

Porcupine quillwork is an ancient Indigenous artistic practice. It is one of my favorite art forms. It predates European contact; and it predates the introduction of glass seed beads.

It is unique to Native North America: you will not find it anywhere else in the world, and, despite generations of massive change, it is still practiced today.

When you buy and wear porcupine quillwork, you are actively contributing to the continuation of this important and rare practice. 

April 11, 2017

Ribbon Skirts | Clothing, Strength, and Sacredness

"When you put your skirt on, you're showing Mother Earth who you are." - Myra Laramee (Fisher River Cree Nation)

Last fall, when the Water Protectors stood in solidarity with Standing Rock, I was fortunate to visit the camps on multiple occasions. In preparation for my first visit, I was advised to wear a long skirt because the grounds are sacred and ceremonies were being conducted constantly. The frontline warriors and their supporters needed constant prayers and sacred protection for this dangerous yet important fight.

April 6, 2017

Sky Dancer Fashion Show

Last week, I had the great honor of hosting a local fashion show at the Sky Dancer Casino, located on our reservation in Belcourt, ND. We featured over 25 looks by Native designers from throughout the US and Canada, and the response was amazing.

I love putting on fashion shows! It is so much fun to work with the models and designers for events like these. We had a huge response from young adults and teens from our community wanting to participate as models, which is so great because it takes a lot of strength and confidence (and extra time!) to be a part of a runway show.