September 27, 2010

Article | Designer from Parshall shows her talents at Wyoming show

Designer from Parshall shows her talents at Wyoming show
By ELOISE OGDEN, Minot Daily News
September 2010

Darlene Perkins was seriously ill last year and couldn't show her leather and quillwork clothing designs at a prestigious Western design event in Wyoming.

This year she took part in the Western Design Conference & Art Show in Jackson Hole.

"This was kind of a coming out this year," said Perkins, who has been working with leather, quills and other natural items for designs for a number of years.

The conference, which brings together crafters, scholars, collectors, interior designers, architects and fashion designers with an interest in the West, is a signature event of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.

The fashion show portion of the conference has collections from up-and-coming and established fashion designers. The art show is a one-of-a-kind show for museum-quality functional art, according to the conference Web site. Western-influenced designers and artists from across the country take part in the art show.

"I guess one word is 'awesome,' "Perkins said, describing the conference held Sept. 9-12.

"It was very tedious a lot of rehearsals," said Perkins of helping her models get ready for the fashion show and "to give them a certain look." Up to the last minute she said she was working on a necklace one of the models would wear.

Perkins' models included Jasmin Big Crow and Eudora Hall, both of New Town, and Mariah Watchman, Lawrence, Kan., formerly of New Town who is an international model. All are members of the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Perkins also is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

Another female and two male models also showed Perkins' clothing.

"Models were provided but I wanted our native people to have the experience," she said. She said she also wanted her designs to be shown by them.

The females wore dresses, including a buckskin wedding dress, and pants and skirt outfits most with quillwork. The men modeled Perkins' designed vests with quillwork or elk teeth and bear claw necklaces.

Perkins also displayed in the art show a traditional Native American saddle made of brain tanned smoked elk hide stuffed with buffalo hair, and a beaded medicine wheel with horse hair added to it.

She said some of her clothing designs were sold at the show. Perkins normally sells her designs through vendors.

Just to be in the show "was an experience in itself," Perkins said.