January 21, 2012

Bruno Henry's Manitoulin Couture Hits the Press

Haudenosaune fashion designer Bruno Henry was recently featured in an article published in the Sudbury Star. I fell behind in some of my reading!, but this a fun read about Henry and his work.

Fashion Designer Brings Island Haute Couture to the World, by Bonnie Kogos

My favourite curmudgeon, Kagawong know-it-all, Uncle Mudge, my severest critic and cherished elder, talks by phone to chin wag and wish each other Happy New Year.

He tells me there is fluffy snow on the Kagawong dock, and the bay's starting to freeze over.
He drops an amazing unexpected compliment: "You've proved to me you go easily from concrete and glass on Manhattan to birch and pine on Manitoulin. Two heart homes."

"Thought you'd never admit that, Mudge!" I melt like a Kagawong fluffy snowflake.

"Don't get too comfortable," he warns. "Tell me one amazement for you this past year on Manitoulin?"

"That's easy, unexpected Haute Couture created in Wikwemikong, Uncle Mudge! At the Manitoulin Trade Fair in June, I sat at a fashion show. Exciting music began as one young native woman after another, exquisite and elegant, strode and through the room wearing sophisticated dresses some made of deerskin or leather, with fringe, and fabulous attitude, My, oh the drama of each dress, curve and serve, attention to detail -- I shot up in my seat, this New York fashionista who loves sophisticated clothing. A native clothing designer based in Wikwemikong? Hoorah!"

When the presentation was over, I made a beeline and knocked politely on the closed door of the dressing room. It was opened by an adorable girl, age 8, his daughter, Trinity.

"You want to see my dad? He makes the clothes," she said, motioning to a Haudenosaune fellow from Wikwemikong, Bruno Henry, an artistic designer and photographer.

"You bet, young lady!" I introduce myself to Henry.

"These dresses are fabulous. You've been at this awhile, how many fashion shows have you been a part of, sir?"

"More than 30," Henry says serenely, suppressing a smile. He has to be used to reactions like mine, gushing over his couture. "We travel the powwow circuit, go to Christmas galas, and to youth programs on reserves as far as Winnipeg. I've been interviewed for an upcoming project featuring Native Fashion Designers for Native Peoples Magazine published in Phoenix, Az. I hope I'm one of the designers chosen."

Click here to read the rest of the article at the original post site.