Several established and cutting-edge Native American fashion designers showed in Santa Fe at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts during the Santa Fe Indian Market. Organized by First Nations art curator Amber-Dawn Bear Robe, the event was a huge hit and a 2013 round 2 is in the works.
The show started with designs (see left) selected and organized by award-wining artist Connie Tsosie Gaussoin, which highlighted how modern Native fashion has been around for a while, but it also shows how the Gaussoin family has played such an important role as a mainstay in thinking about Native clothing in an avant-garde way. I caught up with Connie's son, David Gaussoin, who is also an award-winning artist, and asked him a couple of questions about his family's participation in the Fashion HEAT event.
BB: When did you start planning and making the collection that you showed in August?
DG: I actually started planning my pieces early spring 2012. Making began after I returned from a summer trip from London and Paris.
BB: London and Paris! That must have been amazing - did any of that trip show up in this collection?
DG: I was inspired my the beautiful materials and work I saw abroad in Europe, also I am always interested in showcasing the beauty of the female form. For this collection I used mostly Silks and organza that I picked up in Paris.
BB: What is the easiest part of being a fashion designer?
DG: Hahaha, is there an easy part?! Just kidding - maybe being able to control the design.
BB: What's the hardest part?
DG: Meeting the deadlines, hahaha!! Perhaps, also coming up with a new and fresh design that will excite people.
BB: Sometimes getting started is the hardest part - do you have any advice for aspiring designers?
DG: Just start sketching and sewing, perhaps learn from your Grandma or take a sewing class at a local community college. That's how I got started.
BB: What was it like being included in this show?
DG: I really enjoyed working with the other very talented designers, I always enjoy seeing everyone's new designs on the runway!!
BB: What's next for the Gaussoins? Where can we find you next?
DG: We have a family lecture and trunk show at the Wheelwright museum this fall. Don't have any runway fashion shows planned for a while, but in this business you never know what is coming down the pipeline. You just have to be ready when the call comes...
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