Last month, Beyond Buckskin teamed up with Presence 4.0 and Rezonate Art to bring our annual Style Mixer to Phoenix during the Heard Indian Market. I caught up with Presence 4.0 fashionista Jaclyn Roessel to discuss Native fashion and style. Scroll down to read more! >>
BB: Jaclyn! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me about our recent event. This has been our third event in Phoenix and, I think, our fourth event working together. I remember our first event, which was a fashion/style show to help launch the new P4 website. I still remember the energy that was in the room that night- so spectacular! (See left.) What was your favorite memory from that first event?
JR: I've loved fashion and the act of dressing up since I was little. One of my life highlights was being voted best dressed in high school, as silly as it sounds adorning myself is a creative act. So hosting a fashion-focused event that we (P4) helped produce was a stylish dream come true! I distinctly remember trying to take photos at the end of the runway and not being able to fit into the space- I had worried no one would show up, how wonderful it was to be so wrong!
BB: I remember eating dinner after the event, just the four of us, and I was so exhausted, but I couldn't wait to do it again! Our events after that one morphed into style mixers and trunk shows, emphasizing this idea to support Native fashion by buying it, and rocking it! What were some of your favorite ensembles that you've seen at our events?
JR: I remember an electric blue blazer worn by my friend's niece at our first event. And it was awesome to have JT Willie share his looks in an impromptu fashion walk-about for our first time at Sochu House - Amber was a smash in the blue strapless dress.
I also remember Bethany's green elk tooth dress and Warren's ribbon shirt by Red Wing Designs. From our recent event, Crystal's blue tiered skirt and Natasha's whole look - such beauties and good friends! (see below)
In general, our tag line for the mixers has been "dress to inspire, attend to mingle"... and people do! I love how people share so much of their fashion sensibility with us at events.
BB: I personally loved how Maka rocked a red Alano Edzerza dress like no other! So fierce! We had such a great turnout for our latest event, I think we're gonna need a bigger boat! Why do you think so many people participate in this movement, and where do you see it going?
JR: It is empowering to join together as a community to celebrate art, creativity, style. It is refreshing and powerful to see positive representations. That is what P4 is about - we want to show how Native people dress with all the influences of modern and traditional times. Yes, our turquoise is attractive but it is also an act of beautiful resistance to what people think they know about Native people. We are modern people, strong, beautiful people.
I look ahead and see ways we can add more education into the mix. Having the panel discussion at this last event made the event much more dynamic. I think being able to hear more creatives' voices would be great in adding dimension to what we've begun. But already, through our blog we've collaborated with incredible businesses like yours and Rezonate Art. We've worked with the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts and the Navajo Nation Museum. I am so grateful as each experience has been so fulfilling.
BB: As hosts of the events, we are somewhat required to bring our A-Game when it comes to fashion and style, can you tell us more about the outfits you wore?
JR: Oh my! Half of the fun of these events is getting to decide what I will wear. I treasure each outfit/look to this day. The gray lace dress from our first event was gorgeous. I also love the pleather leggings I wore to our event at MoCNA along with the pleather skirt from our first event at Sochu - that outfit was a steal as so much of it was thrifted. I also love my gold sparkle shoes from our last event - they made me feel so fancy alongside my Warren Montoya earrings and Autumn Dawn Gomez custom necklace which reads "Boss Lady". I call my style "sophisticated kindergartner" because it is playful, feminine with pieces that are full of texture, color and sparkle. Sparkle is mandatory.
BB: I couldn't agree more! To see more images from our latest style mixer, visit Presence 4.0 and read their recap.