April 13, 2011

Star Dress by Danita Strawberry

Last fall, Cree and Saulteaux designer Danita Strawberry made this gown for Ashley Callingbull to be worn in the parade of nations at the Miss Friendship International pageant. The dress was inspired by star quilt designs.

In her article, "Morning Star Quilts," Tana Mundwiler writes, "For ages the star has been depicted in the Plains Indians' hide paintings, porcupine-quilled moccasins, leggings and clothing." Strawberry's dress brings the ancient star reference (and late-1800s star quilt design) into glamorous present-day couture.

Recently, the Alberta Museum selected Danita Strawberry as a featured Native artist, and they ordered a red version. Here's the dress she produced that will be on display at the Museum: