January 2, 2012

Designer Profile | Sage Paul

Hello everyone, and Happy 2012! We are going to start off the new year with a rising designer: Sage Paul.

Sage Paul is a young emerging First Nations fashion designer who hails from the Dene Nation. She says she's been interested in fashion as long as she can remember, and she began designing by making clothing for herself when she was younger.

Paul attended George Brown College’s Fashion Design program in Toronto, graduating in 2006. She developed a unique perspective for fashion while working in the Toronto Indigenous arts community, an urban community that is vibrant and outspoken and one that she says she finds incredible inspiration.

She is also inspired by the fashion designs of Alexander McQueen and Ronald Everett. Working with cultural and traditional concepts – both Indigenous and Euro-American - Paul seeks to identify the 'urban Indian' through her work.

Her most recent collection is titled The End of Summer Collection. "The colours," she explains, "are what have really grounded the collection – Sage, Mauve, Cream, and Navy. In addition to balancing the summer and fall colour trends, the colours are neutral, yet have a vibrancy which one would experience in the natural world. What I love about the collection is that it is so purposefully put together – the way the earth is, yet organic."

The End of Summer Collection

She explains that she is committed to creating an accurate representation of contemporary Indigenous people, and ethically produces and commissions unique, trendy and quality-made men’s and women’s ready-to-wear apparel, accessories and other Indigenous-made items.

Paul also runs a blog called Authentic Appropriations, where she explores and reports on current fashion trends and expressions from the urban Indigenous community. In an attempt to challenge stereotypical imagery, the blog features innovative styles of men and women from various Indigenous nations; Authentic Appropriations presents Indigenous people as we are today.
Street Style - Authentic Appropriations

For her next collection, Paul explains, "The fall 2012 Collection is centered around Migration and Relocation and examines the adaptation of being in a new, unfamiliar environment. Particularly of Indigenous people and our cultural adaptation, to see how traditional or natural materials and ideas can be used with an industrial approach. With this collection I'm playing a lot with traditional tailoring techniques and merging those with "native" tailoring and craftsmanship that I see in clothing throughout history, such as pow wow regalia or pre-contact tailoring. This collection will very much be about shape and craftsmanship."

Paul is also currently talking with Planet IndigenUs (August 10-19) to put something together for their annual arts festival held at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.

With cool new projects on the horizon, hopefully we'll hear more from Sage Paul in the next months.

Click the links below to discover more about Sage Paul:
Sage Paul Website
Sage Paul Tumblr
Urban Warrior
A Night with Sage Paul