The 2022 Indigenous Fashion Show went off without a hitch. At least from a viewer’s point of view, it appeared so. With eleven fashion designers, including one internationally known – Red Berry Woman, fashions ranged from, ‘that’s outstanding, but where would I wear it,’ to ‘I’ve got to buy that original design’.
Designers included Tina Thompson, who learned to sew ribbons skirts for her daughters to wear to the longhouse, Tina said, “I’ve come a long way over the years and I’m so proud of how far I have come in my sewing journey never thought my skills would one day land me here, on the fashion runway.”
Tasha Thompson, whose interest in art goes back to her childhood listening to her grandparents telling her stories as she doodled along.
Tasha said, “I try to teach and pass down to my children all the wonderful memories of our family and teaching they have left for us. When I create, I have them on my mind.”
Terry Cree has been sewing for fifty years. She’s known for ‘her speed, talent and creativity.’
Wabigonikwe Tenasco a Algonquin-Mohawk designer from Kitigan Zibi. Named emerging fashion artist by Indigenous Fashions Arts she designs and creates traditional and contemporary designs.
She Holds the Sky, Karoniénhawe Diabo is Bear Clan from Kahnawake. Diabo has been sewing for over 22 years and ‘owes her business to her grandmother Estelle Horn-Diabo for always encouraging her to move forward.’
Marlana Thompson is the creator and designer behind Okwaho Creations. She has been beading, sewing, and creating pieces since she was seven years old. ‘She incorporates all the life elements in her works’ and one of her specialties is working with her clients to reflect that person’s personality.
Christal Ratt – Pidabinikwe, is an Anishnabe award winning artist from Barriere Lake First Nation, ‘drawing inspiration for her diverse arts, beadwork, quillwork and birch work – she started creating wearable art.’
Stacey Mitchell is from Tsi Snaihne and incorporates contemporary fashions with Indigenous prints and designs.
Emma Shenandoah is ‘passionate about creating one-of-a-kind pieces, inspired my roots of Haudenosaunee culture and design, incorporated in modern day contemporary fashion.’
Red Berry Woman – Norma Baker-Flying Horse is Hidatsa, Dakota Sioux and Assinboine nations. Red Berry woman is the recipient of the 2022 International Designer of the Year and 2022 Cultural Recognition Visual Arts Grammy Award co-recipient.
Under the direction and organization of Tisha and Babes Thompson, the 2022 Indigenous Fashion Show was an outstanding evening of fashion, fun, and creativity. The Thompsons went one step further this year by taking sewing lessons and presenting their first line of original designs.
The evening was emceed by none other than Abraham Francis who was billed by the Aboriginal Outlaws as an “Indigenous Ecologist, Environmentalist, Socientist, Warrior, and Go-Go Dancer.” While Abraham didn’t dance, he kept the audience in full rapt and entertained throughout the evening.