For many Indigenous women, wearing traditional clothing and designs was all but relegated to the pow-wow trail or ceremonial grounds. If they were also lovers of contemporary fashion, they had a separate wardrobes for their mainstream and ceremonial lives,and to some respect two identities.
However, in the last 20 years there has been an explosion of indigenous fashion designers. Clothing artists; Dorthey Grant, Tammy Beauvais and Alano Edzerza, are working hard to bring the beauty of Native designs into the mainstream fashion world. Their contemporary clothing designs, are functional, affordable, and showcasing traditional designs have help a new generation of proud native women close the gap between their two worlds.
Most recently, there has been an emergence of young and hip earring artists, that are carving out a name for their art in the world of fashion accessories. The style of melding crystal with beading and imagery was once only seen on pow-wow dancers. Their aim was to catch your eye and make you remember the dancer in their hopes of getting higher scores in the dance competition. However beautiful these were, they often went back in to the vault after the pow-wow was done.
Now these beautiful pieces of art can be seen on young and old alike, on the streets of every city and community in the country. The only word you can use to describe their eye-catching and conversation-starting pieces of art is; BLING-TASTIC! This pow-wow inspired trend, is bringing that celebration of native beading beauty to the mainstream. These earrings scream “LOOK AT ME, I AM BEAUTIFUL AND PROUD OF IT!”
The online buzz and profile of these artists and the collecting of this wearable art is becoming increasingly popular. The Artists go by cheeky online names like “The Wife Beader” “Sparkleondesigns” and “Teebeebeads” Their cheekiness matches their flashy style. Basically there is only one rule in this art form, the flashier the better! The work of these artist is becoming increasingly recognizable and is collected by customers around the world.
Whether it is clothing or accessories, pride in native designs and artists is on the rise. Don’t miss out on getting a piece from these artists, as this trend towards melding fashion, native design and and the love of bling is only going to get bigger! Wear loud and wear it proud!