At the Far North Fashion Show, Alaska Native designs take flight

The show, held at the Anchorage Museum and hosted by the Arctic Encounter Symposium, featured eye-catching creations riffing on this year’s “Black and White Raven Collection” theme.

The Anchorage Museum atrium transformed into a catwalk for the 2024 Far North Fashion show Thursday night.

The show featured eight Alaska Native designers who created nearly 40 looks for the event. Walking to a playlist of music drawn from around the circumpolar north, some models wore traditional garments while others showed off looks that featured fur, skins and feathers on gowns and streetwear. Occasionally, a model broke into a traditional Alaska Native dance move as the crowd of about 650 people cheered their approval.

This is the second year fashion show coordinator Trina Landlord has organized the event. She said when she was 13, she and her best friend would dream about Alaska Native fashion on runways.

“We didn’t ever see anyone who looked like us who were designers or models,” Landlord said. “Fast forward to now, and this is my fifth fashion show I’ve done featuring Alaska Native designers. Some have shown at Toronto fashion week.”

The theme of this year’s fashion show — the “Black and White Raven Collection” — appeared throughout the night, from models’ makeup and hair to the feathered capelets and adornments of many looks.

The raven theme was inspired by the magical, transformative creatures that appear in the stories and songs of many Alaska Native cultures, Landlord said. But like the fashion show itself, it’s also a take on modern-day life — and 2024′s buzziest local celebrity.

“With the new paparazzi following the white raven around — keeping that in mind, it’s so new and unusual and unique,” Landlord said.

The show was presented by Arctic Encounter, a symposium of events centered on Arctic policy, business and culture that took place Wednesday through Friday in downtown Anchorage.

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Victoria Barber

Victoria Barber was formerly the features editor at the Anchorage Daily News and is an occasional contributor.