A growing number of Alaska Native fashion designers are demonstrating cultural pride by putting contemporary spins on timeless materials, garments and symbols to create a uniquely hip, contemporary indigenous style. To showcase the new energy, Alaska Native Arts Foundation is organizing its first-ever "wearable art" fashion show, "Wear Art Thou?," scheduled for this fall in Anchorage.
"We'll have a 60-foot runway, awesome lighting, indigenous music, and a sort of lounge-y seating array of half-circle tables," said Trina Landlord, ANAF's executive director. "Basically, I've gone from not wanting to wear Native clothes as a kid to organizing a major fashion show of clothing by Native designers. A lot's changed. The tone of how cool it is to be Native is shifting in the right direction, especially among the youth."