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This year 2009 BC Fashion Week will host Bee the Change Fashion that will feature 7 aboriginal emerging designers from across Canada

by NationTalk on September 21, 20091255 Views

Vancouver, BC September 28- October 3 BC Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009 “Balance” will be the host to national and international designers. British Columbia Fashion Week will focus on the Business of Fashion, and will showcase two types of collections – Ready to Wear and Diffusion (a line between ready-to-wear and trousseau/couture) and special addition of contemporary and traditional aboriginal fashion design from across Canada.. BC Fashion Week hopes to make this an annual showcase of Aboriginal culture for years to come. This year the location is at the Chinese Cultural Center 50 East Pender Street Vancouver BC with runway shows starting at 11.00am to 8pm. Tickets are $15 for more information BC Fashion Weeks website at There is limited number of VIP seating available so please contact BC Fashion Week.This year Bee the Change Aboriginal Fashion will feature 7 fabulous, ambitious, creative, designers from across Canada. They will show there designs to the fashion industry October 2, starting at 2pm. These designers are uniquely individual in design, style, market and inspiration. This show case will have traditional buckskin, birch bark, appliqué, natural fabrics, recycled materials, natural dyes, beadwork, and hand painted silks, appliqué, fur, knits, accessories, and aboriginal designer shoes like you never seen before. Each designer has there own way of using these material in a way that reflects there own style be it traditional , contemporary, futuristic, apparel industry, or historical pieces that are a reflection of the past culture of aboriginal people. This will be a great show of talented Aboriginal Design. This group is proudly Canadian feel it is important that there designs are made in Canada. You may consider many of these designs pieces of art and if it is one thing this group of designers agree on is if its not designed or made by aboriginal hands its not aboriginal art. This group of Aboriginal Designers has a strong sense of community, the environment, culture, and youth. It’s not enough that they design clothing, but focus on future economic opportunities for Canadians through their developing fashion design businesses.

Bee the Change has the pleasure of working with one of our favorite designers again Tracy Toulouse, earlier this year she participated in our first Bee the Change Aboriginal Fine Arts and Fashion Show at Peachfest Aboriginal Cultural Village in Penticton. After our show Tracy was a featured designer in the Fire and Fashion Live 2009 showcase in Toronto. Tracy is an internationally acclaimed Northern Ontario based designer an Ojibway from the Bear clan with her latest Swirling Wind Designs collection. The name Swirling Wind is the spirit name given to her daughter Silver who now walks among her ancestors. Swirling Wind line is infused with the artistic motifs that are recognized in the Aboriginal culture. The backdrop of this group uses the natural fabrics of leather, wool, and cotton; accentuated by hand-carved wood buttons, pipe bone and feather plumes. The production of this line is done in Northern Ontario and proudly made by First Nation people.

Another one of BTC featured designers of Bee the Change Aboriginal Fine Arts and Fashion Show was Gloria Cardinal’s Cedar & Berry collection of unique swimwear, easy-to-wear summer dresses and casual wear. Gloria also showcased her collection of handbags to accessorize her collection. . All of her garments and accessories are made with quality materials, many with organic cotton, bamboo, silk, linen and other natural fibers. Attention to detail and colourful items are her specialty. Cedar & Berry uses natural fabrics on all of the products displayed. Whether purchasing a colourful purse, a bamboo jersey dress, or a lycra/spandex swimsuit, Gloria Cardinal, Designer for Cedar & Berry is committed to a quality product.

Nadine Spence a designer of Rev/Evo Fashions I am an eco- friendly artist and designer everything I design and make is inspired by the environment and the sustainability of the environment. My message of preservation of Beautiful BC is from my artistic vision to finished product. I only use natural fabrics, natural dyes and recycle materials. My work comes to life in many different forms such as designer appliquéd artwork, wearable art, accessories and art designs. My appliquéd art pieces represent the rattlesnake, black widow, salmon, butterfly, frog and I am currently working on a dragonfly, hummingbird design. I mainly use the appliqué for the accessories such as purses. Some of the appliqué designs are inspired from my father’s artwork he did in the traditional black and red ink. I put my own spin by using natural fabrics and dyes appliqué with earthy contrasting colours reflections of Thompson/ Shushwap nation’s landscapes. Presently resides in sunny Kelowna.

Bee the Change is excited to announce Chessa Syrette a new designer that is capturing the fashion world with her unique and vibrant, fun-wearing, formal dress creations, inspired by nature’s beauty. Chessa Syrette a graduate of George Brown’s fashion design program and has recently graduated from Algoma University’s Fine Arts program. Her academic accomplishments, combined with the skills and experience of custom designing for fashion shows, graduations and weddings have allowed her to further her passion as an artist, bringing her most recent design creations to life. Chessa specializes in custom, formal dress designs that incorporate modern Aboriginal inspired details into each piece. Using beadwork, intricate seaming and exciting visual details, Chessa creates designs that make you feel confident and playful at the same time.

Danita Strawberry, acclaimed aboriginal fashion designer, and creative talent behind Danitaz Fashions offers collections of clothing lines that are inspired by her heritage and fashion sense and a commitment to bring clothes to life with a native flare.

As a member of both the Cree and Saulteaux tribes in Western Canada, Danita’s collection is a reflection of her strong cultural pride, inspired by the concept of how Native people of the past adorned their clothing for different things and to show their status. The beauty in these garments of the generations that came before brings her pride in her heritage and thus her way of honoring that is to bring that concept back in a contemporary form.

Danita designs clothing that showcases her artistic talent by not only designing the clothing, but the artwork, embellishments and embroidery which makes her stand apart from others in this field. Danita’s desire is to add the native element to today’s fashion and share with fashion focused Canadians her love of native art. She looks to compete in the latest trends and designs fashionable clothing with distinctive designs that can be worn anywhere. From chic street wear, to the office, to haute couture, Danitaz Fashions speak to the heart of Canadian fashion; unique, and exciting.
Danitaz Fashions have been shown at Vancouver’s Fashion Week, L’Oreal Fashion Week, at the largest Native celebration in New Mexico called the “Gathering” and at the National Congress of American Indian’s (NCAI) Fashion Show in Denver, Colorado in 2007 to name a few. The most recent show was at the Fire and Fashion Extravaganza in Toronto in August 2009. Her fashions are currently sold on line at

Shannon Kilroy designer of Earthline Contemporary Aboriginal fashions of Nlaka’pamux Nation commanded the runway with her Earthline Fashion’s collection of intricately detailed and adorned contemporary designs. Shannon’s fresh reflection of traditional images and the telling of cultural legends transitions to high fashion with ease. The colours of the silks and linens she uses reflect the landscape of the Plateau, and the beads, feathers and buckskin decorations recall traditional ornaments. Her newest themes are drawn from the legends of her people.

Linda Kay Peters is an Ojibway/Cree born in Red Lake, Ontario and now a member of the Seabird Island Band in British Columbia. She has one son, 3 stepchildren and is “Kookum” to 8 grandchildren. Although Linda has no formal training, she always had an interest in sewing and as a child hand stitched all her own doll clothes. Later her grandmother taught her how to use the treadle sewing machine and in her early teens she began sewing her own clothes. In 1996, Linda’s interest in designing native clothing was inspired by Carol Starlight Mason, a fashion designer from the Blood reserve in Alberta. Carol became her mentor and played a major part in inspiring her creativity. Since that time Linda has created vests, coats, and jackets for men, women and children. Her most recent work has been designing formal wear, and creating traditional dance regalia.

Some of the designs are her own creations depicting her OjiCree heritage and others are her interpretation of the West Coast, Sto: lo culture. Linda likes to promote other first nation artists and has been inspired by various First Nation artists and always ensures they receive this credit.

Linda’s creations have sparked interest in communities across Canada and she has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to do fashion shows in BC, Alberta, Ontario and recently Montana. Her greatest pride was when she was selected along with 10 other First Nation designers from across Canada to show her fashions at the National Aboriginal Music awards and the Sky dome Powwow held in Toronto in 2003. Linda has been coordinating fashion shows since 1997 and noticed how her youth models experienced such a sense of pride after participating in one of her fashion shows. As a spin off from this she developed a youth self esteem workshop “Struttin Ur Stuff in Style”. This participatory self esteem workshop focusing on: Image, Teamwork, Leadership, Presenting Self to Public & Modeling. It is

Models that worked with BTC society earlier this year in a previous fashion show, and a group of aboriginal models from Edmonton, Alberta Canada will travel over just to be apart of B.C Fashion Week.. Thank you to BC Fashion Week for providing a show for Bee the Change Aboriginal Fashion, 2009. A special thanks to all of our supporters.

So we hope to see you there at BC Fashion Week ‘Bee the Change Aboriginal Fashion.’ So come before 2 pm October 2, 2009 and meet the designer, check out fine arts and fashion exhibits and enjoy some food.

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