Exquisite garments made of qiviuk, hide, fur, bone and glass made their way onto the runway last night to formally open the annual Northwest Territories (NWT) Tourism Conference.
The fashion show - sponsored and hosted by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) - featured Dene Fur Clouds, the Qiviuk Boutique, D’Arcy Moses, and a finale piece by Rosalind Mercredi and Alison McCreesh.
The conference offered a prime opportunity to promote the made-in-the NWT creations and to highlight the potential for cross promotion and collaboration between sectors such as arts, tourism and the traditional economy.
All of the pieces were modeled by NWT residents.
Dene Fur Clouds opened the show. The unique studio, based in Fort Providence, creates one-of-a-kind fur garments and accessories by hand. Their products use sheared beaver, arctic hare, fox, and lynx and contain accents of bone and caribou antler. The fur is harvested locally through the GNWT’s Genuine Mackenzie Valley Fur Program.
Following Dene Fur Clouds was the Qiviuk Boutique, a group that creates stunning clothing and winter apparel from the downy undercoat of the muskox, known as qiviuk. The fiber is softer than cashmere and warmer than wool. Garments from the Qiviuk Boutique have made their way into the wardrobes of icons such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Queen of England, Francis Ford Coppola and Sara Jessica Parker.
The third feature highlighted D’Arcy Moses’ stunning collecting. D’Arcy has had a long and fascinating career in the Canadian fashion industry and is an icon within the NWT. After landing a spot in a runway show in Toronto in 1991, his clothes were soon appearing in high-end shops including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Holt Renfrew. Now based in Enterprise, NWT, D’Arcy continues to create extraordinary garments.
Closing out the show was a raven-inspired dress titled “Nevermore” that was created by Rosalind Mercredi and Alison McCreesh. Rosalind, a glass artist and owner of North Soul Glass Studio created the winged bodice of the dress by overlapping hundreds of pieces of dichroic and mirrored glass. Alison combined raw wool felted into silk fabric for the dress which represents the colours reflected in raven feathers.
The NWT has an extraordinary community of artists and the Department of ITI supports opportunities to highlight their talent, vision and products, and invest in artist-to-market opportunities including their cross promotion to international markets.