Tawnya Plain Eagle
A mother and daughter from Piikani gained a prestigious spot on the runway during Indigenous Fashion week in Calgary Alta.
The fourth annual Otahpiaaki Indigenous fashion show took place last weekend with a focus based around the “Celebrations of Indigenous Language Through Visual Sovereignty, Story & Design.”
The Indigenous based runway took place at The Calgary Public Library which saw artists such asTobi Davis, Carol Mason, Heather & Karli Crowshoe.
Together this mother and daughter duo, Heather & Karli Crowshoe, created looks from their own unique styles and joined together to showcase their work to the world.
“What we presented on the runway was a version of how we incorporate each other’s work,” Heather Crowshoe said.
“I feel very lucky and proud of my daughter,” she added.
In 2018, the pair got accepted to present their designs for the first time.
Their whole family supported them by helping creatively with developing design concepts.
This year Heather Crowshoe Couture and The Chief’s Daughter got to further expand on their ideas with a mixture of jackets, dresses, jewelry and hats.
“Without [my mom’s] sewing ability my designs wouldn’t be complete and without my accessories her styles wouldn’t have felt the same. I feel we complement each other perfectly on the runway,” Karli said.
At the beginning of every fashion show there is a process where models choose their looks by styling the models.
Heather said this is the moment they could truly incorporate each other’s work.
The real art of the collaboration is the final looks on the runway rather than each person individual pieces.
“I think it is something truly magical when you create with family because not once did we sit together and talk specifically about what we were going to show, we just created, and those creations came together perfectly,” Karli said.
The two where notified that they’re going to be closing the 2019 Otahpiiaaki Runway Show. This spot is very prestigious as it means your work should be highlighted.
“It’s an accomplishment to be proud of but we are more inspired to get back to our studios and let this fuel our creativity and evolve as designers,” Heather said.
Both Heather and Karli’s designs where inspired by their upbringing. Both where raised by Piikanisinni, the Piikani way of Life.
They are both involved in the pow wow circuit as well, which is where Karli draws her inspiration from. Heather believes that clothing was always an important part of identity amongst indigenous people.
They also incorporated accessories from an Amskapi Piikani Ledger Artist and John Pepion.
Both designers can be reached on social at The Chief’s Daughter and Heather Crowshoe Couture.