7 labels to know at this year’s Indigenous Fashion Festival

The Indigenous fashion festival— Formerly called Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto — will be held later this week in Toronto, Canada, to showcase new collections by some of the leading names in the domestic fashion scene. From June 9 to 12, the biennial event will return live this year after being held virtually 2020 due to the pandemic. IFA founder Sage Paul says this year will be better than ever. “Indigenous fashion is in a constant state of evolution and research rooted in culture, so audiences can expect to see the liveliness and heritage of our cultures through contemporary viewing,” Paul says. “Something that is hard to describe in words is the energy and spirit that is felt at the festival. There is nothing like your community coming together to celebrate each other’s amazing art and design. ”

Four catwalk shows will be held at the Harbourfront Center Theater in Toronto, a new location chosen for the circular runway. “The circle is significant to most indigenous cultures, so our runway is a symbolic and truly indigenous fashion experience to enhance and complement programmed designer collections,” says Paul. (The Teachings of the medical circles of the first nationsfor example, revolve around shape.)

Each show will open a musical act — including artists such as Cris Derksen, Bear Fox, Tia Wood, and Nyia — and will include a diverse group of artists divided by theme. For example, the showcase of the first night features avant-garde designers such as Curtis Oland, Evan Ducharme and Amy Malbeuf. “What excites me most about the designers with all four evenings on the runway is how original they are from one to the other,” says Paul. “Some prominent collections include Michel Dumont’s collection made mostly of cellophane, including the look of a darling and a wheelchair user.”

In addition to catwalk shows, the festival will feature a market full of indigenous goods, as well as a series of panel discussions (culminating in a conversation between artist Kent Monkman and activist Sarain Fox), and a special leather tanning workshop. “I hope that maintaining a platform like IFA will keep the traditional practices that have been passed on,” says Paul. She adds that the intention of the festival has always been to serve the natives first. “Creating a platform for indigenous designers, led by indigenous peoples, is extremely important. We have many culturally nuanced approaches in how we produce the festival, create the clothes and wear them! I see IFA as a place of celebration and sovereignty for the community, the body and the country. ”

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