Ayinwinisa event brings together fashion and language to celebrate Indigenous culture
Cree fashionista and artist Cheyenne Rain LeGrande’s first fashion show will be a celebration of Indigenous languages presented through fashion.
LeGrande is the driving force behind this weekend’s Ayiwinisa Parade at Beaver Hills House Park.
As a curatorial assistant for the Latitude 53 art gallery, this is not her first event, but this is LeGrande’s first fashion show.
“I think Indigenous fashion is just amazing and so powerful and beautiful,” LeGrande said. “And having these languages visible in that form kind of created this idea.”
The show is made up of four indigenous designers.
Heather Crowshoe Couture will celebrate Indigenous haute couture with Blackfoot designs, Evan Ducharme will showcase his most stylish Métis clothing. There will also be bold trench coats with a Cree twist from Mobilize and Cree print clothing from Luxx Ready to Wear.
Each designer highlights their native language in their creations.
“It’s something that is part of our daily life. Something that allows us to talk about our identities,” she said.
The languages presented are Cree, Michif and Pied-Noir.
6:05Ayiwinisa Fashion Show
“I thought these designers wore clothes that celebrated Indigenous languages,” she told CBC Edmonton. Radio active.
“In each of our languages, there is so much history to be found there.”
The name of the show Ayiwinisa (pronounced eye-WIN-sah) is cry for clothes. LeGrande initially thought the name would be too literal, but then spoke to her mother, who speaks Cree.
“She actually said the meaning of the word has so much more meaning and meanings layered in the word,” LeGrande said.
The representation of Aboriginal languages was important to LeGrande who does not speak Cree. But language is still very important to her and is a big part of her job.
“I think one of the main reasons that I and a lot of native people of the same generation who don’t speak their language is because of colonization,” she said.
While fashion shows usually take place indoors, LeGrande always knew she wanted hers to be outdoors.
“It just adds an element to the history of our people,” she said.
LeGrande said she had always thought of Beaver Hills House Park as a space where “indigenous people came together.” So when it came to hosting her own show, she knew exactly where to hold it.
The LeGrande Show begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 2 at Beaver Hills House Park.