NANAIMO — After months of work, sweat, nerves and anticipation, the Indigenous clothing design house Ay Lelum is ready for the runway at the Vancouver Fashion Show.
Sisters Sophia Seward-Good and Aunalee Boyd-Good will show off their latest collection, called K'wuyucun, at the renowned fashion show on Friday, March 22. It tells the family story of the first grizzly bear through the clothes worn on the runway, the homemade music designed for the showcase and art from their father William Good and brother Joel Good.
“We're not just putting on a fashion show, we're also telling a story,” Seward-Good told NanaimoNewsNOW in the weeks leading up to the event. “It's theatrical and dramatic.”
Take a look at their collection from the fall 2018 season of Vancouver Fashion Week to see how dramatic their work is:
Theatrics and drama was a cornerstone of their childhood growing up on Snuneymuxw territory, the children of two artists.
“I think we're stepping into the role prepared for us,” Boyd-Good said. “We look at it as though (our parents) had set up a foundation for us ahead of time and we're building that house of design on what they're teaching us.”
They use modern textiles and techniques to tell a traditional story.
The story presented through their latest showcase was told to them by their father and the artwork is traditional Coast Salish. Seward-Good said great pains were taken to make sure the story remains intact, since any change to the artwork could change the rich story and culture being presented.
“To see everything come together with the music, the legends and the artwork on the fashion is pretty neat,” Seward-Good said.
“It's not just making a garment and putting it on the runway. It's the whole experience,” Boyd-Good said. “When we hear our music and watch our garments on the runway...that part is really exciting and thrilling and all worth while when you can see it as an entire collection."
Their outfits are designed for everyday wear with some haute-couture selections as well.
“(We're) embracing teachings and putting them out there for everyone to experience and enjoy. It's sharing culture,” Boyd-Good said.
“We want to make it educational for everyone,” Seward-Good said. “It's education, it's art.”
Ay Lelum clothing can be found in gift shops and stores across the mid-island area or found at fashion shows throughout the area, as well as online.
On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit
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