Behind The Look: Part 3
From Up Here's October issue, here are more of photographer Hannah Eden's shots from the fashion feature and a few words from the creative minds behind the looks:
Model Ariel Lau wears Inuktitut syllabic leggings by Ugly Fish with a porcupine quill necklace and earrings by Creations for Continuity.
The Designer: Adina Tarralik Duffy
The Place: Coral Harbour, Nunavut
The Story: There was a conversation going on about creating a unified language system for Inuktitut. People were suggesting only using Roman orthography and it got me thinking about the significance of syllabics. We learned it in kindergarten along with Roman orthography and English—it was a big part of my early learning and has always been visually interesting to me. I was inspired to find a way to keep our syllabic language visible. I couldn’t get it out of my head so I had to do something about it, just so I could sleep at night.
I can’t keep up with the demand—which is a good thing—but I try and re-stock as often as I can because people really appreciate the product and wearing something that shows off their culture. One of the most satisfying things has been moms telling me their daughters are practicing Inuktitut off their leggings.
My favourite [material to work with] would have to be beluga bones. I like the entire process of finding them, cleaning them. It can be gruesome but it turns into something beautiful. Cleaning is probably the hardest part. Sometimes the spine is still in tact, the bone, the meat, tough, dried sinewy. I have to let the spine macerate in water before sawing off the last bits of flesh. It’s a labour of love though. Some bones get to be hard to whiten, if it’s sitting by moss it can be a greenish colour.
You have to get all the meat off before you can degrease the bones in dish soap. Then you soak it in peroxide to sterilize and whiten—it can take months.
Almost everybody is shorefront here but my parents have a bit of a private space, and I’ve got three caribou heads with velvety antlers soaking in the water by their place. I’ve been told the creatures of the ocean will get it clean.
Creations for Continuity
The Designer: Caroline Blechert
The Place: Northwest Territories
The Story: My Indigenous friend is Meskwaki. She commissioned it from me. The thunderbird is a spirit symbol animal that causes thunder with the beat of its wings. I wouldn’t say there was pressure to make it, I would say it’s more honour to make something so sacred to her. I got into art to connect to my culture and what’s great is I get to learn about all types of Indigenous cultures I never would have learned about because of my job.