November 28 to Dec 2 2022, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week was a time to gather, to uplift, to be inspired by the array of Indigenous talent not only in fashion, but in art, make-up, hair, modelling, music and more! Coming back after covid, the last VIFW was in 2019 - which also happened to be the first BIG fashion show that we at Totem Design House participated in…
Madeleine McCallum wearing Leather and wool appliquéd vest and seal fur leather clutch made by Erin Brillon of Totem Design House. VIFW 2019
Wearing Rise hoodie & T and hand-painted Skull blazer by Andy Everson seal fur bracelets and bow tie by Erin Brillon for Totem Design House. VIFW 2019
This year was the first Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week to have included 30+ vendors all featuring Indigenous made products, so of course we had to be there! Although the event ran for 4 nights, we were only able to vend on the Wednesday evening as the unexpected snowstorm that hit us made it impossible to get to Vancouver from Comox because our new-to-us-van (with new all seasons tires) had us fish-tailing all over the road.
In any case, we got to see friends and fans on both Wednesday as Vendors and Thursday as we partook in the audience at Fashion Week, after our ITBC gala earlier that evening. We were stoked to be there for the surprise performance by Snotty Nose Rez kids, where they dropped their latest single! It was an epic show and the crowd went wild.
My highlight aside from seeing all the familiar faces and friends from far and wide was having more men buying our amazing earrings. Why does this excite me? because it was both cultural and traditional for men to wear ear adornments of all sizes and shapes traditionally. To see this become more prevalent as men become more comfortable makes me incredibly proud of the men who re-claim this tradition.
Happy customer wearing Andy Everson’s Silver Feather Earrings
We got asked so many times why were weren’t showing this year at VIFW, as much as we would have loved to we simply did not have the ability to create a new line this year. Between building our production studio and coordinating and hosting our first Clan feast in over 150 years, to planning for our Andy and my traditional wedding ceremony -this was already a BIG BIG year for us. Not to mention that we have been running short staffed since August - yes its only myself and Rob our Production Manager full-time, and Marlo social media/retail/screen-printer Part-time running the show! In any case, we hope to be able to work towards a show in 2023 -if we can sort out staffing during this labour shortage!
Erin & Andy at Totem Design House Pop-Up at VIFW 2022