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Panel Series

Colours, Materials and Symbols



Fashion is a rich and complex visual language that communicates meaning. Indigenous fashion embodies our diverse cultural values with aesthetic codes that are intimately known by community members but often falsely represented by the mainstream industry. Indigenous fashion expression employs colours, materials, and symbols through repetition, abstraction, and multi-dimensionality, to ultimately communicate meaning that ensures our survival. This panel explores how and why this language is relevant in today’s global fashion community and its connection to both commercial and artistic fashion.


Barbara Teller Ornelas

Barbara Teller Ornelas is best known for her Navajo tapestry weavings and is a Master Navajo weaver, (120 – 126 weft…
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Karen Kramer

Kramer’s longstanding commitment to innovative approaches to Indigenous art and culture, and her broad experiences working with Native artists, scholars,…
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Melaw Nakehk’o

Melaw Nakehko is Dehcho and Denesuline Dene, and was born in Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Nakehk’o is…
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Nathalie Atkinson

Nathalie Atkinson is a Toronto-based arts journalist and film critic, and a member of the Toronto Film Critics Association. Her…
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