Last Friday night I got to host the Synaptic City fashion show by Sage Paul as a part of Planet Indigenus at the Harbourfront. I had been looking forward to the show since I first heard that Sage was creating wearable works of art especially for it. I wrote about it last week in heavy anticipation. The show did not disappoint.
When I first heard that the fashion show was going to be an entire 45 minutes, I must admit I was a little concerned. I am used to Toronto Fashion Week, where the shows are 10 minutes. Just how was she going to fill the time? Thankfully Sage had a plan and a lot of support. With the choreography by talented actor/dancer Justin Manyfingers (of Soulpepper and Waawaate husband fame) and the musical selections by Bear Witness (of A Tribe Called Red fame), it really made a fashion show into a work of performance art.
Throughout the entire show I was captivated by the models, the fashion, the dancers, and the music. It all was weaved together to tell a story that resonated with me deeply. It is now that old is fusing with new and traditional things are being brought out into a modern context. No one does that better than Sage Paul with her elegant and modern nods to traditional regalia steeped in history but all with a contemporary twist. The usage of her wearable art which was essentially update pow wow regalia recreated in mirrored plexiglass and muslin was simply stunning. The homage was en pointe as those moments when the models were “donned” new outfits by the contemporary dancers in the middle of the stage felt like a transition from new to old and back to the future all at once.
I am proud to have been such a small part of this show, but most of all I am proud of Sage Paul, my friend from back in the vintage ImagineNative Festival days, for following her dreams and creating a reality that allows her to realize her creative expressions and work with dream teams to make it a reality. Kudos.