Indigenous Fashion – IFWTO Produces Curtis Oland at Somerset House during London Fashion Week, February 2019

For immediate release: Tuesday, January 22, 2019

IFWTO (Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto) to produce the fashion installation “Delicate Tissue” by Indigenous designer Curtis Oland at London’s Somerset House, as part of the International Fashion Showcase.

London, UK – IFWTO is producing Curtis Oland’s new commissioned work Delicate Tissue at the 2019 International Fashion Showcase (IFS), the British Council biennale exhibition during London Fashion Week. Oland is one of sixteen designers selected by a curatorial team to exhibit at IFS. The exhibition opens to the public on February 11, 2019 at Somerset House, with the opening party on February 14 during London Fashion Week, and runs until February 25, 2019.

“IFWTO is thrilled to represent Canada at IFS with their first exhibited Indigenous Canadian designer” says IFWTO Artistic Director, Sage Paul. “Indigenous representation in global mainstream fashion is vital for the advancement of art and fashion. Curtis Oland is a deeply conscious designer with an approach that encompasses Indigenous values. His work demonstrates the intersection of art and fashion with a connection to land. His exhibition at IFS ‘Delicate Tissue’ exemplifies that.” 

Curtis Oland (Lil’Wat and Scottish-Canadian) is an emerging designer and Ryerson University Fashion School Alumnus. Oland debuted his graduating menswear collection “Harvest” at the Mass Exodus 2016 show and went on to win the Emerging Menswear Designer Award at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 with his collection “Oyama Lake”. In 2017 he was nominated for the Simons Fashion Design Student Award for the 2017 Canadian Art and Fashion Awards Gala in April. His heritage and respect for the land are driving forces in his creative and artistic practices.

Oland will present his fashion installation Delicate Tissue, which brings together fashion (Curtis Oland), handcrafted copper jewellery (Jennifer Younger), video and virtual reality (Nyla Innuksuk) and music (Cris Derksen & Ziibiiwan Mahgagahbow). Known for his use of raw materials and design, Oland’s new work, Delicate Tissue, invites audiences into a geodesic cocoon to explore the connectedness of human and earth through harmony, land and honour. Oland’s collection looks to the raw formation of nature and the processing of materials. The fabrics and garments are designed and constructed with consideration towards life and death. 

“Our bodies are temporal, privy to the ebb and flow of time and space. What we take – and give – to the land is a sacred, spiritual exchange. Natural hues and raw textures, a juxtaposition of delicate and structured silhouettes, a celebration of material and a diversified collaboration between nations strive to remind us that what we wear links us: to the spirit, to the land, and to each other.” – Curtis Oland

The International Fashion Showcase was established in 2012 as a platform for emerging designers to exhibit their work during London Fashion Week and has since presented over 600 international emerging designers from 70 countries. This project brings together in collaboration diverse practices, partners, embassies, cultural institutes and international fashion partners for the artistic presentation of fashion during London Fashion Week, one of the largest fashion markets in the world.  The project is a partnership between the British Council, the British Fashion Council and London College of Fashion, and Somerset House. 

IFWTO proudly acknowledges financial support from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Ryerson University School of Fashion.

ABOUT IFWTO (INDIGENOUS FASHION WEEK TORONTO)

IFWTO is a multi-platform festival of the most distinct and progressive Indigenous-made fashion, craft and textiles. IFWTO celebrates global Indigenous expression in fashion and the arts and its grounding in Indigenous knowledge, ways of life and storytelling. IFWTO is led by Indigenous women bringing audiences an Indigenous-represented and accessible opportunity to connect with and celebrate Indigenous artists and cultural expression.

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