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Northern designers, Preloved stage fashion show at Yellowknife's snow castle

Yellowknife's snow castle was transformed into a fashion house Wednesday as models took to the stage to show off the work of four northern designers.

'I want to incorporate my culture into my clothing,' says Lutselk'e designer Tishna Marlowe

Tishna Marlowe (centre) with two models wearing her 6 Red Beads designs. Her full collection was shown at Yellowknife's snow castle as part of the Best in Snow Fashion Show. (Shannon Scott/CBC)

Yellowknife's snow castle was transformed into a fashion house Wednesday as models took to the stage to show off the work of four northern designers.

Models strutted the ice stage in pieces designed by Gisele Forget, Caroline Blechert, Janet Dean and Tishna Marlowe. About 40 different pieces were shown ranging from jackets made of vintage curtains to porcupine quill jewelry to hand-dyed silks.

The show stopper of the night was the collection from 6 Red Beads designer Tishna Marlowe. Originally from Lutselk'e, Marlowe uses traditional materials to adorn her creations.

'This makes fashion week look like so yesterday,' says Julia Grieve, founder of Toronto's Preloved. (submitted)
"I use caribou antlers, fish scales and berries that my aunts and uncles have gathered from Fort Reliance and around Lutselk'e," says Marlowe. "I want to incorporate my culture into my clothing."

The name of her company is also an homage to Marlowe's culture. "My great-great-grandfather and his wife traded at a trading post. And my great-great-grandmother traded one beaver pelt for six red beads".

There was one southern design house in the mix. Julia Grieve is the founder and creative director at Toronto's Preloved. Her company is celebrating its 20th anniversary and to mark the occasion has partnered with Yellowknife's For Women Only to create a line specifically for Yellowknife.

"We created a collection together that would be perfect for the Yellowknife customer with a little twist of Toronto," says Grieve. "How many designers can say they actually showed their collection in a snow castle? That's a big deal.

"This makes fashion week look like so yesterday."

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