Indigenous

Anishinaabe Mohawk designer's gown turns heads at Golden Globes

A stunning gown designed by Anishinaabe Mohawk designer Lesley Hampton was worn by CTV’s Lainey Lui covering the red carpet at this year's Golden Globes.

Toronto-based Lesley Hampton designed gown for CTV correspondent

'I'm really proud of the moment and of Lesley and I’m so happy to be part of this conversation with Lesley where her work is being showcased,' says Lainey Lui. (George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images)

A gown by an Indigenous designer turned heads among the celebrities and correspondents on the red carpet at Sunday's Golden Globes awards in Los Angeles. 

The dress worn by CTV's etalk anchor Lainey Lui has brought global exposure to Anishinaabe Mohawk designer Lesley Hampton. 

"It's been an absolutely incredible experience and the feedback has really been great," said Hampton. 

Hampton is based in Toronto and has shown collections at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto, Vancouver, London Fashion week and the Santa Fe Indian Market. 

"It was incredible to be able to represent the Indigenous fashion community and hopefully pave the way for other celebrities to shop Indigenous and see what Indigenous artists can do, whether it's more traditional or more modern contemporary work," said Hampton. 

"I think our people as a community have so much to offer the mainstream fashion and celebrity community."

Hampton is known for her elaborate garments and often uses all Indigenous and two-spirit models during her shows.

After Hampton appeared on CTV's The Social last fall, Lui and her stylist approached Hampton to see what her timeline for designing a gown for the Golden Globes would be. 

Hampton said Lui is someone she has always wanted to work with. 

"It was really great that Lainey gave me a chance," she said. 

The floor-length pleated gown with cut outs accented with a cape over the shoulders is an extension of a piece from Hampton's spring/summer 2020 collection titled The Preface.

The dress from Lesley Hampton's Spring/Summer 2020 runway collection, The Preface, that inspired Lainey Lui's Golden Globe gown. (George Pimentel photography)

The title and collection was inspired by a quote featured in the preface of the final report of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women: "We must know our past, understand it and accept it, if the future is to have meaning." 

In anticipation of being on the red carpet at her first and possibly only Golden Globes, Lui said she wanted to make the experience memorable and meaningful to look back on.

"I'm a Canadian-Asian woman and I wanted to wear a Indigenous designer's work," said Lui. 

She was familiar with Hampton's designs but never had the opportunity to wear any herself until this year. 

"I'm really proud of the moment and of Lesley, and I'm so happy to be part of this conversation with Lesley where her work is being showcased," said Lui. 

She said the reaction to the dress was undeniable at the awards, from publicists to staffer and even celebrities. 

"My etalk team told me when I came down the stairs to the red carpet for the first time, people stopped to stare because the dress is so spectacular and eye-catching," said Lui.

"For me it was the most exciting because it's Lesley."

It also landed Lui on some best-dressed lists.

About the Author

Rhiannon Johnson is an Anishinaabe journalist from Hiawatha First Nation based in Toronto. She has been with the Indigenous unit since 2017 focusing on Indigenous life and experiences throughout Ontario. You can reach her at rhiannon.johnson@cbc.ca and on Twitter @rhijhnsn.