Models at Thursday’s Far North Fashion Show wear traditional parkas designed by Mary Ann Lomack, at right. From left are Karen Lomack, wearing a creation of model Mary Ann Lomack; and four others wearing creations of designer Merna Wharton. Those model are Helen Lorrie Wharton, who is carrying Tiara Konig; Lanakila Wharton; and Maisha Ivanoff. At far right is the designer, Merna Wharton. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
The event showcases Indigenous designs that are traditional, contemporary and a blend of the two. It has become a highlight of the three-day Arctic Encounter Symposium, a conference that this year drew nearly 1,000 participants from more than two dozen countries. Among the participants were ambassadors from Arctic and non-Arctic nations, prominent Arctic scientists and members of Congress.
The Far North Fashion Show provided a break from the policy discussions.
The designers are experienced. Some have their own clothing businesses. Wharton is a celebrated Yup’ik skin-sewer and Schaeffer, who is Inupiat and is director of climate initiatives at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, holds a fashion degree from the American College in London.
The show closed with a performance by the Tanam Anĝii Collective, an Unangax̂ group.
Correction: Designer Cara Qaulluq McDonnell’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this article.
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