A garment, piece of art or a work of literature can be beautiful from afar, but the details that bring it all together are what really makes the difference between a show stopper and a bargain bin piece of clip art.
The canvas weaved onto a board or a sewing pattern as just one piece of the picture can define it, sometimes overshadowing the initial look.
Tiara Crow Flag began her journey into fashion at young age, dressing herself before meeting new people and now never leaving the house without her signature pair of heels and trusty statement pieces. She joined the Fashion Design and Sustainable Production program, as a creative outlet and foray into bigger, brighter things.
Her style is shown through her clothes. The striking fabric she buys – everything down to the ridiculous chic and soft carpet on her dorm room floor – shows off her edgy and eclectic style as she puts it.
Tiara is an indigenous student in the Fashion Design and Sustainable Production program at the college.
She represents a majority in her class because of her gender, but even though she has that statistic on her side Crow Flag is part of the eight per cent of the Native population in pursuit of or holding a degree or diploma.
The sad reality presenting itself in these statistics unfortunately the norm and Canada’s numbers do vary from Alberta’s. The province has one of the highest instances of discrimination and prejudice in the country, according to the NDP government that has spoken openly on the issue, citing that “There have been a number of high-profile incidents in Alberta in recent months, including anti-Muslim posters and posters questioning the Holocaust at the University of Calgary, racist graffiti in city LRT stations, a threatening message at a Red Deer mosque and alleged threats against Muslim women in Edmonton.”
Only four per cent of First Nations people on reserves, and eight per cent in total, have a university degree, compared to 23 per cent of the Canadian population.
According to the Chief Assembly on Education, Aboriginal people aged 15 and over have a much lower educational attainment than their non-Aboriginal counterparts, with 43.7 per cent not holding any certificate, diploma or degree in 2006, compared to 23.1 percent for the Canadian population.
Crow Flag is taking the steps necessary to maintain her goals and in the long run, says that she’d like to hopefully own her own shop or business in relation to her fashion.
“It’s not just fashion design,” says Crow Flag. “There’s so many jobs in the fashion industry that you can choose from, so many job opportunities (to choose from) and I can build my way up.”
She plans to do this by taking on internships and extra responsibilities by modeling for her fellow classmates in fashion shows, but staying true to herself and her style when it all comes down to it.
“I won’t wear something I don’t agree with, or don’t like,” she states.
Crow Flag is just one of over 4.9 per cent of the Canadian population and a severely underrepresented portion of her chosen field.
When asked about her role models and fashion icons, Crow Flag says that she can’t really think of any.
With little to no role models like her representing her in her field of choice, Crow Flag finds her inspiration online and in her own closet. Citing her staples as her trusty high heels and her mermaid makeup brushes, but most importantly her camo jacket, which she says is an “easy and accessible staple for anybody.”
There’s so many jobs in the fashion industry that you can choose from, so many job opportunities (to choose from) and I can build my way up.
-Tiara Crow Flag
Tiara’s most recent project and one of her favourites, is her men’s vest created for her instructional assistant, made from one of her favourite and most challenging supplies to work with, the vintage pattern of houndstooth.
“When my sister and I went through my closet she said to me ‘you have a lot of 60s and 70s prints.’ I asked her if she was calling me an old lady,” says Crow Flag. “But I know she wasn’t because I do have a lot, I love vintage style.”
Crow Flag strives for excellence in her program at all angles, saying that the fast-paced environment she was put in to has given her a “strong drive and excellent time management skills,” which she uses to the best of her advantage.