Lisa Webster, Roxanne Harris and Heather Simpson (from left) are among those who submitted photos and videos of themselves to the Ay Lelum online fashion show. (Photos submitted)

Nanaimo clothing design company holds first online fashion show

Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design asked fans to submit ‘runway walk’ videos

This weekend some amateur models strutted their stuff as Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design held its first online fashion show.

“During this time we’re pushed to think of things differently. We have to adapt and rethink how we would do things,” designer Aunalee Boyd-Good said.

The local clothing design and production company made the move to the internet after COVID-19 halted what Boyd-Good said was to be a “really exciting” fall 2020 season.

After an anticipated launch at Toronto’s Indigenous Fashion Week, Ay Lelum was set to showcase its latest fashions at festivals in Juneau, Alaska and Tacoma, Wash. and they were invited to New Mexico for the Santa Fe Indian Market, which Boyd-Good calls “the largest and most prestigious juried native art show in the world.”

“So we had a really exceptional season planned,” she said. “And then as things systematically were postponed and cancelled we were waiting to see if there were any online platforms with these big festivals … but in the meantime we were also thinking about what we could do.”

Ultimately it was a fan of Ay Lelum who posted a photos of herself on Facebook posing in Ay Lelum clothing who suggested the idea of a fashion show challenge. Boyd-Good said the company put a call out for people to submit their own “runway videos” and submissions came in from as far as Newfoundland. Those clips were then edited into a nine-minute video set to music by members of the Good family produced by Rob the Viking of hip hop group Swollen Members.

“We had this idea but there’s no formula on how to do this – as with everything at this time – so we had to think of how to do it and then decided on a Facebook event,” Boyd-Good said. “There were some technical glitches but we figured out basically how to do it.”

The online fashion show video was unveiled on the Ay Lelum Facebook page Saturday night. The models show off their outfits in their homes and outdoors, including some snowy scenes sent in from fans in the Yukon.

Boyd-Good said she’s used to seeing Ay Lelum clothes in a fashion show context and it was interesting to see how people wear the clothes in their daily life.

“Normally with a fashion show it would be in-person with models and hair and makeup and a venue,” she said. “So I think the fact that people took their own creative perspective and made a video and then how it all came together was amazing and we’re really thrilled with it.”

The video can be viewed here.

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