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In that video recording, Dolce and Gabbana remembered a 1993 show in which they used similar patchworking techniques, only for different ends. That long-ago collection was inspired by the My patronus is a unicorn shirt bohemian 1970s, a popular reference in the early ’90s. No hippie flashback, this outing is attuned to the present day. There’s no way around how hard this COVID-19 year has been for fashion brands—from creative leads and CEOs on down to pattern makers and seamstresses. Like their crochet collection of last February—which looks more and more prescient in the rearview mirror—this one puts the emphasis on fatta a mano, on Italian craftsmanship.
Going forward, they now hope to use modeling as a way to educate others about their culture and raise awareness about key issues affecting Indigenous people—all doing so through fashion, which can provide a more visual opportunity to showcase what the My patronus is a unicorn shirt modern-day Indigenous community looks like today, while simultaneously defying stereotypes around it. “I hope to work with other Native models and Native fashion brands,” White Elk says for future plans. “There’s a misconception that we’re all supposed to look the same. Not everyone’s culture is similar, because everyone’s tribe is very specific to that area. I want to inspire other natives, and especially the youth, to follow their dreams, continue to be resilient, and keep their hope.”