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A colorful evening in Santa Fe

By Bazhnibah

SANTA FE

Special to the Times | Bazhnibah
The opening act was a dancer in red for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ Indian Market Gala and Auction in Santa Fe on Saturday evening.

I was impressed with the 2021 Santa Fe Indian Market’s SWAIA Fashion Shows this past weekend.

Friday evening’s Indian Market Gala and Auction kicked off the town’s fashion shows throughout the plaza and surrounding area.

People dressed to the nines with flowing dresses, colorful ribbons, skirts and tops, some fancy beaded hats and jewelry.

Silver, turquoise, beadwork, quillwork, metals of all kinds and stones flowed around the soiree.

There were colorful beaded moccasins and high heels for women and shiny dress shoes and boots for men.

It was a night for the young, fashionable, and the well-to-do. The gala is always exciting!

The fashion show started shortly after the cocktails and chats. People checked each other out, “Who are you wearing?”

We wore our Target get-ups, and certainly didn’t fit the evening scene but we were here for the photography gig with our photography equipment.

Special to the Times | Bazhnibah
An Indigenous model wears a red and black coat cape with a black and white swirled applique by fashion designer Yolanda Skelton of British Columbia at the SWAIA Indian Market Gala in Santa Fe on Saturday.

The first fashion designer at the gala evening on Friday was Loren Aragon, Acoma, of the ACONAV design team based in Phoenix.

His 11 looks consisted mainly of his signature blacks and reds, and a new line which featured engine red and orange satin dresses. A modern dancer opened up his show and the gala evening.

Next designer on deck was Yolanda Skelton of the Gitxsan Nation of British Columbia, Canada.

Yolanda showed her Pacific Northwest designs ever so popular with all, in reds, black, blue and gold designs. She has capes, men’s coats, short and long dresses. She is well-known with her applique work.

The third and last designer up was Delina White of I Am Anishinaabe fashion label. She is from the Leech Band of Ojibway, northern Minnesota.

Her style is a floral mix of colors and woodland designs, both contemporary and traditional.

Special to the Times | Bazhnibah
Christy Bird, of the Kewa Nation, models an orange ACONAV short dress at the SWAIA Indian Market Gala and Auction fashion show in Santa Fe on Saturday.

Her dresses and ribbons skirts are very lively and youthful. Delina is also a beadwork designer and Indigenous materials jewelry maker.

The gala event also had donated art for fundraising including Diné photographer Eugene Tapahe, who donated his large image, “Strength in Unity, Remember Our Sisters.”

Special to the Times | Bazhnibah
Diné model April Rose Tucker models an ACONAV flaming red and yellow dress with an orange bow on one side at Saturday’s Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ gala fashion show in Santa Fe.

Five other artists donated to the organization. The money raised will go to the Southwest Association for Indian Arts’ artist programs.

What a fun evening this was to photograph the beautiful people, fashions, and art.

Bazhnibah is Ruth Kawano, a retired registered nurse, a former U.S. Public Health Service captain, a former U.S. Air Force captain, and a former flight nurse. She is a writer-photographer.


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