“The S Word”
Lesley Hampton Reclaims, Reflects and Heals with Latest Collection
“The S Word” brings Lesley Hampton back to the fashion world while she reclaims, reflects and heals with the latest collection.
The Fall/Winter 2020 collection created during quarantine– following a conscious decision to take time to focus on her mental health and INDIGENOUS FASHION WEEK TORONTO–encompasses the personal growth she has experienced and the lessons she has learned about herself throughout the last year.
The Fall/Winter 2020 collection was inspired by the reclamation of the words used to other Indigenous people, the materials that hold an unspoken history, the elements that lead to reflection and the sharing of positive phrases for healing. Some materials used in the collection are meant to inspire reflection of the self and society and include materials such as green textiles representing the connection to the land and wools used during the confederation, which is now being used by Hampton to reclaim the textiles positively.
Lesley Hampton is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer and creative director.
Her roots are Anishinaabe Mohawk Scottish Canadian, a member of Temagami First Nation, located in northern Ontario and has ties to Akwesausne, located in Ontario, Quebec and the United States. Hampton grew up internationally. She uses fashion and art to reclaim her identity and culture while fighting for mental health awareness, body positivity and authentic representation in fashion, film and media.
“Fashion, on this land that is now called North America, existed long before contact. From the fur trade to present-day appropriation, Euro-centric colonial fashion has always taken ideas from Indigenous cultures. Present-day fashion is often always held to the misunderstanding that Euro-centric fashion and beauty should be the utmost calibre.”
“From growing up hearing the Pocahontas song, “Savages,” to the many new stories of Indigenous people that alienate us, these colonial narratives are always defined by stereotypes and are often never authentic portrayals.
This hit home, after receiving a series of bigoted emails that attacked my identity, using derogatory phrases like, “You’re not native anymore,” that choosing fashion design as a career choice is practicing “White Trade,” and that I “Killed the natives.” Insight into the perception of how ignorant and uneducated people and brands can be, stemmed anger at questioning my place in society that reinforces false, derogatory representation of Indigenous people.
After sharing these emails with a close mentor, her advice was to share this experience as wide as possible. Sharing these words and emotions will lead to healing, not only for me but to show the wrongful depiction in media and how hurtful it can be. Notions of misrepresentation with derogatory insinuations have been a staple in present-day media and film, and this collection is my contribution to push for more authentication and true representation of how strong and powerful Indigenous people are.” Lesley Hampton
On Tuesday, September 29th, LESLEY HAMPTON will take over the King West venue, LAVELLE, to host a private media preview of its much-anticipated Fall/Winter 2020 Collection, “The S Word.”
The Toronto Arts Council supported the LESLEY HAMPTON Fall/Winter 2020 Collection with funding from the City of Toronto. “The S Word” collection will be presented at INDIGENOUS FASHION WEEK TORONTO 2020 ONLINE FEST, November 26 – 29, 2020.
Courtesy Conceptual Event Society