Nanaimo Clothing Design Company Holds First Online Fashion Show

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

“Meanwhile, we are pushed to think things differently. We have to adapt and rethink the way we do things,” said designer Aunalee Boyd-Good.

The local apparel design and production company went online after COVID-19 interrupted what Boyd-Good said was a “really exciting” Fall 2020 season.

After a scheduled launch at Toronto Indigenous Fashion Week, Ay Lelum was set to showcase her latest fashions at festivals in Juneau, Alaska and Tacoma, Washington. They were invited to New Mexico for the Santa Fe Indian Market, which Boyd-Good calls “the largest and most prestigious juried exhibition of Native art in the world.”

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

Ultimately, it was an Ay Lelum fan who posted a photo of herself on Facebook posing in Ay Lelum clothes that suggested the idea for a fashion show challenge. Boyd-Good said the company has been calling for people to submit their own “track videos” and submissions are coming in from as far away as Newfoundland. These 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 it – like with everything at the moment – so we had to think about how to do it and then we decided on a Facebook event “, Boyd-Good said. “There were a few technical issues, but we basically figured out how to do it.”

The video of the online fashion show was unveiled on Ay Lelum’s Facebook page on Saturday evening. Models show off their outfits in their homes and outdoors, including snowy scenes sent in by fans from the Yukon.

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

“Normally with a fashion show it would be in person with models, hair and makeup and a location,” 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 excited about that.”

The video can be viewed here.

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