Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Exploring the Arctic

Nunavut designer combines traditional Inuit know-how with southern styles

  • Print

Who would have known I'd discover more than polar bears, ice and snow a few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to visit the high Arctic?

While the trip was fascinating to say the least -- cultures steeped in tradition and landscapes that are truly breathtaking -- I also discovered something near and dear to this fashionista's heart.

On the last leg of the trip we made a stop in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, located on the western shores of Hudson Bay. While visiting the local craft store it was brought to my attention there was a local fashion designer whose traditional Inuit take on modern design was worth checking out -- and I am so glad I did.

Victoria Kakuktinniq's leather and fur garments exemplify the perfect marriage between traditional cultural design and modern fashion while still offering comfort from the cold.

"I grew up in Rankin and I'm Inuit-aboriginal so I wanted to create parkas that were form-fitting with a slim silhouette while incorporating part of my Inuit culture but are still warm in -50," explains the budding designer.

Sewing traditional garments has always been an integral part of life in the North -- a skill and craft passed on from generation to generation, and after taking a traditional sewing course taught by elders in Rankin Inlet and fashion design at MC College in Winnipeg, Kakuktinniq knew she wanted to take the craft to a new level.

"When I grew up my mom always made my parkas and they were so bulky, and as a fashion designer I wondered how do I make this better and more fashionable," says Kakuktinniq.

What she came up with is a collection of sleek coats trimmed with soft fox fur and my personal favourite -- traditional sealskin mitts adorned with intricate embellishments.

"Sealskin is very thick and a difficult material to work with so there isn't a lot you can do with it," says Kakuktinniq. "I have this embroidery machine though, and it made me wonder if it would be strong enough to use on sealskin, so I tried it and the embroidery added a luxurious and very unique element."

These mitts are absolutely gorgeous. Kakuktinniq takes the traditional mitt and adds this fabulous embroidery detailing on the front in an eye-popping hue and finishes them off with a fur cuff in the same colour. They're ideal to keep your hands toasty warm as the cool temps begin to set in for the long-haul.

For more information on Victoria's designs you can check out her Facebook page -- Victoria's Arctic Fashions -- or contact the designer for custom work via email at victoriasarcticfashions@hotmail.com.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following?

Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 30, 2013 D13

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets defencemen ready to face adversity

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google