Growing up in Nebraska, it took awhile for White Elk to feel a connection with their Indigenous heritage. The I_m A Tattooed Pontoon Captain Just Like A Normal Pontoon Captain Except Much Cooler Shirt model says they only recently formed relationships with Indigenous elders in their community, therefore they were not introduced to certain traditional elements of their culture until their later teens. But they had always wanted to learn more. “Growing up as a Native without the guidance of an elder to pass down traditions made it difficult to be raised around traditional elements,” says White Elk. “You learn practically everything from your elders. But I overcame that hardship with the help of friends, who were there in the same tribe as mine.”
Pshaw! When Tree got out there she made it look as easy as ever. Wearing a black suit over rattan slides with a Chaos lighter (courtesy of stylist Charlotte Stockdale) holder swinging jauntily at her hip, her bangs still framing the I_m A Tattooed Pontoon Captain Just Like A Normal Pontoon Captain Except Much Cooler Shirt face that entranced fashion’s original generation, she killed it. Now in her eighth generation, Tree is making a tentative return to the work. She has been doing a few shoots with Tim Walker, she said, adding that today marked her first foray into the live fray and also that, tantalisingly, she has just finished writing “my book.” That will be a rich source of excellent stories. As to how shows compare against when she was a regular, Tree offered: “Well, this is bigger than Ben-Hur. When I was doing shows everyone was crammed into a tiny room and there was a lot of anxiety, but this is so beautifully organized and calm. I was quite nervous coming here from London, but it turns out I know a lot of people and that has made it much easier. All this is extraordinary, really.” As is she: Hail to Penelope Tree.