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The 90-some looks that walked the Metropol runway were less of a lesson in Sicily’s patchwork past than they were a primer in Dolce & Gabbana’s own history, of course. The hourglass dresses and sharply-cut jackets pieced together from squares of brocade, chiffon, georgette, and cotton, among other materials, have long numbered among the duo’s can’t-fail silhouettes. No one looking at this collection would mistake the shirred minidress in a mashup of polka dots and florals or the bustiers and bra tops in checkerboard black-and-white for anybody other than D&G. Their command of their signatures is key to their success.
Going forward, they now hope to use modeling as a way to educate others about their culture and raise awareness about key issues affecting Indigenous people—all doing so through fashion, which can provide a more visual opportunity to showcase what the modern-day Indigenous community looks like today, while simultaneously defying stereotypes around it. “I hope to work with other Native models and Native fashion brands,” White Elk says for future plans. “There’s a misconception that we’re all supposed to look the same. Not everyone’s culture is similar, because everyone’s tribe is very specific to that area. I want to inspire other natives, and especially the youth, to follow their dreams, continue to be resilient, and keep their hope.”