My name is Adeline Bird, I am a media producer, director and lover of fashion, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Fashion to me is a combination of spirituality and art. I feel it’s an outflow of oneself. I love that I can use it as an approach to imply my identity, as an Afro-Indigenous woman, to where I come from, and what I have confidence in.
For the longest time I viewed fashion from a Western lens, I believe this had to do with the little or no representation of BIPOC in the industry. I grew up thinking the term ‘Fashion” was for the more skinny upper class people of our society. I also find that the term can be viewed from a negative point, and is often used as a synonym for fads and trends, which as we all know are harmful to our environment. The more I become aware of my own personal responsibility as a consumer, the more important it is for me to look into the values of the companies and designers I am purchasing from.
I love shopping, but there is nothing more loving than receiving a gift that is meaningful from a relative or friend. I feel like there is a certain energy that goes into things that are gifted to people. My gifted pieces I tend to keep for many years.
The ring in my photos is one of those pieces. Years ago, my aunt Cheryl gave me a gold ring that was worn by my Kookom (grandmother), I think I was around 17, then when I was about 28 years old I was given My mishoomis (Grandfather) horseshoe ring from my aunt Connie. My aunt Connie, who knows I love jewellery, is a beader and a pretty damn good one. She gifted me the beautiful beaded bling in the form of earrings to me a few years ago, and the dress was given to me by my sister Thomasena.
I think it’s critical to understand that when it comes to the conversation around what it means to decolonize fashion, we keep in mind that Western culture and it’s way of life is not superior when it comes to how we express ourselves through the art of fashion.
Adeline Bird- Host and Founder of the Podcast Soul Unexpected. Author of the book Be Unapologetically You: A Self-Love Guide For Women of Color.
Associate Producer for CBC Radio Manitoba