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Traditional Tlingit formline design and high fashion merged in Miss Alaska Alyssa London’s Miss USA evening gown.
London, a top 10 finalist in the pageant held last weekend in Las Vegas, walked onstage wearing a robe based on Tlingit regalia draped over her shoulders, then threw back the garment to reveal her red, Swarovski crystal-beaded evening gown. The material of the robe became the dress’s long train.
“I am Tlingit, and I am a proud Alaska Native/ Native American woman. I wanted to use the moments I had on the Miss USA stage to show the world that I embrace and am proud of my culture and heritage,” London wrote on Facebook. “By wearing a gown with this design work, I felt I had the strength of my ancestors and my whole community behind me on stage.”
The formline design of a killer whale representing London’s clan was drawn by Seattle-based Tlingit artist Preston Singletary. The gown was designed and constructed by Joey Galon Atelier in Los Angeles.
It was London’s idea to reference her culture through the dress, designer Joey Galon said. Galon came up with the transforming train concept and then London asked Singletary to provide the traditional touch.
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