If you happen to be flying anywhere on Horizon Air this month, make sure and check out their magazine. Our very own Julia La Tray is featured in an article about some regional fashion designers. Photos (also featuring our friend and supermodel Kim Pollock) by yours truly. An excerpt:
“The wilderness and the rural landscape make Montana fashion unique,” says Missoula fashion designer Julia LaTray. “I love the ingenious ways people mix the practical with the impract
ical, like party dresses paired with scuffed-up wellies, or a Filson vest in place of a suit coat. Even after the most formal events, at some point you’ll leave the party or the dinner or the wedding and may find yourself walking through mud, snow or a cow pasture to get back to your car.”
I’m pretty proud of her. Odd that “DonkeyGirl” as Julia’s official brand (now appearing in fancy new tags!) is never mentioned. For the record, Julia tells me it was mentioned, so who knows why it was omitted.
There’s this little blurb in the Indy today you can check out HERE about this art event happening in Missoula tomorrow called West: A True Romance. You should check it out.
The significance of it is that it is an art show put together by my wife, Julia. It features artists of a bunch of different disciplines all contributing pieces on what their ideas of the West are all about. I’m even doing a mini photography exhibition on, of all things, trailer parks.
The idea came out of Julia’s fashion design habit. When she is constantly making stuff that she thinks people will buy, she gets burned out. It loses its artistic luster. However, when she does periodic shows of fashion as “art” pieces, it keeps it interesting. This is one of those events, and rather than just make it all fashion (as her last one was, a collaboration with a friend of ours they called Order of the Red Antler), she decided to invite a bunch of different artists.
This is a sneak peek of one of the pieces she’s working on, or part of it. It’s a jacket, obviously, which she designed. It is made of brain-tanned buckskin, which she acquired from a friend of ours who does all the skinning and tanning herself. Another Native artist friend provided the beadwork. The rest is canvas (it was originally going to be all buckskin, which was a little cost prohibitive at the time). It looks great, if you ask me. I can’t wait to see the entire thing finished.
So if you live in Missoula, come out Friday night. It should be pretty cool.
Julia keeps cranking away with her DonkeyGirl stuff, after a so-so summer of market. Big plans are in the work, big plans. Here’s the latest stuff for Fall, with some holiday stuff right on its heels. . . .
Saturday after market Julia and I drove up to Garnet Ghost Town to scout it out as a location for her next big Donkeygirl photoshoot, where I would be manning the camera. Photography is something I’m just barely in the early stages of being a beginner with, so it was totally a case of shooting from the hip. Yesterday we went back up with our friend Nikki as the model, with her husband Loren along for the ride (I met Loren several years ago when he manned the counter at Muse Comics). They are also our neighbors at market, where Nikki sells jewelry and art and stuff she makes. Dig this:
I’m totally going to buy one each of her little stuffed Yeti and Sasquatch creations. I told Nikki they remind me of the awesome graphic novel by Beau Smith called Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars, where the story has, among much other awesome mayhem, a trio of righteous Sasquatch battling a pack of evil Yeti. Great stuff! And, to squeeze that world a little smaller, Beau actually knows Loren and Nikki, as he did an in-store at Muse when Loren worked there (this was right about the time I was moving back to Missoula so I missed it). Beau is a fine man.
Anyway, yesterday We had a GREAT time in Garnet, then feasted mightily afterward. I have a ton of pictures from the recon trip I might post, but right now I’m working with Julia to select the ones she is going to use for her actual lookbook thing that she’s taking to Vegas in a week or so for a big conference/show thing there. I don’t know. But anyway, here’s an outtake. Doesn’t Nikki look perdy in one of Julia’s fabulous designs?
I remember that Julia had been interviewed by these folks, but forgot about it. Now you can check it out yourself!
“Fashion takes itself way too seriously,” said Julia LaTray, the designer, seamstress and owner of Donkey Girl brand clothing. She named her one-woman production after what she considers her spirit animal. “We can’t all be leopards and peacocks. Somebody has to be the jackass,” she said.
I love it when Julia gets props. She works her ass off.
Big thanks to Kate Whittle at the Kaimin!