Native Steampunk: Portland is Stellar

Posted on October 7, 2010, 11:58 am, by Elizabeth LaPensée, under INSPIRATION.

As I re-evaluate my mama-self for fashion aesthetics in lieu of my Aboriginal steampunk web comic The West Was Lost being exhibited in the New Media category at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, I’ve realized that I’ve lost a lot of who I was/am. Yes, indeed, while living in Vancouver, British Columbia, I was sucked into the world of the yoga bum mom. Horrifying but true. Lululemon, a few basic shirts, and off I went into the world, ready for stains, rough-housing, running, sitting on rain covered swings, you name it.

TheWestWasLost3I was hit that a major piece of myself was missing when Shauna Baker talked me into a photoshoot before I moved to Alberta for production on a documentary. She got me out of my shell enough to get some amazing shots, but it left me wondering: Why am I in such a shell?

The shell became a stone fortress during the summer in Alberta. Fashion? Forget it. No time for it. Everything stayed packed. Why bother? It’s only now that we are nearing our co-location between Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Alberta and Portland, Oregon, I’m re-emerging–pulling out my old pieces, making new pieces, and finding new pieces in glorious Portland.

On a place-hunting trip, I came upon REDUX on Burnside and left with a quirky scarf, an enchanting resin necklace with a little story of gears inside, and a dark brown recycled leather purse. My first purse ever. I’ve never gotten so much at once. Femininity is returning to me, the more my aesthetic is out and about. Unfortunately for me, Hattie’s Vintage Clothing was closed, but I plan to go back. The windows were filled with museum-like displays. I also have yet to visit Keen Garage. The list goes on.

This weekend, I’m planning on attending the Time Travelers’ Marketplace and Ball, a benefit to support the Hillsboro Historical Society, in Hillsboro, Oregon. They reference the preservation of Native history as part of the purpose of forming the non-profit.

Portland, by far, is more than I could have dreamed.

I am reinvigorated to return to where I belong. And, indeed, I do belong. It’s a comforting feeling. It’s time to dig out my hide and my beads, and create.

Ekosi, as Myron would say,

- Beth Aileen Lameman

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