Clothing that is beautiful, wearable and versitle are the ultimate fashion accessory. This is especially true when the garments tells a story that is original and authentic. Designer B.Yellowtail has an amazing gift where she is able to transform traditional, indigenous designs into modern pieces that embrace the contemporary woman.
About The Elk Tooth Set
Elk teeth are a traditional element worn on the dresses of women from the Crow Nation – and other North American Indigenous Tribes. Women traditionally wore dresses made of wool, covered with up to 500 elk canine teeth, each hand sewn. Since an individual elk will only produce two canine teeth, teeth would be passed down from generations – symbolizing the handwork and dedication of hunting and community. These elk teeth dresses are a representation of wealth and beauty, and would traditionally be worn during ceremony, gathering and weddings.
B.Yellowtail has designed this two piece to honor the attire that have been worn by her ancestors for generations – bridging the worlds between the traditional and the contemporary. The two piece set allows for functionality and personal styling, giving each woman who wears the set the opportunity to express her own identity.
Styling the Set
Of course this beautiful two-piece set it made to be worn together. The tunic and skirt combo come together to create an elegant look, which itself is a statement. However, one of the funnest part about two-piece sets is being able to style each piece individually.
I decided to pair the silk skirt with a casual top to dress down the look. However, given the significance, meaning and intention behind the designs, I couldn’t just throw it with any old t-shirt. The PROTECTOR shirt I’m wearing also has significance. The shirt was produced by B.Yellowtail to raise funds for Water Protectors at the #NODAPL protests that took place in North Dakota last year. To me, not only does this look represent myself as a protector of our land, water and environment, but also as a protector of indigenous design and culture.
If you’re like me, you’re always on the hunt for cute, functional tops you can wear with jeans. Let me tell you, this tunic is it. The off the shoulder style makes it very much on-trend, and the rich color pops against your favorite denim wash. Since I’m shorter, I prefer to wear it tucked in to high-wasted jeans – to elongate my legs and accent my figure. However, you can also wear this top out over your favorite skinnies. Either way you style it, you’ll have people stop to ask you about the design and meaning behind it.
I love the way I feel in this set – feminine, luxurious, and graced with strength. The classic design and versatility ensures that it will be a part of my wardrobe forever. I can’t wait for all the many more ways I will wear this set over the years.
Elk Tooth Set: B.Yellowtail
Photography: Vanessa Acosta
Location: Hollenbeck Park, Boyle Heights