• Quannah Chasinghorse attends The 2022 Met Gala. (Getty Images North America)Source: Getty Images North America
Quannah Chasinghorse has made entertainment headlines two years in a row for her incredible outfits, inspired entirely by her culture.
By
Rachael Knowles

Source:
NITV
3 May 2022 - 10:57 AM  UPDATED 11 May 2022 - 6:02 PM

Gracing the Met Gala red carpet for the second time, Indigenous model and activist Quannah Chasinghorse has yet again stolen the show.

The 20-year-old Hän Gwich’in and Native American Oglala Lakota woman has cultural ties to Canada, Alaska and South Dakota.

The theme of the 2022 Met Gala was ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’, aimed to pay homage to the nation’s ever-evolving style.

Turning heads, Chasinghorse paid homage to her ancestors.

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Culture on the carpet

In a strapless, aquamarine chiffon dress with silver moulding, Chasinghorse wore two features in her hair and custom Indigenous jewellery.

Styled by New York luxury brand Prabal Gurrung, Chasinghorse said her team wanted to ensure her culture was integral to her outfit.

“Prabal Gurrung wanted to make sure I was representing my culture at the Met Gala tonight,” she said on the red carpet.

The jewellery, which included multiple neckpieces, earrings and arm cuffs, referenced elements of the earth and was created by Antelope Women Designs’ Lenise Omeaso in collaboration with Chasinghorse.

Omeaso is an Amskapi Pikuni woman, from the Blackfeet reservation in Montana and is a trained glass bead artist.

"As each day passed I could see my designs come to life, along with the reality that this was all real," said Omeaso on Instagram.

"When creating this piece I was inspired by our native communities. Each bead tipi upon her necklace represents her communities love and support. 

"May she inspire and break countless more boundaries in the fashion world."

With a touch of aquamarine eyeshadow to mirror her dress, Chasinghorse went for a subtle and natural makeup highlighting her traditional tattoos.

The hand-poked tattoos, Yidįįłtoo, are given to a person to symbolise overcoming generational and personal traumas.

The price of breaking barriers

Chasinghorse made her Met Gala debut in September 2021, wearing a Dundas x Revolve custom gold cut-out dress and traditional Navajo jewellery gifted to her Aunty and former Miss Navajo Nation by Jocelyn Billy-Upshaw.

Chasinghorse said her outfit was in protest of the theme, In America.

“I did not celebrate American independence (nor will I ever), I celebrated my Indigenous bloodlines coursing through my veins . . . and sacred to my heart,” she said at the time.

“Over and over again my people fought genocide and we are still here!”

Chasinghorse’s debut was one of the first displays of traditional Indigenous design on the Met Gala carpet.

“It truly is an empowering feeling knowing that my presence brings much-needed visibility to Indigenous beauty, fashion, art, and our communities, along with many of the things we face as a collective,” she said.

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However, holding her own on the carpet and representing her culture was isolating for the then 19-year-old.

“It was such a weird space to be in. I remember standing there and looking at everyone and feeling so along. Like, really, really lonely,” she told Insider in November.

“I just don’t think I belong in spaces like that because I’m not an elitist.

“My way of walking in this world, in the industry, is so different compared to everyone else because I feel like I’m constantly having to break barriers.”

Chasinghorse has an extensive career in fashion, having covered Vogue Mexico, Porter Magazine, Elle, and V Magazine and walked runways for Savage x Fenty, Gucci and Prabal Gurrung. But at heart, she is an activist.

She played a major role in the 2020 Native vote campaign and advocated for the protection of the Artic Refuge, a sacred place for Gwich’in People, from oil drilling.

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