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Dressing Duane E. Howard for the OSCARS, February 28

14/03/2016

DOROTHY GRANT’S COMMENTS ON DRESSING DUANE E HOWARD FOR THE OSCARS FEBRUARY 28, 2016

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DOROTHY GRANT’S COMMENTS ON DRESSING DUANE E HOWARD FOR THE OSCARS FEBRUARY 28, 2016

This year has started out with one of my dreams coming true. It’s every designer’s dream to dress a star for the Oscar’s red carpet and this year I did just that for actor Duane E. Howard aka, Elk Dog of The Revenant, which took in four Academy Awards on February 28th.

The many emotions that fill me as I write this are overwhelming because there are so many elements of pride, dignity, collaboration, respect and humility at the same time. I realized that my Eagle/Raven tuxedo garment that I fitted to Duane just five days before the oscars, was like a conduit, a vehicle of pride and a change in perception. They certainly didn’t expect Duane Howard to show up dressed so elegantly when he took the floor like a beacon of light. This year’s awards were highly spotlighted for in their lack of diversity in Hollywood and Duane walked with pride for us all. You can see his light and confidence in these pictures.

As First Nations and Native Americans we have long been overlooked in Hollywood so I honour director Alejandro duane_01Duane_02González Iñárritu for his vision to see that the film “The Revenant” had all the strength of authenticity, by including a real native american cast.

This success for Duane did not come overnight, he has been a seasoned film actor and stunt man for the past 18 years.  He has had his hardships and overcame drugs and alcohol 28 years ago. He fell on hard times just two years ago, and was living out of hi car in the winter of 2014 when he got the call for the audition for The Revenant. He asked the creator to make the way for him, and his prayers were answered. I am grateful to him for his humility and his sense of himself. We appreciated each others’ skill, and he let me take the lead in dressing him. We had to be quick as we needed to get it done in five days!

I dressed him in my Eagle Raven shawl collar bespoke tuxedo. We accessorized it with a fine arrow tippdorothyed pleated front tuxedo shirt and a silver carved raven pendent by Haida artist Alvin Adkins. I also made the Eagle silk hankie as a final touch. At the third fitting in Vancouver, when I saw him all put together, I literally cried. I realized it was about us all… about the native youth who would see him, the ones having self image issues, the ones feeling like giving up, the many pat racist atrocities that have happened to our people. We both stood in a place of power and felt the ancestors looking at us with thumbs up! It was like a long journey we both came to at once at a crossroad, like reaching a mountain top. Both Duane and I raced for a combined 48 years to gather to the top of that mountain. And we are both still breathing in that breath of fresh air.

I thank you all for your kind words and support.

Welcome to Dorothy Grant

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