YouTube alterNative Series Highlights Native Fashion Designer Bethany Yellowtail
The alter-Native YouTube series by ITVS / Indie Lens Storycast is directed by Native director Billy Luther and features Native fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail.
A new YouTube series titled alter-NATIVE—that follows a year in the life of Native American fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail as she develops her latest collection inspired by her art, activism, and indigenous women— is now premiering on a YouTube channel called Indie Lens Storycast.
Developed by ITVS, Indie Lens Storycast is a free, subscription-based docuseries channel on YouTube described as a channel of “docuseries’ created by indie filmmakers that showcases stories that reflect the funny, strange, and dynamic world we live in.”
Dine’ director Billy Luther told Indian Country Today in an email about his filmmaking process and interactions with Bethany Yellowtail.
“I followed her for a year as she sets about making her dream come true of designing high-end fashion inspired by her culture and heritage,” wrote Luther.
“I followed her from Standing Rock to the Women’s March—through her activism, as she creates and launches RISE— her female Indigenous empowerment line. It is her most socially engaged work to date. It was fascinating to see how on the one hand her designs tell stories and speak to the history of her people while also resonating with the current political climate.”
“Significantly this is also a moment when Native American designs are being shamelessly ripped off by fashion chains and fast clothing lines. Bethany is also a victim of this creative thieving. But rather than be a victim, Bethany manages to take her work to the next level and demonstrating how her traditions and aesthetic are powerfully relevant today – now more than ever,” wrote Luther.
This ability to rise above prejudice and bigotry has always been a key inspiration and core of my work, and to have the opportunity to follow an artist like Bethany, was a true honor and inspiration”
The first episode of the six-part series featuring Native American fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail starts today, February 27th, 2018.
The episode is described as follows:
“Give it up for Bethany Yellowtail, Crow and Northern Cheyenne fashion designer in L.A.! Bethany pours her traditions and heartbreak into her B.Yellowtail company, including one of her most popular pieces, the Sun Road Woman dress. Along the way she faces cultural appropriation (including having designs plagiarized for a major fashion show) and, as this docuseries will show you in a fashion, finds her own voice as both designer and political activist. For Bethany, dressing is resistance.”
Indie Lens Storycast is a partnership with ITVS, Independent Lens and PBS Digital Studios.