Vintage First Nations Suede Leather Dress Montagnais Quebec


Brand Poppy's Vintage Clothing

This is a vintage black suede leather dress made by members of the Montagnais band of the Innu nation probably during the 1990s.  The label reads “Collection Montagnais Exclusive Mashk Mashteuiatsh Canada” - Mashk was a company located in Mashteuiatsh, which is an Indian reservation located in the Lac St Jean region of Quebec.  The dress has a rounded / bateau neckline and cap sleeves with long fringe and also has an asymmetrical bottom that is also fringed.  The fringe at the bottom is an extension of the suede leather while the fringe at the sleeve is sewn on.  Some strands of the fringe have small brass balls tied onto it.  In addition, there is a decorative fringe hanging from the left shoulder that has more brass balls on its strands than on the other fringe.  The dress is constructed from two pieces of suede leather so there are seams only across the top and at either side.  There is no closure, so the dress simply goes over the head and is rather loose fitting.  It is unlined.

Sizing: The label indicates size S, and although this should fit a size small, please rely on the following measurements for fit, taking the thickness of the suede leather and loose fitting style of the garment into consideration:

Shoulders:  25 1/2” across including the cap sleeve 

Bust: 52” around, taken under the arm openings

Waist: 41” around

Hips:  42” around

Overall length: about 52“ including the fringe, measured flat

Condition: This suede leather dress is in excellent condition with no pronounced wear, tear, soiling, odour or staining.  

This is a modern take on traditional Innu dress - beautiful quality suede leather as one would expect from a First Nations artisan!