During the Miss USA 2017 competition, the stunning Miss Alaska, Alyssa London, said that while participating in the evening gown portion of the pageant, she would pay homage to her Native American/Tlingit heritage. It was such an impactful way for London to incorporate her culture into the competition and to demonstrate who she truly is to viewers, fans, and her peers in the pageant. It was much more than just a pretty dress.
During the evening gown segment, London waltzed across the stage in a scarlet gown with a matching killerwhale robe. According to the caption of a post on London's official Instagram, the gown "emulates the traditional Tlingit formal dance robe as shown. I'm proud to bring my culture into my pageant performance."
On her official Facebook, London further explained her choice of garb, posting: "I am Tlingit, and I am a proud Alaska Native/Native American woman. I wanted to use the moments I had on the Miss USA stage to show the world that I embrace and am proud of my culture and heritage. My hope with that is to inspire others to embrace their unique heritage and identity and also be open to learning about the beauty and richness of other cultures as well."
Amen to that! London furthered, "The robe that I came out in was designed to emulate a Tlingit robe, which is the traditional regalia (ceremonial clothing) of my tribe. I am proud to have shown my clan's killerwhale crest on the front of my robe. They were designed by renowned Tlingit artist Preston Singletary."
London also explained, "By wearing a gown with this design work, I felt I had the strength of my ancestors and my whole community behind me on stage. Also, in doing so, I am blending tradition with modernity, showcasing the vitality of our indigenous cultures today. Thank you Joey Galon, Atelier for honoring my culture and vision for my gown. I am the cultural ambassador for my tribe appointed by Sealaska Heritage and this is what I envisioned to show the beauty and vitality of our art and culture. I am very proud of making this statement through this gown, it will always be a treasured moment and memory."
If you scroll throw London's Instagram, you will see that she often posts about her heritage and how proud she is of it.
OK, G is watching Miss USA pageant. Just saw ridiculously beautiful Miss Alaska from an indigenous tribe, sporting a gorge embroidered cape.— Helen Stratigos (@HelenStratigos1) May 15, 2017
Twitter was also here for London's display of pride for who she is and where she comes from.
Miss Alaska's gown had Tlingit patterns and a whale's tail. YOU GUYS! #MissUSA— Shayne Nuesca (@shaynenuesca) May 15, 2017
It was an awesome display.
While London didn't advance to the Top 5, she, her robe, and her gown were unforgettable.