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Killerwhale Gown - Miss Alaska USA

This transformational Swarovski crystal-beaded evening gown was worn by Alyssa London, Miss Alaska USA, during the 2017 competition. The formline design of a killer whale representing London's clan was done by Preston Singletary, and was designed and constructed by Joey Galon Atelier in Los Angeles. This piece currently resides in the collection of Sealaska Heritage.

During an interview with Anchorage Daily News Preston Singletary describes how incorporating London's heritage into her gown "was challenging, but exciting at the same time. I really wanted it to be a big success for her. I do formline design work all the time. It reoccurs throughout all the designs we do in woodcarving, textiles."

For a different project, Preston Singletary created Northwest formline designs for a book by London titled, "Journey of the Freckled Indian". This children's book shares the story of a young girl growing up in two worlds; suburban western culture, and her Native American culture.

"Preston's work is strikingly beautiful. I have tremendous respect for him and his work. I feel connected to him and felt drawn to work with him on these projects for several reasons. One of them is when I have a platform like Miss USA to showcase Indigenous beauty, cultural vitality, and excellence - I trust Preston and his work to convey that. Another reason, he is mixed race and a Seattle- Tlingit, just like me. So I feel he understands my background and can connect over it.

I remember how nervous I was to initially reach out to Preston about working with him because I hold him and his work to such a high regard. As I have gotten to know him, I still hold him up highly in my mind, but also appreciate his kindness, warmth and generosity with his time, skills and support that he's shown me and my endeavors over the years. Thank you, Preston sooo much for the positive impact you have helped me have on showcasing the beauty and vitality of Indigenous culture through the Killerwhale gown and Journey of the Freckled Indian book." - Alyssa London

Photo: Preston Singletary Studio

Cover of the book "Journey of the Freckled Indian" by Alyssa London, with formline designs by Preston Singletary.