Native Fashion Now

THIS TEXT FROM THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM WEBSITE FOR THEIR UPCOMING 2015/2016 EXHIBITION “NATIVE FASHION NOW”

From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, this exhibition celebrates the visual range, creative expression and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 100 works spanning the last 50 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to today’s maverick designers making their mark in today’s world of fashion. Also examined is how non-Native designers adopt and translate traditional Native American design motifs in their own work, including Isaac Mizrahi’s now iconic Totem Pole Dress.

Featuring contemporary garments, accessories and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, these designers traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expressions and cultural borrowing. From one of Patricia Michaels’ (Taos Pueblo) recent finale ensembles from the reality television series Project Runway to Jamie Okuma’s (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) dramatically beaded Christian Louboutin boots and innovative works made from mylar, vinyl and stainless steel,Native Fashion Now underscores Native concepts of dress and beauty, which are inextricably bound to identity and tradition in a rapidly changing world.