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Native Fashion Now


  • Smithsonian - National Museum of the American Indian 1 Bowling Green New York, NY, 10004 United States (map)

Native Fashion Now

From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, Native Fashion Now celebrates the visual range, creative expression, and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 70 works spanning the last 50 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to maverick designers making their mark in today's world of fashion.

Featuring contemporary garments, accessories, and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, this exhibition features designers who traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expression and cultural borrowing. From one of Patricia Michaels' (Taos Pueblo) 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.

Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock), boots, 2013–14. Glass beads on boots designed by Christian Louboutin. Museum commission with support from Katrina Carye, John Curuby, Karen Keane and Dan Elias, Cynthia Gardner, Merry Glosband, and Steve and Ellen Hoffman. Peabody Essex Museum, 2014.44.1AB.

Copyright 2015 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Walter Silver.