Running now through September 4, the Native Fashion Now exhibit at the Portland Art Museum is a gorgeous collection of contemporary Native American Fashion. The exhibit celebrates indigenous designers from across the U.S. and Canada, from the 1950s to today. Don’t miss it!
“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 from 71 designers, spanning the past half-century, 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.
Featuring contemporary garments, accessories and footwear incorporating a variety of genres and materials, these designers traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expression and cultural foundations. 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.
Native Fashion Now examines five themes—Pathbreakers, Revisitors, Activators, Provocateurs, and Motivators—reflecting how designers respond to ideas and trends in the world of Native fashion. Pathbreakers are groundbreaking designers, while Revisitors refresh, renew and expand on tradition. Activators embrace an everyday, personal style that engages with today’s trends and politics, while Provocateurs depart from conventional fashion to make works that are conceptually driven and experimental. Motivators are designers working within local companies to shift the business of fashion from Native-inspired to inspired Natives.”