The Reclaiming of Native American Fashion
We are smack dab in the middle of a Native fashion renaissance," proclaims Karen Kramer, the Peabody Essex Museum's curator of Native American art and culture. "Native fashion increasingly permeates everyday life — across the internet, in stores, skate parks, runways, pretty much everywhere you go. Native Americans have always used clothing and personal adornment as key means for artistic expression and cultural survival. Today's Native designers are expanding on this creation, breaking creative boundaries left and right."
Kramer is delivering remarks at the press preview for "Native Fashion Now," the country's first major exhibit to showcase contemporary Native American fashion, on a chilly fall evening in Salem, Massachusetts. "Native Fashion Now" is in Salem until early March, after which it will travel to the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. The exhibit features nearly 100 pieces of clothing and accessories made by 75 different Native American designers from the US and Canada.