Art of Indigenous Fashion
On view through January 8, 2023
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The “Art of Indigenous Fashion” offers insights into the approaches and perspectives of Indigenous designers beyond the visual and material qualities of their work. Indigenous designers have been fashioning clothing and personal adornment for millennia and can be considered the original haute couture artists of the Americas. Historically, Indigenous garments are one-of-a-kind and custom made.
Blending art and fashion, some designs pose critical questions about culture and identity, reflecting the power of visual representation while reminding the viewer that Museum collection classifications do not bind native art, culture,and dress. Loosely organized by period and theme, specific designs broach historical and contemporary issues. Some designers use fashion as a platform for social activism, and some designs may challenge the viewer’s notion of“Indian style.”
[Photograph by Nicole Lawe (Karuk), ’16]