Monday, September 26, 2011

Navajo-Inspired Fashion

I am hardly a fashion expert.  If I could live out the rest of my life in jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops and, of course, cool scarves, I'd probably be a pretty happy camper.  That said, an article in my local newspaper yesterday caught my eye.  Apparently Navajo-inspired fashion is quite the trend this year among the big designers and stores.  Who knew?

Bright colors, geometric patterns, and feathers.  I do love them all.  While it's cool that Navajo-inspired fashion is trendy, it would be even cooler if people took the time to understand what the geometric symbols and patterns meant to the Navajo culture.  A Navajo interviewed for the article asks the reporter, "Do the New York fashion designers understand that Navajo is a living culture?"  In other words, do they understand they still exist?  It's also interesting that some of the younger Navajo artists mentioned in the article seem receptive to sharing their culture through art and fashion with the outside world.

Anyway, it's a very interesting article.  Click here to read more.  If you ever get the chance to visit Navajoland in Northern Arizona, do so.  Millions of acres of some of the most beautiful, wide-open space you'll ever see.  It's an incredible place.

19 comments:

Colette said...

I love any kind of Native American inspired clothing, jewelry, art, knick knacks. Something about the colors.

Joanne said...

I love the idea of fashion telling a story. It's such a creative artform, using the visual expression of fabrics and clothing.

Crystal Cheverie said...

I'm part native myself (not Navajo - Mikmaq) and I love anything and everything native, but I had to laugh as I read the article just because of how obvious it was that these designers and advertisers were completely clueless when it came to Navajo culture.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I used to live in Arizona, so I've seen it! Funny it took fashion designers so long to notice what those people have worn for centuries.

Talli Roland said...

Great point, Liz. Navajo is all the rage on this side of the ocean, too - at least in the mags. I've yet to see someone on the high street wearing a blanket, ha!

Steph Schmidt said...

Either the fashion industry is really that clueless (seriously, they treat it as a dead culture!) or wanted a quick gimmick of a news story for exposure. Too bad some of those designs couldn't have been made in the US if they were going to borrow from the local culture.

Cold As Heaven said...

I've been around in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico, but never made it to the 4th corner. When we lived in Colorado, I saw the crafts of the Ute, Arapahoe and Pueblo. Very nice >:)

Cold As Heaven

Sarah Pearson said...

The view in that photograph is simply stunning.

DEZMOND said...

hope no animals were harmed in making the Navajo fashion :(

Danette said...

Friend I once had is Navajo and lived in the Four Corners area for about 15 years. She told many interesting stories of her time there. I think you could probably devote a whole blog to the Navajo way and it would be like reading of a different country -so little do we know of that culture though they live among us.

LTM said...

personally, I think it's very cool that Navajo fashion is in right now. I bought some turquoise last time I was in Scottsdale, and I can't wait to whip it out! :D <3

Alleged Author said...

Love the jewelry!

Pat Hatt said...

Interesting idea for sure, looks like a wonderful landscape too.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I love Navajo-inspired clothing! And jewelry, especially.

And Liz! I just watched your vlog! How did I miss it? You were wonderful, and I'm so happy I'm not the only one brave (crazy? haha) enough to do them. GREAT JOB.

Deniz Bevan said...

Funny - I saw a similar article in a magazine! It's like the media get together and decide what to push on consumers... I'd rather wear something knowing the meaning behind it, too. And I'd love to visit Arizona some day!

Madeleine said...

I am fascinated by the American Indian Culture. I also love watching the design programmes like Project Catwalk.

Tara Tyler said...

it would be nice for american indians to get some recognition! feathers are everywhere!

ps, you're on fire! come over and see =)

Robert Guthrie said...

Gorgeous desert photo!

Trisha said...

I totally agree - sometimes I worry that our nations' indigenous cultures are exploited for money-making purposes. Not so 'cool' here in Australia as it is in the US, but I do see our Australian Aborigines treated in a similar way sometimes.