PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM (Salem, Massachusetts, USA)

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Peabody Essex Museum November 21, 2015 to March 6, 2016.

NATIONAL TOUR: 2016 – 2017:
Portland Art Museum (Portland, Oregon) June 4, 2016 to September 4, 2016;
Philbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, Oklahoma) October 02, 2016 to January 8, 2017;
Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (New York City)
February 17, 2017 to September 4, 2017.

Karen Kramer, Curator of Native American and Oceanic Art and Culture (Peabody Essex Museum)

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 spanning the last 50 years 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. Also examined is how non-Native designers adopt and translate traditional Native American design motifs in their own work, including Isaac Mizrahi’s now iconic Totem Pole Dress.

Featuring contemporary garments, accessories and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, these designers traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expressions and cultural borrowing. 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.

The Coby Foundation Ltd., Ellen and Steve Hoffman and Mimi and Jim Krebs generously supported Native Fashion Now. Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation and the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum provided additional support.

Native Fashion Now (more info)

Native Fashion Now touring venue National Museum of the American Indian, NYC (more info)

Native Fashion Now Exhibition Catalogue (more info)

Photos by: Earl Truelove


Boston Magazine: Peabody Essex Museum Celebrates Native American Design in ‘Native Fashion Now’

Boston Globe: Expect the unexpected at ‘Native Fashion Now’

The Wall Street Journal:  ‘Native Fashion Now’ Review: Well Beyond Feathers and Fringe

Mic:  This Museum Just Launched a Modern Native American Fashion Exhibit, and It’s Stunning

The Daily News:  Native American fashions speak volumes in new Peabody Essex Museum exhibit

90.9 WBUR: More Than Headdresses: Peabody Essex Celebrates Contemporary Native American Fashion


PBS: NYC-ARTS Choice: “Native Fashion Now”

Bustle: Peabody Essex Museum Introducing ‘Native Fashion Now’ Exhibit About The History Of Modern Native American Fashion

WWD: ‘Native Fashion Now’ Exhibit Lands at National Museum of the American Indian New York

Vice: Meet the Native American Designers Innovating in the Fashion World

Unravel – A Fashion Podcast:  Native Fashion Now: Favorites

Hyperallergic: 50 Years of Indigenous Fashion at the National Museum of the American Indian

New York Times:  American Originals in Fashion on Display

Salon:  From New York, to Paris, to D.C.: Native American fashion gains ground, in spite of stolen designs

Costume Society America:  Spotlight: 2016 Richard Martin Exhibition Award

Santa Fe New Mexican: Ready to wear: Native Fashion Now

Art Daily:  Exhibition at Peabody Essex Museum explores contemporary Native American fashion