Portland Walking Tours

Native Fashion Now: A New Exhibit at the Portland Art Museum

June 20th, 2016

Native Fashion Now, a new magnificent and groundbreaking exhibit of contemporary Native American fashion at the Portland Art Museum, is sure to please, inspire, and amaze. Featuring almost 100 works from 71 designers representing a wide range of Native communities in both the US and Canada, the exhibit spans the 1950s to the present. You’ll see garments, accessories, and footwear illustrating everything from casual streetwear to glamorous haute couture. The exuberant, colorful and innovative pieces emphasize highly skilled hand craftsmanship and reflect themes of cultural identity and tradition from this population that is bursting forth with self expression on the fashion scene.

Some wonderful pieces you will see are the “Cityscape” dress that Project Runway star Patricia Michaels created during her tenure on the show to salute New York City, a pair of exquisite hand beaded Christian Louboutin boots by Jamie Okuma, and custom decorated Vans sneakers by visual artist Louie Gong. The iconic Totem Pole Dress from Isaac Mizrahi, which graced the cover of Time Magazine in 1991, is included as an example of the influence and cultural borrowing that Native American design has had on mainstream fashion. But the Native designers take center stage in the exhibit, and the colors, motifs, and materials that they use pay homage to the origins that they come from, and the creative directions in which they are heading.

The museum is gaining quite a reputation for putting on blockbuster fashion exhibits, with last year’s hugely popular Italian Fashion exhibit garnering major attendance and buzz. This exhibit promises to be just as exciting and is unique as the first large-scale travelling exhibit of its kind, and while it’s on through September 4, why wait? Come see what Native fashion looks like now. And like we said, prepare to be amazed!

WHAT: Native Fashion Now exhibit
WHEN: June 4 – September 4
WHERE: Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave
COST: Adult – $19.99, Senior/Student – $16.99, 17 & Under – Free

For more information, visit portlandartmuseum.org.

Article by Natasha Kelly

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