Native Nations Fashion the Night: Indigenous Designers Create High-End Clothing

In the vibrant tapestry of fashion, Native American designers are weaving their stories and traditions into exquisite garments that are turning heads on runways and in exclusive boutiques. Native Nations Fashion: NATIVE FASHION NOW, an exhibition currently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., showcases the remarkable creativity and artistry of these talented individuals..

From the intricate beadwork of the Great Plains to the vibrant textiles of the Southwest, Native American fashion has a rich and diverse history. In recent years, a new generation of designers has emerged, blending traditional techniques with contemporary aesthetics to create stunning pieces that are both stylish and meaningful..

One of the most prominent figures in this movement is Navajo designer Orlando Dugi. His work has been featured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and he has dressed celebrities such as Rihanna and Beyoncé. Dugi’s designs are known for their bold colors and geometric patterns, which are inspired by his Navajo heritage..

Another leading Native American designer is Cheyenne and Arapaho artist Bethany Yellowtail. Yellowtail’s work is often inspired by the traditional clothing of her ancestors, but she also incorporates modern elements such as zippers and buttons. Her designs have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Lupita Nyong’o..

The exhibition at the Smithsonian features the work of more than 70 Native American designers, including established names like Dugi and Yellowtail, as well as emerging talents. The garments on display range from haute couture gowns to casual wear, and they represent a wide variety of tribes and cultures..

The exhibition also explores the history of Native American fashion, from its roots in traditional dress to its emergence as a contemporary art form. Visitors will learn about the techniques and materials used by Native American designers, and they will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of their work..

Native Nations Fashion: NATIVE FASHION NOW is a groundbreaking exhibition that celebrates the creativity and artistry of Native American designers. The exhibition is a must-see for anyone interested in fashion, Native American culture, or the intersection of art and identity..

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