April 10, 2014

Fest Fashion Sans Headdress: How to do Coachella/Native-Inspired Fashion Right

We are kicking off the music festival season, and I want to do all I can to ensure that we do not continue to witness the tacky headdress outbreak that we've experienced in the past several years (just say no to fashion mistakes like Alessandra Ambrosio, left). So, to help out, we've got some non-offensive, super hot, festival-chic Native American fashion options for you music fest lovers out there. These items are made by Native artists and designers, and they are meant to be appreciated by people of all backgrounds, and, the items start at only $22.

April 2, 2014

Beyond Buckskin RES14 Recap

I had just arrived in Las Vegas for the 2014 Reservation Economic Summit. I was coming in from my homelands in North Dakota- a place now known for the oil boom. I was not there to promote the economic development of our natural resources, instead, I was there to promote the financial backing and support of our Indigenous creatives. When the oil has been sucked dry from Mother Earth, unfortunately / fortunately we will still be here (whether or not we will be with clean water is still up in the air), and after our leaders are done relishing the measly scraps thrown to us by big oil companies, our artists will still be creating.

March 22, 2014

Artist Profile | Chenoa Williams

I love beadwork. The tiny sparkling beads remind me of both the past and the future - when I see beadwork, I think about the stunning buckskin dresses of the past and the pixels of futuristic digital art. I think of beadwork artists as honoring traditions while creating a bridge for future artists.

Within the field of beadwork, there are many techniques, from peyote stitch, to whip stitch, to 'lazy' stitch and more. Artists use these varying styles to execute their vision.

March 11, 2014

P4xBBB Style Mixer Recap and Musings

I believe that when you combine fashion designers, stylish folks, music, and a space to mingle, magic can happen. And by magic, I mean creativity gets ignited, inspiration is spread, support is affirmed. These elements are critical to maintaining a Native American fashion movement. I'm not the only one who believes this. Beyond Buckskin recently teamed up with Navajo fashion bloggers (and academics, scholars, and professionals) Presence 4.0 to host our second style event in Phoenix during the annual Heard Indian Market.

We were honored to have Jared Yazzie of OXDX Clothing, Kevin Dakota Duncan of Painted Warrior Designs, Sun Rose Iron Shell of Warrior Status, and Nanibaa Beck of Notabove Jewelry in attendance to share their designs with us.

March 10, 2014

Assignment Time!: Pucci Goes Savage

In my critiques of non-Native fashion designers appropriating Native cultures and aesthetics in their collections, I often also look to the fashion writers to see how they understand, interpret, and talk about the garments. The results are saddening. Often, while the garments may be beautiful, and non-stereotypically 'Native', the fashion writers (the brand PR folks, the magazine editors, the fashion bloggers, etc) talk about the 'Native inspiration' in savage terms.

Case in point, the recent collection by Emilio Pucci. If you look at the garments alone, they are quite beautiful (or whatever), as is customary for Italian couture. However, in their Press Release for the collection, which was titled "Call of the Wild," savagery was not just alluded to, but shoved down your throat.