New York Fashion Week is in full swing, and already several Native-inspired collections have popped up. However, one designer, Siki Im, is stepping it up with his latest line in which he collaborated with an award-winning Native artist.
Much of the clothing featured in Siki Im's fourth collection, Silent Thunderbird Prayer, were inspired by Native American cultures, and the designer collaborated with acclaimed Navajo weaver Tahnibaa Naataanii to create the hand woven blankets worn in the show. Furthermore, the architectural details and creative silhouettes were inspired by the work of Pueblo pottery artist Maria Martinez.
Siki Im told Dazed Digital, "The beautiful thing about [Maria Martinez's] work was that is very much about the silhouette of the ceramics.
She didn't use much colour so shape and texture was central to her work. She created these almost perfect round shapes and charcoal engravings. This season, I didn't want it to be conceptual and instead focused on creating beautiful silhouettes."
Fur-covered braids, heavy-lidded eye makeup, live hand-drumming, and a dirt runway added to the Indigenous vibe.
I haven't had a chance to look deeper into this collaboration - but I like the fact that Siki Im partnered with a notable Native artist and gives her credit. In addition, he clearly states that his inspiration for the silhouettes derives from the revolutionary pottery designs of Maria Martinez. Whereas many non-Native designers use a generic sense of 'Indianness,' Siki Im is specific about his inspiration points, and he names them.
To read more reviews of the collection, click these links:
Siki Im's Silent Thunderbird Prayer
Back to the Land
Siki Im Fall 2011 Preview | Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Siki Im Menswear A/W11: The New Yorker's fourth collection entitled Silent Thunderbird Prayer offers a return to Mother Earth