December 23, 2011

Los Angeles Times | Top Trends of 2011

This is interesting:

The Los Angeles Times listed their Top 10 fashion trends of 2011, and 'Native Accents' show up as #4 (hey, at least they list us on a sacred number). They explain: "Fair Isle knits and Native American prints were splashed across everything from 1980s-era cropped tops, to chunky scarves, leggings and sweaters. If you're looking for the source, think back to the fall 2010 D&G runway (a Fair Isle fest as seen in the top right photo), Proenza Schouler's fall 2011 collection inspired by Santa Fe, and the music festivals."

There you have it folks, Native people, tribes, and their cultural heritages are not the source of inspiration for Native accents. Nope, Dolce and Gabbana and Proenza Schouler are. The Los Angeles Times has completely erased us from the mix. Thanks guys.

Ok, now let's compare this 2011 post, with a 1952 snippet from the Los Angeles Times:

Nearly 60 years ago, references to the Native were also 'rampant' in the fashion scene. The difference, however, is that in the 1950s, the Los Angeles Times decided to feature a Native fashion designer (instead of non-Natives who are inspired by 'the Native'). Lloyd Kiva New (Cherokee) was an important fashion designer in the 1950s.

The caption reads, "This is going to be an Indian summer. The growing influence of the Southwest is responsible for the American Indian theme rampant in current sportswear. This two-piece dress by Lloyd Kiva, of Scottsdale, Ariz. (a Cherokee Indian himself), illustrates the trend. It's made of cactus-green and desert-sand wool with hand-woven trim." - Joan Short

So, the difference is that the LA Times featured a Native designer to illustrate the trend back then, but chooses not to today.

I think a top trend of 2011 is straight up Native appropriation.