The Peabody Essex Museum, the oldest continuously operating museum in the U.S., has long boasted an exquisite collection of historical Native American objects dating back to the 17th century. The venerable Salem institution takes a more modern look at Native American design, however, with its new exhibit Native Fashion Now. Consisting of nearly 100 works from the 1950s to the present, the show highlights clothing, accessories and footwear from both pioneering designers and today’s cutting edge provocateurs from Native communities, as well as from famed fashionistas like Isaac Mizrahi and Ralph Lauren who have taken inspiration from Native tradition. From a Patricia Michaels dress featured on “Project Runway” to innovative wearables made with everything from cedar bark to mylar and stainless steel, the items on display go well beyond the stereotypical beads, feathers and fringe.
Photo: Orlando Dugi, Cape, dress and headdress from “Desert Heat” Collection,
2012, Photo by Unék Francis