"Native Fashion Now" at the National Museum of the American Indian

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House  near Batter Park is one of the most splendid Beaux Arts buildings in  the city New York, the government invited .  In 1899 twenty architects  invited  by the government  submitted   their designs  for the new Custom House. Competition was won by the young architect  Cass Gilbert. The building was completed   in 1907 and serves as a custom house till   1973 when it     moved to   Six World Trade Center. 

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who saved the building from demolition in 1979. Later exterior and ceremonial interior spaces were cleaned, restored, and conserved. In 1990, Moynihan sponsored the law that renamed the building after Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury.   Starting from 1994 Museum of the American Indian  occupies two floors of the building sharing it with     U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the National Archives. There is an excellent   permanent exhibition, Infinity of Nations, displays over 700 Native American from different continent.  You can read more about  Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House   and The National Museum of the American Indian in my blog. 

This spring and summer  the  museum is the final stop for the first large-scale traveling exhibition of contemporary Native American fashion. “Native Fashion Now”.  The show   features the work of 67 Native American designers.  One of the main themes of the exhibit is the way that Native artists mix their heritage and tradition with other cultures and technology.
 “New York City is a fashion capital of the world and the works shown in this exhibition belong on this stage,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “Native voice is powerful and Native couture is a megaphone.

These designers’ works demonstrate to visitors the contemporary strength of Native iconographies and sensibilities.”

“We wanted to shake up the preconceived notions of Native American art and creative expression,” says curator Karen Kramer, who conceived the show. “It’s not buckskin and beads and feather headdresses.”

Among the dozens of notable designers included in “Native Fashion Now” are Lloyd “Kiva” New (Cherokee), the first Native designer to create a successful high-fashion brand; Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo), who in 2003 worked with fashion icon Donna Karan to create a bold collaborative couture collection and went on to launch his own fashion line,

VO; Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo), who is known for her role on the popular show Project Runway and for her fashion line  (...)
The exhibition opened Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in the museum’s East Gallery and runs through Sept. 4.  The National Museum of the American Indian is open  10 AM–5 PM daily, Thursdays to 8 PM and  admission is free.


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