Native Designers of High Fashion: Expressing Identity, Creativity, and Tradition in Contemporary Customary Clothing Design

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194057
Title:
Native Designers of High Fashion: Expressing Identity, Creativity, and Tradition in Contemporary Customary Clothing Design
Author:
Metcalfe, Jessica RheAnn
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
American Indian traditional art forms have been reincarnated by contemporary Native designers and placed on human bodies in the form of haute couture. This project examines culture and identity through a historical and sociocultural analysis of contemporary Native American clothing design. This project focuses on the use of clothing design and adornment to promote cultural traditions and maintain a `Native' identity. I equate this communicative use of design with the traditional role of storytelling: it allows Native designers to express, interrogate and subvert notions of Indianness; to create and perpetuate cultural traditions; to enhance aesthetic aspects of dress design; and to build and maintain community.This project explores the world of Native high fashion, and provides a cultural contextualization and analysis pertaining to identity, creativity, and tradition. I hypothesize that these contemporary designers continue the long practice of incorporating the new with the old, and, in effect, creatively carry on their cultural traditions. Whether they update Native clothing styles of the 1800s, or Indianize contemporary fashion, these designers explore how modern cuts and materials can be blended with traditional cultural design concepts and symbols to create unique, expertly constructed, artistic, and highly valued garments. These artists have taken up new materials to display their traditional art forms in innovative ways to uphold and maintain their unique cultures, and to celebrate their heritage by educating a non-Indian buying public.Using an interdisciplinary approach, I attempt to gain an insider's understanding of Native fashion by interviewing principle actors in the industry, by observing and participating in cultural and trade events, and by researching its history in archived records, stories and garments. The goal of this research is to add to the sparse literature on Native clothing, art, creativity, and identity by providing the only comprehensive critical scholarship on contemporary Native American fashion design.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
art; clothing; designers; fashion; Native American
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
American Indian Studies; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Parezo, Nancy J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleNative Designers of High Fashion: Expressing Identity, Creativity, and Tradition in Contemporary Customary Clothing Designen_US
dc.creatorMetcalfe, Jessica RheAnnen_US
dc.contributor.authorMetcalfe, Jessica RheAnnen_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractAmerican Indian traditional art forms have been reincarnated by contemporary Native designers and placed on human bodies in the form of haute couture. This project examines culture and identity through a historical and sociocultural analysis of contemporary Native American clothing design. This project focuses on the use of clothing design and adornment to promote cultural traditions and maintain a `Native' identity. I equate this communicative use of design with the traditional role of storytelling: it allows Native designers to express, interrogate and subvert notions of Indianness; to create and perpetuate cultural traditions; to enhance aesthetic aspects of dress design; and to build and maintain community.This project explores the world of Native high fashion, and provides a cultural contextualization and analysis pertaining to identity, creativity, and tradition. I hypothesize that these contemporary designers continue the long practice of incorporating the new with the old, and, in effect, creatively carry on their cultural traditions. Whether they update Native clothing styles of the 1800s, or Indianize contemporary fashion, these designers explore how modern cuts and materials can be blended with traditional cultural design concepts and symbols to create unique, expertly constructed, artistic, and highly valued garments. These artists have taken up new materials to display their traditional art forms in innovative ways to uphold and maintain their unique cultures, and to celebrate their heritage by educating a non-Indian buying public.Using an interdisciplinary approach, I attempt to gain an insider's understanding of Native fashion by interviewing principle actors in the industry, by observing and participating in cultural and trade events, and by researching its history in archived records, stories and garments. The goal of this research is to add to the sparse literature on Native clothing, art, creativity, and identity by providing the only comprehensive critical scholarship on contemporary Native American fashion design.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectarten_US
dc.subjectclothingen_US
dc.subjectdesignersen_US
dc.subjectfashionen_US
dc.subjectNative Americanen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAmerican Indian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairParezo, Nancy J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTippeconnic Fox, Mary Joen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberStauss, Jayen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHolm, Tomen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGreen, Raynaen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10961en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659754884en_US
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