The Ultimate Tribal Fashion Roundup (June 2010 version)

June 3, 2010 — 4 Comments

It’s been a while since my last tribal fashion roundup back in March, and even longer since I first questioned the emergence of Native themes in fashion back in January. The trends don’t seem to be slowing down, and if the prevalence of the hipster headdress is any indication, they might be sticking around for even longer. So there may be an Ultimate Tribal Fashion Roundup July, and August, and September…we’ll have to wait and see.

Just to get it out of the way early in the post, or in case you need a refresher, here’s why all this is not cool: But Why Can’t I Wear a Hipster Headdress?  The Last point is particularly relevant here, so I’ll repost:

Well then, Miss Cultural Appropriation Police, what CAN I wear?

  • If you choose to wear something Native, buy it from a Native. There are federal laws that protect Native artists and craftspeople who make genuine jewelry, art, etc. (see info here about The Indian Arts and Crafts Act). Anything you buy should have a label that says “Indian made” or “Native made”. Talk to the artist. Find out where they’re from. Be diligent. Don’t go out in a full “costume”. It’s ok to have on some beaded earrings or a turquoise ring, but don’t march down the street wearing a feather, with loaded on jewelry, and a ribbon shirt. Ask yourself: if you ran into a Native person, would you feel embarrassed or feel the need to justify yourself? As commenter Bree pointed out, it’s ok to own a shirt with kimono sleeves, but you wouldn’t go out wearing full kabuki makeup to a bar. Just take a minute to question your sartorial choices before you go out.  

These images are gathered from all walks of fashion and the far corners of the internets. Beneath each photo I’ve put the source and any other pertinent information. Most of the links have many more photos, but I just picked one or two for you to get the gist of it, so click through for more. Ready? Here we go…


DIY headdress from Bleach Black…it’s still not ok even if you make it yourself. sorry. 

American Apparel Look Book

“Dead Man” inspired shoot
(That’s that movie with Johnny Depp, right? so they’re not calling Natives dead?)


It’s invaded accessories too:

(And I had posted this other Hermes Scarf earlier)

Spool 72., which I’ve also posted about earlier, has even more bags made out of “vintage Native American rugs” on their site now

Kitson e-mail newsletter–Buyers Picks: Tribal Accessories
Window displays at Juicy Couture Manhattan (they had the same ones in SF too)

Headdress T-shirt at Blush in Manhattan

Urban Outfitters “Obey Navajo” Shirt

There are so many more, but hopefully this gives a good overview of some of the stuff out there. I’ll try and do some of these roundups a little more often throughout the summer, and as always, continue to send things to me as you see them. 
I’ve realized this post is sadly devoid of snarky commentary! I’ll make up for it in the next one, promise. 
(Thanks to Lici, Tasha, Jesse, Natalie, Katie, Sarah, Mollie, Tanis, Consuelo, Lisa, and anyone else I missed!) 

Adrienne K.

Posts

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00744407521997173262 willifindmyself

    I think they might have been going for African “Tribal” here since the other dress in the series is a zebra print, but I figured you would still appreciate the link. This dress was featured on a “fat”shion blog. I realize internally that just because you as identify as one disadvantaged group doesn’t mean you have a race analysis and are beyond wearing/featuring fucked-up clothing. However, I was still surprised and disturbed that a blogger that I follow featured this dress in a non-ironic way.

    http://www.simplybe.co.uk/shop/product/details/show.action?pdLpUid=RC672&pdBoUid=1986&lpgUid=11246056#colour:1995,size:

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02011315616597352286 Alise Marie

    My Native heart wants those Marc Jacob shoes. And that makes my enrollment card feel dirty.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06988786887256098344 slanderous

    Here’s another round-up for you, in a post titled (not at all critically) “Dreamcatcher” by one of the more famous and influential fashion bloggers, The Cherry Blossom Girl:

    http://www.thecherryblossomgirl.com/dreamcatcher/10901/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10696020348394369313 The Hand Of Fatima Design

    love your blog! where do you personally think the line is drawn between cultural co-opting and borrowing inspiration?