Thursday, September 04, 2008

hana means what mana means and ganda means that too

Readers of this blog know that in terms of fashion inspiration, I often reach back to the 60's and people like Pattie Boyd and Anita Pallenberg. But lately, I've been reaching back a lot further.
My greatest fashion inspiration has been the Native American people.

I know this can be a sensitive subject, as the cruel way their culture has been snatched from them has left them rightly angry. I really want to make it clear that for my entire life, I've had a deep fascination - and respect for - Native American people, and I'm not trying to trivialize their fantastic culture to simply a fashion trend. I really, really don't mean to offend anyone.
When I was little, I had all sorts of politically incorrect books about "Indians". I'm lucky enough to live in an area that is rich with Native American history, as well as the site of the tallest free-standing totem pole in the world. So I've always been surrounded by the culture, but it was just last week that I was digging out my old books that my interest was re-piqued. I will cop to having an intense love for the (I'll admit it, horribly racist) Peter Pan tune "What Made the Red Man Red". I found myself enviously eye-ing the clothes in the book: moccasins, feathers, beads, turquoise, suede, furs and fringe galore...my dream wardrobe.

I hope you find these pictures half as inspiring as I do.
I'm thinking Keith Richards copped his entire public persona from this one picture.
If I could dress like this without offending the local Aboriginal people, I would.
If the Olsens were Native American...
I'm definitely not the first to think like this. Many public figures have let their look be inspired by Native American culture, sometimes subtly, sometimes very bluntly.
Some of the more in-your-face looks that I've liked have been:
Erykah Badu, looking less American Indian and more Aztec, manages to look awesome, unique, modern and stylish.
My favourite member of the P-Funk Mob, Glenn Goins (may he rest in peace), looks absolutely incredible in the feathered headdress and stellar poncho.

This has been my favourite picture of Mary-Kate Olsen since I first saw it.
I know this was a very controversial performance but I think Andre 3000 had an excellent concept, just maybe a bit of an insensitive execution. Still, he and his backup dancers look wicked.

One or two Native American inspired accessories can take an outfit to an entirely new level of genius without looking racially insensitive. When has Anita Pallenberg ever steered me wrong? Fringed boots and a fringed coat might be too much in theory, but somehow, she looks incredible.If I ever encounter a boy wearing this outfit, I will surrender myself to him then and there. That goes double if he looks as great in it as Keith Richards.Now, I'm not a Miley Cyrus fan by any means, but I love this outfit and I adore those electric blue fringed boots.

This picture of Sharon Tate would be perfect if she wasn't wearing so much makeup. Still, she looks gorgeous as always.
I borrowed three pictures from an amazing blog I recently found called Child of the Moon. I hope the ridiculously cool and mysterious owner of this blog does not mind!
I know I should probably stop now, but I'm so filled with Native American love, I just need to share with you a couple paintings that I hope will inspire you as well.
I suppose I've made it clear that I wish that I was 1/32 Blackfoot like Nicola, or simply born into the Osage Tribe a thousand years ago. Until then, I remain on the quest for the perfect pair of fringed boots...

22 comments:

jayne said...

i don't find this post disrespectful at all, i love the fashion spin on native american, mk looks great

Love Luna said...

I love this post! I am also a huge fan of the Native American culture! There is something very spiritual and mystical about them.
P.S. I don't mind if you use my pictures! You also have a wonderful blog!

Alix d'Laire said...

I have the same thing. At my hippie creative youth camp, we all pretended to be indians. We made headdresses and for two weeks were a tribe. This was in Europe, so I'm not sure how accurate it was, but the Indian theme was pretty awesome, and it did teach me to be respectful to the environment. Add to that German westerns and a deep respect for aboriginal history, and it adds up to a fascination and love.

I'm not expressing this right, but oh well. Also, if you ever find Anita Pallenberg's wardrobe, can you give it to me?

Sister Libby said...

Fringe is so underappreciated. And you didn't offend me or my people, so no worries. I didn't know you lived near the biggest totem pole, either...interesting. And the indians in Peter Pan were the highlight of the movie, hands down.

Cate said...

interesting! my mum said that when she was our age, she always wished to be a native american. i have read thousands of books which tell stories of native american girls too, and these are not the romanticised stories one may know, the ones i know are, sometimes horribly, close to the reality in the 60s and 70s (that was when those books i read were published and written).
anita pallenberg and sharon tate look great. miley cyrus's outfit is nice too, but it just seems so awfully hypocritical when nowadays celebrities wear this "trend". the hippies at least seemed/were genuine - and i'm sure you would look genuine in this fashion too. you#re a genuine person - i hope!!! *hahahahahahaha* *evil laugh* (what did i do THAT for?)

melmo said...

wow great report
i like it

a said...

mm, fringe. I quenched my fringe thirst with my jacket. now i just have no idea how the fuck to wear it without being ridiculed on the street.

i have to say molly, you have a lovely way with words. you really did that post with some panache, and it's great that you're so sensitive. and i agree about keith richards' style... what's going on there??

i'm having a bit of difficulty with the skittles i regret to inform you... i appear to have... eaten them.

my condolences.

Sunniva said...

Great post, Molly! The Native American culture is so inspiring, and I have great admiration and respect for it. The photos you've chosen are so nice, and love the photo of Keith! Why oh why does he have to be so cool?! The Sharon Tate photo is lovely too.

Katelin said...

i love this post. so much from fashion has been coming from native american culture. and i agree, i love that mk picture, she looks so cute.

The Clothes Horse said...

I love these looks and inspiration. I feel like a terrible poser in Native American garb though...I don't think my particular ancestors did anything to them, but stil... :(

Hailey @ stylesymmetry.com said...

It's all about the lil girls in the necklaces - so cute!!

A. said...

When I saw a picture of Miley wearing those boots, all I could think was, "God damn it. I actually want something that Miley Cyrus has put her feet into."

Belle said...

Those feather head dresses are beautiful. I also like Mileys blue boots. In my school adgenda there is always a fun fact everyweek, and this week was about the largest free standing totem poll.
Belle

jess said...

Is it bad that I thought that first photo was Keith Richards? i love that mk photo too

jfjr1014 said...

If you're going to use Sharon Tate pics, don't knock her. Everybody in the sixties wore a lot of makeup then you little twit!

miss fashion said...

i love that picture of mary-kate. totally adorable. also i like any clothes that have that vintage-indian theme to them.

come look at my latest blog post!

mary jane said...

The Natives in this country have been so screwed...
its awful. They are such a beautiful people.
you NEED to watch Billy Jack if you are into Native culture (and style, like me!)
my husband and daughter are both Native American (Potawatomi)
I just scored a stunning vintage
50's fringe coat. I'm all about the fringe in what I make too!
xo
mary jane

Richel said...

who what wear daily=my fashion bible. i will be a thousand and still check that site religiously. you must check it out sometime!

Hippie, hippie - milkshake said...

fantastic blogging- and good research. love the pictures you have posted.

A Black Tie Event said...

I love Native style, great post!

Anonymous said...

I actually find this to be really offensive, particularly the picture of MK and the rest. I can't help but feel like it trivializes the history and cultural meaning behind the clothing. It's more than a fashion statement. If you're really interested in this the National Indian Museum still has their exhibit on Native clothing, you can find out more information on this subject and why many Native people are offended by this type of exotification on their website.

Anonymous said...

have you looked at natasha khan of the band bat for lashes? native american style + glitter = wonderful x