There was a great LA Weekly write-up of Bethany Yellowtail‘s Native American pop-up art gallery/fashion show at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery earlier this month. Bethany spoke of collaborating with other Native makers and designers to “mash up cultural styles, and bring a contemporary feel to sometimes ancient art forms.”
“[We’re] celebrating what’s happening now, right now in indigenous America and indigenous communities,” she says.
The importance of true Native American creators such as Yellowtail cannot be overstated at a time when “Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters steal indigenous design, small-time ‘makers’ on Etsy or Instagram are complicit in cultural appropriation, and the persistent Coachella headdress still summons groans across the internet.”
“Native culture, when it’s authentic, it comes from within,” says Navajo/Diné model Siera Begaye (who showcased a dress she designed). “It comes from within your spirit. You put out something, when you make something. You put your spirit into it, and you give it life. And that’s something I see in Bethany’s work.”
Yellowtail says that her design work “transcends normal fashion shows because of what we’re trying to tell through our clothing and our stories.” She uses tradition, history and her own lineage as a jumping-off point to create something new and distinct. “I’m from the Northern Crow and Cheyenne nations. This collection is inspired by old-style Crow and Plains beadwork. I love floral designs from the early 1900s, and a lot of our beadwork and traditional designs were influenced by that.”
Read the entire article at LA Weekly and watch the Facebook Live video below.