ADAM Fall 2011: Native American Inspired
By Natalie Matthews
Heaviest references came in the outerwear (wool ponchos and anoraks) and skirts (striped in alternating bands of fur and feathers). But when coupled with his easily sellable separates (hand knit sweaters, wide leg pants, and of-the-moment chambray shirts), these pieces weaved a thread of Native American through the collection without snagging it on a creative vision too niche for his laid back, real girl customer. In that way, Lippes managed to pay homage to the Native American culture–while still remaining true to his tribe of customers.
This is the kind of cultural appropriation most people don't have a problem with. It's clearly more of an homage than a direct steal.
But Lippes and Matthews still contribute to the stereotypical notion that there's only one Native culture. Ponchos and anoraks? From two unrelated cultures (Inca and Inuit) some 15,000 miles apart?
That would be like combining Iceland and India. After all, they both speak an Indo-European language and have Aryan roots. That means they're basically the same thing, right?
For more on the subject, see Pendleton Spreads Native Designs.