Neo-Navajo fashion: Trend or tradition?
By Jaimee Rose
At Forever 21 in Scottsdale, mannequins wear $8 feather necklaces while posed in positions not unlike a ceremonial dance--and the sign in the window says "Into the Wild." (Made in China, and you don't want to know.)
Diane von Furstenberg is on a $365 "Native Hound" print parade. September style magazines trumpet the look with multipage shopping guides headlined "Hail to the Chief." Teenagers are buying woolly shawls. Shawls!
From the omnivorous minds of fashion designers, who want us in soldier chic one minute and Bollywood brilliance the next, a communal word emerged as the Gospel of Fall: "neo-Navajo!" they declared, flinging Navajo iconography all across the mall.
"Navajo" represents all Indians?
Rose notes some problems with labeling everything "Navajo":
We are not sure it was in the best taste for Urban Outfitters to offer a Navajo-inspired flask, because there's a history there. It's complicated.
And we are dying to hear from the Navajo people themselves--who would be well within their rights to have their Navajo hipster panties in a twist, considering the Telegraph newspaper in London told its readers to "channel your inner Pocahontas."
Pocahontas wasn't Navajo. She was from Virginia.
"Pay homage to our past while looking marvelously modern with Navajo-inspired styles from Chelsea Flower, Love Sam, DL1961 Premium Denim & Cult of Individuality . . . On-trend and simply chic--minus the Headdress. Pack the teepee (or the closet) with (items) that will be sure to become closet staples."
Hail to the grief.
For more on "tribal" trendiness, see Luxury Tipis in Great Britain and TeePee Games Responds to Criticism.
Below: "Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask." So you can feel like an Indian when you get drunk.