Released November 17, 2015

Orlando Dugi





The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents an all-day “Deep Dive” into its newest exhibition Native Fashion Now -- the first large-scale exhibition of contemporary Native American Fashion -- when it opens to the public on November 21. Explore the complex and sophisticated ideas emerging from PEM’s groundbreaking exhibition with a day of art making, interactive workshops and provocative panel discussions. Click here for the exhibition press release.

Members of the press are invited to a special press preview on Thursday, November 19, which begins with cocktails at 5 pm, followed by remarks and a curator-led tour of the exhibition. Please RSVP by Friday, November 13, to Caryn Boehm at

From vibrant street clothing to exquisite haute couture, this exhibition celebrates the visual range, creative expression and political nuance of Native American fashion. Nearly 100 works spanning the last 65 years explore the vitality of Native fashion designers and artists from pioneering Native style-makers to maverick designers making their mark in today's world of fashion. Also examined is how non-Native designers adopt and translate traditional Native American design motifs in their own work, including Isaac Mizrahi's now iconic Totem Pole dress.

Featuring contemporary garments, accessories and footwear spanning a variety of genres and materials, these designers traverse cross-cultural boundaries between creative expressions and cultural borrowing. From one of Patricia Michaels' (Taos Pueblo) recent ensembles from the reality television series Project Runway to Jamie Okuma's (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) dramatically beaded Christian Louboutin boots and innovative works made from Mylar, vinyl and stainless steel, Native Fashion Now underscores Native concepts of dress and beauty, which are inextricably bound to identity and tradition in a rapidly changing world.

PEM’s “Deep Dive” events are open to the public and explore new exhibitions from multiple perspectives, including interactions between audience, curator, subject matter experts, artists and other unique points of view.


10 am - 5 pm |  Native Fashion Now

Step into a cutting-edge creative scene to celebrate the opening of this groundbreaking new exhibition.

11 am - 2 pm | DROP-IN ART MAKING | Atrium

Join Native artist Elizabeth James-Perry of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe to create a twining bracelet, a traditional craft passed down through the generations.

10 - 11:30 am | INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP: Fashion Tales with Jay Calderin | Create Space  Recommended for ages 16 and above | Space is limited; reservations by November 20

Opening the world of design to the style-conscious, Fashion Tales involves participants in a series of workshop exercises drawing on inspiration from literature, from superhero comics to poetry and fairy tales. It is the brainchild of Jay Calderin, whose work as a fashion designer has graced the pages of Vogue and Elle. He is also founder of Boston Fashion Week and a contributor to the Native Fashion Now catalog.



1 - 2 pm | Celebrating Native Fashion Now | Morse Auditorium

Reservations by November 20

Join this panel of artists and experts as they discuss the exhibition, the joy of fashion design and current trends in the industry. Moderated by PEM Curator Karen Kramer.

3 - 4:15 pm | Ethical is the New Black: Exploring Sustainable Fashion | Bartlett Gallery

Reservations by November 20

Join this high-energy discussion to dig into hot topics like cultural identity, fair labor and sweatshop-free manufacturing, sustainable product sourcing and cultural borrowing. Moderated by Shannon Whitehead of Factory45, a sustainable fashion consulting firm.



Orlando Dugi (Diné [Navajo]), Cape and dress from “Desert Heat” Collection, 2012. Paint, silk, organza, feathers, beads, and 24k gold; feathers. Courtesy the designer. Hair and Makeup: Dina DeVore. Model: Mona Bear. Photography by Nate Francis/Unék Photography.



This program is made possible in part by the Lowell Institute.


Native Fashion Now is sponsored by:

The Coby Foundation Ltd., Ellen and Steve Hoffman and Mimi and Jim Krebs generously supported Native Fashion Now. Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation and the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum provided additional support.


Media Partner

92.5 The River



The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is one of the oldest and fastest growing museums in North America. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. Founded in 1799, the museum's collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time -- including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic and African art. PEM's campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-four noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only such example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States, and the Phillips Library, which holds one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. ADMISSION: Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit

PR Contacts:

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Director of Communications  -  978-542-1828  -

Dinah Cardin  -  Press Officer / Special Projects Writer  -  978-542-1830  -

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