Issues Background
Vol. 14 No. 3
Fall 2013
Fall 2013 Cover

On the Cover


Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) wowed the judges of the Project Runway television competition with this blue dress studded with mic pendants; one called it "Techno powwow". The mica sheets, an important traditional material from the Taos Pueblo people are enclosed in silver hoops forged in the blacksmith shop of Michaels' stepfather and hand-sewn on the dress.

Silk organza and silk crepe in winter blue, 1½” and 2½” mica piettes, ½” silver piettes, size 6, horsehair headpiece in winter blue, modeled by Katrina, February 7, 2013, Project Runway, Season 11.



When Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo), the noted southwest fashion designer, nearly won the popular Project Runway television show, she served notice that Indians are ready to take on the intensely competitive  fashion industry on their own terms. She represents a Native breakthrough that has been building for three generations.
The “grandfather of Native modernism,” painter Morrison (Grand Portage Band of Chippewa) had deep roots in both 20th  century abstract art and his Lake Superior homeland. A new exhibit highlights his most stunning images.
Mainstream fashion has too often exploited the most revered icons of tribal life. A leading historian of Indian fashion says it’s time to call a halt.
After years of restoration, officials of the Vatican Museum recently announced that a detail in the Pinturicchio frescos in the Borgia Apartment is probably the earliest known European depiction of American natives. But the six figures, very likely the surviving Taino brought back by Columbus on his first voyage, are no strangers to us. We even know one by name.