Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Overheard:

"I don't like to be misunderstood by anything or anybody. So if I want to wear a red bandana and turquoise slacks, and if I want my hair running down to my ankles, well, that's me. They don't know what's running through my blood."
 
-Jimi Hendrix

    This quote, these words have been resonating with me in this past week. It's about fashion, yes, and paying homage to his own ancestral background. On the outside. I, you, we--possess the opportunity and the right to express ourselves. Whether verbally, politically, religiously, or, like mentioned here--externally, by what we're picking out of our closets and buttoning on for the day. In short, it's simple but amazing, and we can each represent ourselves through a million and one unique and individual ways all day, every day. From the way I wear my hair to the produce I choose to inhale like a ravenous raccoon in trashcan heaven, I represent me. Well, parts. Aspects.

    Each tiny decision, as a whole, can not and does not entirely define us. They are fragments of our spirits and souls. And, the last time I checked, I believe a human being consisted of an almost-infinite heap of fragments. Together, and only together, do they make us whole. Truths about us can coexist, and one does not necessarily negate another. I am not encompassed by a sole quality or characteristic.

   So, like the guitar god himself mentioned, you have an endless array of chances all day, every day to show who you are. All four billion and fifty-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand pieces of you, that together, make you incredibly and miraculously you.

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It's all in the blood. And, I continually need to remind myself that I am not all-knowing. I am not aware of everyone else's journeys nor their struggles. We're not intended to, but we are allotted a few shining opportunities to learn more about what's running through the veins beneath that

 stunning--stop-the-presses--Chanel tuxedo jacket.

Take the time.

It's one luxury item that can't be purchased at Bergdorf's or a flash-sale on GiltGroup.com.

   


This Jimi Hendrix quote actually found me downtown. Freshly painted on a wall of a historic building. Like I mentioned last week, I delightfully had a bit of free time to head to the American Indian Museum, housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. The highlight--"Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture."  Enthralling and not just because of my deeply-rooted Cherokee and Choctaw family histories. On both sides, if you must know. It wasn't boring, I swear (no yawning!), and I spent much of my visit, reading and examining photographs and personal items from so many innovative and talented Native Americans who contributed to the cultural and musical worlds.
 
This exhibit showcases the singers, musicians (including Jimi Hendrix), songwriters, and influencers--whom many of, I'd had no idea were even of American Indian descent--from every genre of popular music from jazz and blues to rock and folk. It runs through August, and you should most definitely give it a run-through if you live here in New York City or if you plan to swing into town for a visit. It's free. What's better than a side of culture with your freeeee?  
  
And, of course, I had to review the native styles showcased in the other exhibits.
So, just a taste of some of the elaborate fashions displayed in the "Infinity of Nations" collection. It's quite fascinating how important dress could be to these American Indians and what all could be interpreted and deduced by what one wore. Tribes could be identified through their unique and distinctive apparel, which reveals--
 
*various spiritual beliefs
*materials available--wildlife, plant life, tools constructed
*daily life (functionality)
*ceremonial and ritualistic life  (conceptual)
*and undeniably, the climate and geography of the land

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I'm envisioning the boss-lady, Sarah Jessica Parker herself, at this year's Met Punk Gala.
See it now?


Personally, I'm super into the headdresses, but I suppose that's just me being the old hat-loving lady I am.
 
The American Indian Museum might just discover
that they're missing one of those feather crowns...

"I'm an Indian Outlaw-
half Cherokee and Choctaw"
Catch me if you can.


 
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