INDULGE textiles to buy, collect or simply admire 34 SHOP TALK Polly Leonard goes shopping at Santa Fe Drygoods 79 GUIDING HAND Tanja Malo Uncovers The Nordic Embroidery Archive by GW-A
GLOBAL textiles from around the world 20 ANCIENT AND MODERN Alexander Girard's Hymns to Humanity by Khristaan Villela 74 A WALK IN THE RICEFIELD The Embroideries of Somporn Intaraprayong by Sophie Vent. photography by Dhani Chinalai Spinola 30BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS Cultural Mis-Appropriation by Lidewij Edelkoort illustrated by Emmanuel Pierre
ANECDOTE textiles that touch our lives 42 WHITER THAN WHITE Chikankari, a Flowering of Muslin by Sonia Ashmore 56 TICKLED PINK Authentic Voices Juana and Porfirio Gutierrez by Keith Recker photography by Joe Coca 62 LORD OF THE DANCE The Bells and Whistles Of Morris Costume by Mellany Robinson. 66 LESSER SPOTTED A brief visit to Primmy Chorley’s World by Jane Audas photography by Dewi Tannatt Lloyd
ATTIRE critical reporting of fashion trends 10 COSTUME DRAMA Antonina Belinska styles Ukranian folk Costume by GW-A 46 LIVING MODERN Georgia O’keeffe’s Handmade Wordrobe by Wanda M Corn 52 THE FUTURE IS HANDMADE Carla Fernández’s and her Mexican Revolution by Marcella Echavarria 70 TRUE OR FALSE Decorative Pockets In Romanian Folk Dress by Emma-Rose Barber
INDUSTRY from craft to commerce 16 MARKET TRADING The International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe by Polly Leonard interviews Keith Recker. 24 ARTISTIC LICENCE The Appreciation and Appropriation of Cultural Herritage by Ptolemy Mann
COSTUME DRAMA Antonina Belinska styles Ukranian folk Costume
‘Nothing is so compelling to rethink the present, as the memory of our roots, history and traditions’, costume designer for blockbuster historical films Antonina Belinska tells us how she, along with other creatives and Ukrainian public figures grouped together for a national cause.
Tell me a little about the Shchyri project. Why did you want to be involved? The ‘Schiri’ project was created by Domosfera company and the Grace and Todorchuk agency as a charity project in 2014. The goal of the project was to raise money for the treatment of wounded Ukrainian soldiers who were injured in hostilities in eastern Ukraine. Later the goal of the project became to raise money to support two ethnographic museums, pictured here are the images from the later 2016 project.
2014 was a difficult time, a lot of people died who fought first with the pro-Russian government in Ukraine on Maidan, and then for the integrity of our state in the east of Ukraine. Our army, soldiers and volunteers needed support and everyone tried to do what they could. So Yaroslav Grace and Natalia Kravets got the idea to create a beautiful patriotic calendar to inspire people and raise funds to support the patriots. To attract more attention to the project, famous figures of Ukraine were invited; singers, TV presenters, actors, sportsmen; I was invited to the project as a costume designer. And since I am an historical costume designer, I offered to collect authentic rural costumes from different regions of Ukraine dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.4
ARTISTIC LICENCE The Appreciation and Appropriation of Cultural Heritage
Santa Fe marks the cultural and commercial centre of New Mexico, nestled deep within the South West of America: it is a place steeped in historical and artistic significance dominated by Spanish, cowboy, and Indian rhetoric and associations with many artists – among them the painter Georgia O’Keeffe. What is less well known – and astonishing – is the fact it’s also home to one of the most extensive and sophisticated collections of ethnographic textiles in the world.
The Museum of New Mexico was founded in 1909 and comprises of four distinct institutions, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Museum of International Folk Art, the New Mexico Museum of Art and the New Mexico Museum of History. Between them they house exquisite examples of art and material culture from all over the globe, including European, early American and Spanish furniture; Native American pottery, baskets and rugs; European, Latin American, and Asian folk art and ceramics, Spanish colonial silver, jewellery and regional paintings, photography and sculpture.
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The stars of this impressive show are the textiles; in particular the 30,000 piece textile and ethnographic dress collection at the Museum of International Folk Art. It was there, as a little girl, that Pamela Kelly remembers being captivated for the first time. She’s now the vice president of licensing and brand management for the Museum of New Mexico and acts as its unofficial ‘ambassador’ in her mission to share this treasure trove with the world. Her enthusiasm is infectious and her knowledge extensive. She reveals that the unique historical stance of Santa Fe and its geographical location explains how such a collection came to be here and why it retains such a unique design aesthetic.
‘When the Spanish came to the new world in 1520 – and to Santa Fe in 1598 – they controlled most of Western Europe. From their foothold in Mexico, they expanded their dominion to include South America and vast parts of Asia. With Mexico at the trade nexus, the very best European designs arrived from Spain and were then transported 1500 miles north to Santa Fe, the colonial capital of New Spain. This design inspiration from not only Spain and Europe but as far away as China merged with those of the resident Southwest Indians in a unique way resulting in an entirely new style.’
The craft and design traditions that emerged reveal a blend of highly stylized European craft reinterpreted with simple materials and localized design motifs. Imagine what happens when, for example, a 17th century New Mexican craftsman is charged with recreating a gold baroque altar facade using simple tools, and local materials of wood and paint for a local church. The result is highly distinctive and reflects the back bone of an aesthetic of blended design traditions that remain highly visible today.
After working for various Bay Area retailers and a stint in Europe with Body Shop founder, 4
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BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS
Cultural Mis- Appropriation
Folklore can be considered the natural picture of oneself; a way in which people share an identity and congregate with a strong sense of belonging. They belong to the region, to the landscape, to the history and its culture, but most of all they belong to one another. In each village of each valley the ingredients are the same, yet the execution differs and adds another local layer of often sacred meaning. It is a community based, peer-to-peer cultural structure where the group is the custodian of the creative direction and absorbs all individual expression. Folklore keeps reinventing itself as society moves from one period to another, and each generation is invited to establish its multiple identities.
In its sartorial incarnation, folklore is local as well as global, personal as well as universal, and combines the old with the new and thus a perfect example of our connected society. Embroideries vary in thread, flowers bloom in different colours, and finishes take on a personal language. Needlework makes all pieces one-of-akind even if they exist within a family of form and fantasy.
Different stages in life demand different colours and woven cloth, other emotive motifs, sentimental embroideries, as well as personalised monograms. Young girls, newlyweds and widows share a passion for decorum and abide by the rules of the ancestors, sometimes dancing a bit out of step to enjoy a personal secret to be stored, a memory kept close. The way the costumes act like living treasures from endangered cultures makes the study of folkloric clothing vital, and can be considered like endless archives to be researched for patterns of insight and inspiration, versus the blatant copies by many in the creative industries.
The global span of folkloric fashions teaches us a very important notion: not one folklore is unique and not one expression is singular. In very distant regions, humans have had similar ideas on how to dye fabrics, how to weave colour, how to embroider flowers, how to design stripes, how to develop crochet, how to invent a stitch. In multiple cultures, motifs such as the clan, the circle and the dot have specific spiritual or tribal significance; yet these sacred symbols can also be seen as visual maps connecting the human condition.
In many places, the generous blouse is the basis of all dress for women and workers, the slink tunic the basic shape for all men. Full circle skirts and full gathered pantaloons can be found around the globe. In all continents, people weave and stitch square-cut clothes for all genders and ages, taking form once on the human body, such as the Mexican Huipil, the African Agbada and the Native American Poncho. In several cultures, clothes can be found that are wrapped and tied from one piece of cloth, draped with natural skill and elegant style; clothes like the sari, the hanbok, the kimono, the sarong, the dohti and the pagne are all part of this vast search for ways of covering and unveiling that has developed variations over time. The apron might be the most common denominator, developed from a simple loincloth into a functional piece of cloth; a precious additional layer to embellish and embroider and to complement the look.
In folklore traditions, fantasy is found on the edge and invents finishes that underline the perfected shape of the garment; developing a roster of stitches and embroideries that echo each other over vast planes and oceans. In many folkloric cultures, the ribbon is present as an important way to embellish and give nobleness to a headdress or decorum to a dress. Ribbons invite us to follow suit and enter the places of congregation: the place of worship, the place of celebration, the place of dancing and restoration. There is something terribly optimistic and wholesome in the ways of folk.
In the current political climate of trade wars and closing borders, where fascism unleashes its tenacity and patriotism shows its strength, it is time to establish a new vision. In this difficult moment of segregation of cultures and the suspicion of cultural appropriation, it is important to look at folklore more in depth and realize that we have much more in common than we think.
To discover that actually, at the same time, diverse regions are designing parallel worlds that are astounding in their likeness. Similar silhouettes, considered as unique cultural reflections of a region, are found in the East 4
DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
At Home with Judith Espinar
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‘There may be more than 1,000 pieces dominated by my love of ceramics and the marriage of textiles and ceramics.’ On paper one may imagine the interior of Judith Espinar’s house to be more like a folk art museum than a home; the reality, however, is that it couldn’t be a better example of the value of art, craft and history being an integrated and appreciated part of the everyday. Here, the co-founder of The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market tells us a little about her personal collection, how it came to be and the current exhibition of her collection at The Museum of International Folk Art.
What makes the handmade so special? People are tired of surrounding themselves with mass-produced stuff. The handmade, the artisanal, speaks to an individual artist living in a specific time, in a particular place. It’s like terroir in wine. The world is currently fascinated with food but it is not just the food. It is about what makes the food special, what kind of cow, what grasses it eats and where – and I believe the popularisation of the handmade is a natural outgrowth of this interest in what is special about what we live with. We want to respect the things we live with and how they were made. We want richer meaning and to bring experience into the mix.
When we support living artists we are honouring the voices of all those makers who came before them. We are in a very real way keeping those voices alive in the world today. This is what drives my collecting. Collecting is not just accumulating things… it is accumulating stories, experiences of the people we meet and the context of the work and perhaps most importantly supporting our humanity in recognising the significance of handmade beauty in our lives.
Your career has spanned art history, fashion and folk art; where and to what do you feel most aesthetically aligned? Interestingly, I do not find a parallel in why I love a piece of Folk Art and why I love a piece of Fashion. In clothing modernity and flattering dominate – a good example of this would be my first pair of St. Laurent gabardine trousers purchased in Paris. They represented a current defining fashion element; classic and modern at the same time. In Folk Art it is all about love. I never think about where I am going to put something and certainly not ‘will it work?’ It always works because I love it.
Is your home typical to Santa Fe, or the period it was built in? I am honoured to live in a Kate Chapman Santa Fe Territorial Style house on Plaza Balentine, a dirt road on the East Side of Santa Fe. To quote Kate Catherine Colby in Kate Chapman, Adobe Builder in 1930s Santa Fe, ‘Kate Muller Chapman arrived in New Mexico at the time Santa Fe Style architecture was just developing. In the 1920s and 1930s Kate designed adobe houses, and directed local workmen during construction.’ The three houses that Kate built as the original Plaza Balentine Compound are cherished by the neighbourhood and visitors alike.
Is your home a place for socializing or 4