Patricia Michaels transcends, references, her Native culture


Fashion designers over the years have appropriated elements of Native American culture into their creations.

But the number of Native American designers who have reached prominence by building upon their cultural influences have been few and far between.

Patricia Michaels, Taos Pueblo, caught the public’s attention when she reached the final two of “Project Runway’s” season 11.

At Style Fashion Week on Sept. 10, Michael’s presented her latest collection for PMWaterLily. The Native influences were clear and prominent from the hand-dyed prints, to the silhouettes, to the easy flowing fabrics, and even down to touches such as the ghostly makeup that evoked Native mythology and the mushroom-like parasols.

Michaels presented a collection that celebrated her roots while demonstrating a flare for innovation and modernism.

Although Style Fashion Week highlighted her Native American heritage, Michaels proved that her culture was almost besides the point as evidenced by her creativity.