The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mexicans hail Paris designer amid cultural appropriation row
A model presents a creation by Maurizio Galante during the Women's Fall-Winter 2019/2020 Haute Couture collection fashion show in Paris, on June 30, 2019. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP.

by Fiachra Gibbons

PARIS (AFP).- Italian designer Maurizio Galante gave a lesson Sunday in how to take inspiration from indigenous cultures without being accused of cultural appropriation.

With the fashion world shaken this month by the Mexican government threatening legal against New York-based label Carolina Herrera for "ripping off" native designs, Galante gave Mexican artisans top billing in his Paris haute couture show.

The courtier worked with Mexico's top fashion institute and makers in 18 parts of the country on a collection which picked up on the ongoing sartorial dance between Aztec, Mayan and other native cultures and Europe.

With a Mexican politician and officials in the front row giving their seal of approval, he sent out trousers suits inspired by the Aztec god of learning Quetzalcoatl -- the "feathered serpent" rendered in silk organza scales -- and the jaguar diety Tezcatlipoca.

Each of his 21 highly-worked looks come with a spectacular halo of sun-shaped straw and metal jewellery made by indigenous artists Antonio Rendon Cornelio and Carlos Piedras.

Kahlo headdresses
Galante called the collection "Resplandor" after the Tehuana ceremonial headdress immortalised by the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in her self-portraits.

He included a few of his own and told AFP that legend has it that indigenous women created them by putting European dresses that washed up in a trunk on their heads.

The Paris-based creator said it was this "mix and the clash between the native cultures and that of the arriving Europeans" that made Mexico such a rich cultural crossroads.

"Silks and other materials coming from the East also came through Mexico first which added another level" of colour and texture, said Galante, who visited the country four times on research trips working with a Mexican NGO.

Before putting the intricate clothes together in his Paris studio, including bolero jackets made with tiny woven maize baskets -- traditionally used for necklaces -- he consulted Mexican experts to find the best artisans.

Hidden 'soul' of its makers
Galante said he turned a finely-embroidered coat inside-out to show the hidden "soul" of the garment and highlight the genius of its makers.

Mexican MP Julio Carranza Areas from the ruling left-wing National Regeneration Movement sat in the front row to support the show.

He said Galante -- unlike Herrera's US designer Wes Gordon -- had been open and included Mexican groups and officials in his process from the start.

Areas felt that Galante was showcasing the "work of Mexican hands" unlike Venezuelan-born Herrera who "did not give credit" where it was due.

Appropriation of native designs has become a political hot potato in Mexico, with a long list of labels accused of ransacking the cultural heritage of poor villagers.

Galante -- who worked with Moroccan women on his collection that was based on the kaftan -- refused to be drawn into the controversy.

"Every show I try to tell the story of a different voyage. Like the great travellers for the 18th century, you go into the unknown, not knowing what you will find," he said.

"I am not someone who invades a country to steal things, I am looking for a dialogue," he added.

"I can't speak for others, but when someone invites you to their table for dinner you have to respect their rules. It is normal that I respect the local culture and not abuse it."

Haute couture is the very pinnacle of fashion, with only an elite band of designers allowed to show their luxurious handmade creations in the French capital, some of which cost tens of thousands of euros (dollars).

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

July 1, 2019

The Bruce Museum displays the work of four singular American photographers

The Royal Academy of Arts opens a survey of paintings and prints by the Swiss artist Félix Vallotton

Major Alexander Calder exhibition opens at Centro Botín in Santander

Museum of Pont-Aven brings to light the importance of Pont-Aven in the artistic journey of the Impressionists

First survey exhibition of collage ever to take place anywhere in the world opens in Edinburgh

Mexicans hail Paris designer amid cultural appropriation row

The National Gallery Prague opens an exhibition of French Impressionism at Kinsky Palace

Nationalmuseum Sweden acquires works by female artists working in France in the 1880s

Exhibition features works from Anthony Pearson's Embedments, Etched Plasters, and Tablets series

'Studio Photography: 1887-2019' opens at Simon Lee Gallery

Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

Experience the culture and landscapes of the northern coast of Sjælland through art

Exhibition at the American Cathedral in Paris addresses today's climate of increasing prejudice and stereotyping

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art exhibits more than 70 works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Four trustees join board of San Antonio Museum of Art

The Ismaili Centre opens a new exhibition by the Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad

Sculpture, quilts and film explore American history and trauma

The Menil Collection displays graphic works by Dorothea Tanning made between 1950 and 2001

The Barnes Foundation opens its first exhibition devoted to video art

The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography marks Alexander Ustinov's 110th birthday with exhibition

A public art project in East Harlem by artist Miguel Luciano features the work of Hiram Maristany

Major Ben Quilty exhibition opens at Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art

Palace House displays rarely seen anatomical drawings by George Stubbs

First time in the UK: Chinese artist Mao Jianhua presents new series works at the Saatchi Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful