Textiles can show up all over the place, in unexpected moments - even on a wednesday, in any place from ancient artifacts to modern technology and music.
Last week I went with my Japanese friend to the Museum of Northern Arizona. I wanted to show her a little bit of the art and culture we have here. I think she liked it. It is hard to know if she was just being polite. Anyway, I showed her my favorite sections - the textiles. There are ancient baskets, sandals woven from yucca, bags knitted from human hair, made with bone needles. There are also more modern works such as Navajo blankets and articles of traditional clothing.
Back at home, I was on ETSY with my daughters and we went to the Virtual Lab to see a live chat with the Australian singer - Lenka. She is one of my new favorites. her lyrics are very poetic and clever. The music is fun with a slightly dark edge. Her videos are very creative with an artsy, handmade quality, and she is cute and stylish. It got me thinking of all sorts of fun, wild art projects like decorating the house in January to look like a giant garden with vines hanging from the lamps and ceilings. It made me want to be more daring in my own work and my own style. I love that kind of thing. I love courage in personal expression. It makes me think that the human race is vibrant and moving forward into exciting futures.
Isn't that after all what rock and roll is about - at least partly? It got me thinking of the influence that R&R has had on social change and cultural trends. Think of Elvis, the Beatles, The Supremes, The Sex Pistols, Madonna, Nirvana, on and on and on. I'm not saying that any one of these people or groups is responsible for a fashion and cultural wave, but they helped bring it to the youth and the masses. One of my favorite designers is Vivienne Westwood. I saw a fabulous, exciting exhibit of her works in San Francisco a few years ago. She was the punk rock designer (sounds like a contradiction but it's not).
Part of being a rock star is having a look. Usually, that look means some identifiable fashion. A lot of stars have designers that they work with and some even develop their own lines - like Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku Lovers. Sometimes, the fashion is anti-fashion like the Grunge movement, made famous by Nirvana and other Northwest Bands.
Nowadays, there seem to be many trends that anyone can follow (or not). But rather than mimicking one person or exact look, it would be nice if everyone got the subtler message of making a statement by being oneself; having the courage to look within and express ones creativity and personality. Maybe it is impossible to be truly original, but it is fun to try. Having access to alternative clothing and accessories, being able to make your own, to play around with fabrics and other materials, is certainly a start.