Coming up in Mexico City from November 15-19, is ORIGINAL. This is a major textile and folk art event that will attract visitors from all over the world. We have organized a long weekend tour to Mexico City that will take us to ORIGINAL every day where we will meet and have private conversations with some of the leading fashion and textile artisans in the country. Want to come last minute? We have a space for you! Send an email.
Yesterday afternoon I went to visit my dear friend Arturo Hernandez in Mitla. We sat for a couple of hours in his studio, sipping tea, talking about design and making. He is one of the invited artisans participating in ORIGINAL. The Mexican Ministry of Culture has organized and promoted this event and in order to attract the best artisans from throughout the country, most of whom do not have the funds to travel to Mexico City and cover meals and lodging expenses, is underwriting costs to enable them to participate. Arturo will travel by bus with two huge packages of handwoven and naturally dyed rebozos, throws, bedspreads, and ponchos.
Arturo modeled the multi-colored poncho, all made with natural dyes, that he will wear for the Pasarela, a fashion parade, that we will see for the opening.
Appropriation of what Mexico calls its cultural patrimony — textile designs that are centuries old and part of a community’s identity — has pervaded the fashion industry. This expoventa, held at Los Pinos, the former home of Mexican presidents in Chapultepec Park, seeks to overcome this practice by bringing indigenous textile design to the forefront.
During our tour, we will discuss the history of Mexican fashion, indigenous design and creativity, what is and isn’t cultural appropriation, meet and talk with cultural anthropologist Marta Turok, designers and promoters Alberto Lopez Gomez, Remigio Mestas, 1/8 Takamura, and Ignacio Netzahualcoyotl. We will have plenty of time to walk the expo, take in the catwalks, and dine at some of the finest restaurants in the Centro Historico. As if that isn’t enough, our friend and art historian Valeria will guide us on a narrative tour of the Diego Rivera murals.
Here is an excellent article, Mexico fights plagiarism, that I recommend that you read. The article features Ignacio Nezahualcoyotl, who we will meet and talk with at ORIGINAL 2023.