Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pendleton and the collective unconscious

Look at that sweater!

Partly because I just finished a Navajo-inspired design, Slate's slideshow on the history of the Pendleton blanket caught my eye this morning. Not only was it really interesting in itself, it led me to discover Pendleton's new Portland Collection, which is beautiful.

I especially like this quote from the slideshow (talking about Navajo weaving):

So as white Americans were making blankets that were supposed to look authentically Native American for a largely Native American market, Native Americans were making textiles tailored to white use for white people.

That dynamic reminds me of the West African wax textiles made in the Netherlands (although production has increased greatly in China...which reminds me of the interesting expansion of Chinese business in Africa).

This also reminds me how interesting trends are; the Slate slideshow pegged the recent interest in Native American (-ish) design elements as starting around 3 years ago--exactly the time I suddenly developed a burning desire for a pair of moccasins*. I still haven't figured out how it works, but I think there's something to be said for the idea of the collective unconscious**.

*Which turned out to be the most comfortable shoes I've ever had, and surprisingly durable for shoes with no conventional sole.
**I'm sure that this application of the term would make a true Jungian bang his/her head against the nearest wall.

{ Photo from the Fall/Winter 2011 Pendleton Portland Collection lookbook, via }

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