The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Monday, June 22, 2015

Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec - Shaking up the Fashion World

Another post on Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec and some of the fashion design work stolen recently.  Be sure to check out blogger sister Shannon's post on the same trip.  The traditional designs and embroidery are so beautiful, each a work of art, all done by machine.  I have purchased other huipiles and trajes from Doña Honorina Gómez Martínez.
Here she is hard at work.
Details, details, details,
It is no wonder that fashion folks try to steal the designs, but there ain't nothing like the real thing.
Nothing.  Shame on them!  ¿No tiene  vergüenza?
I hang her trajes as works of art in my houses here and in Boston.
This is the magnificent one I purchased yesterday.
The great thing is that almost every woman is dressed in a beautiful outfit.
Each unique and beautiful.
What a wonderful village to visit.
You can see why.


Ralph Simcoe said...

As commented on in Casita Colibri.
The way I see this, no harm has been done to anyone. Tempest in a teapot.
The controversy was started by Susana Harp, neice of Mexican/Oaxacan zillionaire, Alfredo Harp Helú. Whilst in Las Vegas in January she noticed the blouse in question on sale in Neiman Marcus. “Estaba en las Vegas con mi esposo en Neiman Marcus cuando vi el huipil. Al principio me emocioné, porque no sabía que la tienda era sólamente para ropa de diseñador y me pareció maravilloso que vendieran un diseño mixe en un tienda como esa. Cuando me acerqué vi la etiqueta y subí la foto a Twitter.”
Before Susana Harp let them know, the people of Tlahui were unaware. She has since been fanning the flames, convincing the authorities in Tlahui that they should do something about it. All the while keeping her name in the headlines. The most recent evento was the “‘press conference” held at the Oaxaca Textile Museum operated by Susana’s Uncle Alfredo’s Fundación Alfredo Harp Helú. The people of Tlahui are intentionally being embroiled in a controversy not of their own making and which will avail them little.
As Juan Sandoval commented on facebook
I don’t know what to say. Throughout the centuries artists, etc. have been borrowing from other cultures. Artists and graphic designers do it all the time. Even “sacred” mole can be traced to the influence of the spices used in the curries of India and the middle east. Everyone borrows from everyone–this a common truth. In the sciences, research builds upon previous research. Take a look at Mexican folk dance and you will find, that and I can’t recall her name, a choreographer from Mexico City is responsible for the “pineapple dance” and many others considered authentic in Mexico. Just a comment.

Christopher Stowens said...

I certainly agree that throughout the centuries artists (and business people) have been borrowing (or stealing) from other cultures. That's how the world works. As I musician who works extensively in the digital world, I do it myself.

I think the issue here is a sensitive one. I mean, the indigenous here in Oaxaca always seem to get screwed. The guelaguetza is a good example. For one month, all the different regions and indigenous peoples are celebrated. Then, for the rest of the year they are oppressed or ignored. Really, that does not come close to doing justice to a complex subject, but folks here are very sensitive to these sorts of issues.

Ralph Simcoe said...

The fact that the blouse design was copied by an international designer will only increase interest in Mexican indigenous clothing generally. It will increase sales for the seamstresses of Tlahui.
A stroke of luck for them.
They are not getting "screwed" because someone recognized the value of their embroidery design. They will surely benefit from that recognition.

Ralph Simcoe said...

As you can see, this story really annoys me.
Mexico is the land of piracy. Pirated movies, pirated music, pirated designer clothing and shoes, pirated handbag design, watches, you name it. All readily available openly at any market in any town throughout the nation.
One imitated blouse design from Mexico on sale in Neiman Marcus and Susana Harp trying to make a federal case out of it. Give me a freaking break.