patricia_michaelsF1006NEW YORK, Feb 14, 2010 / FW/ — When we say Native American fashion design, we always think of the now iconic Santa Fe aesthetics for jewelry, accessories and apparel.

Native American designer Patricia Michaels offers a new twist on what people expect as she pushes boundaries while expressing the power of tradition.

For Fall 2010, Michaels was inspired by the eagle feather which is often used in traditional ceremonies. Used as a print, the eagle feather was used in an empire mini dress with the “feathers” layered and cascaded.

Translated into a cape, the “wingspan” of the eagle was used as the basis of the shape; a black sarong dress was finished off with two “knotted” feathers.

Modern while respecting tradition, Patricia Michaels has brought Native American fashion into the mainstream.

Photos by Mari Davis

New York Fashion Week Fall 2010