PORTLAND, Ore. — Headdress-clad Claire Downing wore an article of clothing from every section of Buffalo Exchange this past weekend at the Taste of the Northwest Festival, according to the overly dressed music fan.
Downing insisted she used every part of Buffalo Exchange as a sign of respect for other cultures.
“You can tell that the person who made this took great care and pride in their work… and they also matched it perfectly with my eyes,” said Downing. “I’m no Indiana Jones, so I don’t know if this was made for religious reasons, or cultural reasons, or because it was a survival thing, but I look cute AF right now.”
The feather-clad fan claimed the fashion smorgasbord was a celebration of her native heritage.
“I’m not technically affiliated with any tribe, but I was born in Portland. And the last time I checked, that was in America,” said Downing while adjusting her alligator skin bracelets. “I’m as native American as anyone.”
When Sharon Hunter, a First Nations representative from the Willamette Tribal Resource Hub, was reached for comment, she replied, “Um, no,” before offering a pamphlet titled, “So Many People Asked Us This B******* We Made This Pamphlet.”
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“I wish these sort of things still surprised me,” said Hunter. “When I wear traditional clothing in public, people will still raise one arm and say, ‘How.’ Every time it happens, I die inside just a little bit more.”
Downing took pains to note how each piece of her outfit came from a different part of the Buffalo Exchange.
“My lime-green jelly sandals represent the color of my vomit after eight Smirnoffs and a really intense Decemberists set. This high-waisted silver skirt reflects light, like how I see myself reflected in the work of artists like Belle and Sebastian,” said Downing. “My slatted sunglasses I stole from my asshole ex, Anthony, but he got them there before. And this $11 Xhiliration crop top, I got for $10.50. It represents the fleeting and transient nature of life.”
When asked if she planned to see Silver Jackson, the only Native American artist at the festival, Downing was non-committal.
“All I know is I plan on getting real fucking drunk,” said Downing. “Fucking trashed.”
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Article by Ella Gale @hellakale.