Native Funk & Flash

This classic book from the Seventies is back in print, timely as ever!

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Michael Cepress Curates Counter-Couture at Bellevue Arts Museum

Posted by on Jun 24, 2015 in General | 0 comments

Check out this press for the upcoming COUNTER-COUTURE show at BAM near Seattle, opening September 3 this fall 2015. If what I pasted in doesn’t show up, use the link below to view (I hope!)



Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture

Guest Curator: Michael Cepress

On view at Bellevue Arts Museum
September 4, 2015 – January 10, 2016

Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.

Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counter-Culture examines the American counter-culture of the 1960s and 1970s through the lens of the era’s fashion and style. Often referred to as the hippie movement, this cultural force swept away the strictures and conformism of the previous decade by embracing a lifestyle defined by an alternative visual identity. The effects of the movement still resonate today.

From the beginning, the counter-culture rejected materialist and consumerist interpretations of the American Dream, embracing ideals of self-sufficiency and self-expression. With the Vietnam War protests and the civil rights movement as a backdrop, counter-culture youth shunned the cultural standards of their parents, embraced the struggle for racial and gender equality, used drugs to explore altered states of consciousness, and cultivated a renewed dimension of spirituality. Fashion—and more essentially, personal style—celebrated everyone’s hands, minds, and intuition, proving itself to be a means toward self-realization, enlightenment, and freedom from conventions.

The exhibition, opening in September at Bellevue Arts Museum, is curated by Seattle-based designer, Michael Cepress, whose practice has been largely inspired by his fascination for 1960s and 1970s style. Counter-Couture exhibits more than 100 works comprised of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and ephemera of American makers who crafted the very reality they craved, on the margin of society but yet at the center of epochal change. Featured in the exhibition are pieces by Alex & Lee, Kaisik Wong, and K. Lee Manuel, and selected loans from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, OH and the de Young Museum in San Francisco, CA

“Counter-Couture encompasses the ethos of a generation who achieved change by designing and crafting their own identity by sewing, embroidering, and tie-dyeing the fiber of their lives,” said Stefano Catalani, Bellevue Arts Museum’s Director of Art, Craft, & Design.

Counter-Couture captures the energy and character of the style and period through four lenses: Funk & Flash, Couture, Performance, and Transcendence. Each section tells us a piece of the greater American story and how clothing takes on different roles—creating social statements for political change, basking in freedom from trend, celebrating the body, and highlighting the true beauty of authentic personal style.


Holding a BA in Art from the University of Wisconsin and an MFA in Fibers from the University of Washington, Cepress has worked professionally as a designer and educator for 10 years. An intense interest in the cultural impact clothing can make has led Cepress to focus on the design and production of his own fashion label and theatrical costumes, and he has written on clothing’s relationship to gender and popular culture. An Instructor in the University of Washington’s School of Art, he has developed curriculum on multiple facets of fashion design, wearable art, and the history of style and clothing.

Growing up, Michael had a particular fascination with the 1960’s and 1970’s. In high school he discovered Native Funk and Flash by Alexandra Jacopetti in his local library, which documented the fashions of the era—all of them handmade. Years later, he befriended Jacopetti, and began traveling around the West Coast searching out remote communities where notable figures from the era now reside. The exhibition is based on his years of research and the discoveries he made along the way.

Portrait of Michael Cepress at work in his studio office.
Photographer:  La Vie Photography. 2015.



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Counter-Couture Exhibition, Bellevue Arts Museum

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in General | 0 comments

Counter-Couture: Fashioning Identity in the American Counterculture

September 4, 2015 – January 10, 2016

– See more at:

Linda Bacon, Butterfly  Linda Bacon, Butterfly Blouse

I’ll be there for the opening and the COUNTER-COUTURE book of the same name, when it’s out, will have some recent writing and some old photos and lots of new things we’ve never seen. The exhibit itself will also have some of my stuff and a LOT of great oldies from F&F and others! It just might travel…

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