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July 14, 2019

Native Styles Embellished: 22 Amazing Color Photographs That Show Beautiful Fashions in Scottsdale, Arizona in the 1950s

Another self-conscious bow to the cowboy-and-Indian tradition appears in Scottsdale’s indigenous fashions––crinolined squaw skirts, fringe, silver trimmings, Indian braid translated into gold embroidery, leathers dressed up with metallic luster. The town’s designers screenprint their own fabrics, use hand-woven woolens and tend heavily to brilliant native colors. Trim little jackets are designed for the outdoor life in patio and at poolside.

Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after its founder Winfield Scott, a retired U.S. Army chaplain, the city was incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000. The 2015 population of the city was estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” and as having “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene.” Its slogan is “The West’s Most Western Town.”

These amazing vintage photographs below were taken by Nina Leen for LIFE magazine, March 12, 1956.

(Photos by Nina Leen, via LIFE archive)



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