I created this project for a few reasons so along with my 12 year old sewing machine,serger, and 21 year old well-known sewing mannequin, “Samatha” ( I aquired “Samantha” while a attending Parsons School Of Design and she is even signed by my then fashion critic of my senior show, the now world famous style-master Marc Jacobs.), I created a few looks that were meant to show admires of my work the many facets of my talent. From conception to actual sewn samples I do myself, I try to be as free and unbounded with my skills as a designer as I can. The second reason is very important to me. Our Amazon forest are being decimated at an increasing level. Though through conservation efforts, many of these destructive practices are being curtailed, it is still a MAJOR problem in that regain of the world. As many of you know, the Amazon region provides much of the earths’ oxygen, but many people forget about the beautiful indigenous people that call these forest home. There are still over 200 indigenous groups in the Amazon Rainforest , talking 180 different languages and each with their own cultural heritage. If you narrow your view to language families you will still find 30 different language families in the Amazon rainforest.
This shows that like the flora and fauna , the cultural diversity in the region is also very high, making it an even more interesting and rich place. The Kuarup is the biggest indigenous festival and it has being happening annually in July or August for centuries. The Kuarup festival brings many different tribes together to celebrate and honor their dead. Although the motivation is not the most cheerful one the festivities are happy and very enjoyable for outsiders. It’s a huge demonstration of indigenous dance, music, rituals , games and food. Nowadays the Kuarup can be seen by the outsiders on some occasions, not always, as it depends on the mood and willingness of the tribe leaders.There are at least 50 groups that still don’t have regular contact with the outsides and keep away from them. The Brazilian government policy towards these groups is to leave them alone, as they wish. Not very much is known about these groups as they keep going deeper and deeper into the forest as the outsiders get closer to where they live. To stop the constant migration of tribes it has been suggested that an Indigenous Protected Area be setup so they can stop running away into the most remote places of the forest. Another interesting fact and a hope about the indigenous population is that their numbers are increasing. This means that, after 5 centuries being destroyed, they are actually being able to live and grow in their demarcated lands. This is hope for their cultures and way of life. My fathers’ paternal family is part of one of these tribes, so being a descendant of “The Forest”, and as a designer, I wanted to showcase the simple beauty of these people, something the fashion world as yet to do. Show casing my design, in models exhibiting ceremonial face tattoos, jewelry,etc. is a wonderful way to showcase these wonderful people and shed a light on a cause that is close to my heart.
I am always pushing my talents, my creative boundaries are always being expanded slowly. In this series I wanted to create looks that were inspired by the wonderful Amazon Forest, one of the largest rain forest on this earth. My father is from Sinop,Brazil, much of his family are indigenous people that make their home in the Amazon forest. I have been back to Brazil to my fathers town and my distant relatives to understand their culture and lives. I am proud to have these wonderful people as apart of my family, and have learned so much from them. I am deeply disturbed when I hear of the stories of land-robbing, brutality, deforestation, and even murder from my relatives. When they rely these stories to me, they always have hurt and regret in their voice and tears in their eyes. I wanted a powerful fashion based medium that could get the message out concerning what is going on in the Amazon. I chose colors and fabrics that were luxurious, but reminiscent of all the colors, hues, and scenery dynamics of this great forest and her animals. I even chose to use indigenous models to wear my fashions, in celebration of the Metyktire Tribe, the indigenous people of my father. I will be continuing this series, as I have created 7 key looks that I have sampled. I wanted to bring awareness to the many problems of the Amazon because of greed. I think the one statement ” This is my home” is powerful, and reminds us all that these wonderful forests, these mystical lands are the native homelands of living human beings that have existed in these sacred forest for hundreds of years, long before the europeans.
In this presentation below, I wanted to create a retail environment that was ‘spa-like’, soothing visually. I would use bamboo on the walls , center area of the boutique, waiting rooms, etc. The flooring is of linoleum, a well known green material. The lighting are to be made of organic silk and paper . The end result will hopefully soothe the shopper, asking then to simply, ‘slow down, and smell the roses of life’.