Through this collection, I have channelled my experience and connection to 9/11 and the Occupy Movement.
Dresses feature ink jet printed photographs of photos that I took while exploring Ground Zero, as part of my research project, "A New Earth: Americanness Post 9/11" where I interviewed men and women on their relationships to 9/11, whether closely connected or authentically apart.
(Collection images are forthcoming from the show. But if you look closely, you can see these photos within the prints).
(Photo by Tracy Young Photography)
I went to high school at Friends Seminary in lower Manhattan, about a mile away from the World Trade Center and 9/11/01 was my second day of high school. While I fortunately did not have a personal connection to anyone who was physically harmed or killed, I have vivid memories of the chaos and tragedy that took place as well as most saliently the surge of a very streamlined and exclusive United States-centered, American forced nationalism. Continued conversations since then have propelled me to start a line that seeks to broaden and challenge the notion of an exclusive America into one that is inclusive of the Americas and the diverse global microcosms that have helped to create and form this hemisphere since its beginnings. reciclaGEM, which means recycling in Portuguese, stems from my Brazilian heritage as well as the ways in which the diversity of Brazil truly reflects the diversity of America as a whole.
All articles, made of wonderfully reneweable but not yet US-produced fibers such as bamboo and hemp, as well as organic cotton and recycled scraps, are one of a kind conversation pieces meant to challenge American consumption while engaging America in re-defining itself. America equals diversity, a merge of the world in one, the colors, textiles and materials used in this collection expound upon this idea of embracing oneness, and protection of that which is sacred, our environment and our diversity. This collection which I have chosen to call Occupy 54, reflects a merge of Occupy Wall Street meets Studio54; a daring and conscientious mix of recycled fabulousity for one mind, and all people.