Vessel centers on the inspiration taken from my youth as the only daughter of a single mother, who operates to this day as a ship captain on the Great Lakes. Vessel is the story of a non-traditional upbringing on the waterways of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and how these experiences with my mother in this ultra industrial landscape shaped my identity as a designer and more. The work honors the sacrifices and lessons of womanhood she has imparted unto me through the exemplar of her leadership on the seas. Unsure of how to place my mother in my early understanding of femininity, Vessel is a reconciliation between a child’s singular image of a woman’s beauty: sensitive, fragile, delicate and refined, versus a learned appreciation for its broader spectrum: strong, dexterous, raw and unapologetically real. Dirty pinks, utility khakis, and aged whites, the collection is comprised of repurposed sails, boat covers, salvaged ship steel and line, combining nautical references with neoclassical deities portrayed in ship figureheads to investigate the relationship between femininity and fortitude.
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