AMA 海女 Sea women
My graduate collection ‘AMA 海女 Sea women’ is inspired by free women divers in Japan that dived for seafood and pearls. An ancient Japanese tradition over 2,000 years old which has become less and less practised. They dived without air tanks and used a unique breathing technique called the AMA whistle. The women were seen as the superior diver due to the distribution of their fat and ability to hold their breaths for longer. Diving as early as 12 and 13 they were active divers well into their 70s. They endured dangerous conditions like freezing temperatures and pressures from the sea depths but lived longer due to their diving training and disciplines.
I focused on key images of the AMA divers coming out of the water carrying nets over their shoulders full of shells and pearls. To developed my spec I loosely drew over and collaged with the lines and shapes in the images I loved. I wanted to emulate the women collecting and gathering seashells and pearls in big nets through fabric manipulation. I gathered fabric using rope just like the women tied their nets. I pushed this process further by using my initial toiles to do stand work to create more garments. I also took references from the AMAs wet suits.
Using white as the main colour for my fabrics symbolises how the AMA women used to wear white loincloth to ward off sharks. I also incorporated colours from the abalone pearl shell Blue, green and pink. I combined dry fabrics like neoprene with wet-looking fabrics like leatherette and PVC.
Work Experince – Markus Lupfer, London