When asked to create a piece that spoke to an aspect of the fashion industry that I wish to change, I immediately thought about the lack of appreciation we have as consumers for the global presence of our clothing. Most garments touch the hands of people from many cultures around the world which is a beautiful concept that often goes unappreciated.
To fully develop this concept, I wanted to take it all the way back to the age when most garments were produced on American soil.
During the 1920s, thousands of immigrants poured into the United States from around the world. The various cultures and their people built America both literally and figuratively. These immigrants worked hard in the textile mills and in other strenuous locations but their cultures were rarely celebrated. In a time of so much celebration, so much room for celebration went ignored. Now as we look back on the faces and places that built our industry and our true American melting pot culture, we should acknowledge their history worth celebrating and how a cultural melting pot manifests in the modern global textile industry.
I chose a 1920’s style of dress because I felt that it most appropriately fit the concept idea. Each of the predominant cultures that immigrated to America during the 1920s is represented by a few traditional fabrics. These fabrics are cut up into strips then placed all together on the garment to symbolize the melting pot of all of the cultures that came together in the 1920s. The harmony of the fabrics represented in this piece serves as a symbol of both the beauty and uniqueness of each individual culture and the harmony of the cultures intertwined. This symbolism serves as a reminder of the past of the American textile industry and honors the hands around the world that continue to touch our garments, throughout the production process, today.