When seeking inspiration for my thesis Etérea, I began with discovering my personal identity by gathering objects/concepts I daydream of, things I absorb through my senses in music, film, and environment. As a first generation Mexican American, I am often inspired by things I’ve never experienced myself within my heritage. I use my imagination and historical images of what was and could have been to influence my visional interpretations. 

Etérea meaning ‘Ethereal’ in spanish was my choice of title for my thesis collection because it perfectly sums up how my personal growth has felt as a designer these past few years. Feeling lucky enough to study fashion in one of the best cities in the world felt unreal. Figuring out who I am as a designer and what I have to say is one of the biggest challenges I have faced through my studies. Representing my heritage is one of the most important things to me and in that I feel I have found my voice in my personal label CHAVARRI(My Guatemalan mothers last name).

For this collection I was directly inspired by Aztec/Mayan cultures use of natural locally sourced fibers to create raw textiles, bold silhouettes, using muted soft earth tones, and embellishing with stones creating odd organic shapes. Combining these elements with sleek modern design thus creating a futuristic, sci-fi inspired look focusing on the beauty in craftsmanship.

With my choice of materials I started with using deadstock aged cotton ropes, locally sourced wool fibers, natural stones, and repurposing 1970’s circuit boards for odd accessories. Being a thrifting hobbyist I enjoy using old materials and upcycling them into something modern to be loved and treasured for years to come. As a designer part of my mission to reduce waste and be apart of something more positive in the fashion industry. I am a strong believer that the industry needs to radically change for the sake of our planets health and our own survival. 

Photographer : Michelle Corvino

Model: Daisya Collins