Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s sought refuge in New York City and developed the area known today as Chinatown; a large hub for different types of transportation, occupation, and people. My design, Bloom, explores the Urban adaptation of the transportation and transaction of objects around New York City.
I developed a pattern based off of the city’s subway map that captured the experience of walking through the bustling streets of New York from an aerial perspective. I incorporated this design into floral printouts that I used in the skirt as well as the bodice. The skirt, made from sewing balsa wood hexagons into the fabric, reflects the baskets that vendors often use to transport and sell their flowers through it’s sculptural form. The bright primary colors are juxtaposed throughout the garment to attract attention from those walking down the street, in hopes of the wearer selling their flowers. Bloom introduces sartorial elegance into street vending and encourages the audience to redefine the notion of selling stands as static structures.
While walking through the overly-crowded Canal street, a woman attempting to push two massive flower carts down the sidewalk caught my eye. I was inspired to create a piece that transformed the difficult occupation she had into a beautiful garment that represented the daily life of a mobile street vendor in Chinatown.