My thesis topic is “Sacred Vessel”. For me, women’s body is a sacred vessel because only a woman’s body gives birth. However, many people in many parts of the world, especially people in developing countries such as China, need more awareness of the enormous impact of women’s labor on women's body and health, and the great value of reproduction for human society.
The significance of my collection is to educate the public, to let the public pay attention to the great things of female reproduction, to think about great sacrifices women have made for giving birth, and to inspire everyone to care more about women, not only the pregnant women, but also the postpartum women, because they deserve it.
My collection is inspired by a trending discussion regarding postpartum health on social media in China. May of 2019, Ella Chen, a Taiwanese celebrity, published a post on Facebook regarding her postpartum health problems, which later received much broader attention from nationwide audiences outside her fan group. Discussion regarding this issue became heated when a piece of shocking news reporting a pregnant woman jumped out of the hospital window after giving birth was published around the same time. I am intrigued by this topic and started my research on pregnancy and postpartum care through reading scientific articles and interviewing people around me with relevant experiences.
In my point of view, sustainable fashion looks beyond the fashion product as a piece of clothing or accessory and addresses its concern over the whole system of fashion to reduce wastes through recycling garments. I visited FABSCRAP, a store in New York featuring recycled fabrics obtained through donations for their storewide products. They are endeavoring to end commercial textile "waste" and educate generations of Chinese people on this important social issue. My concept is consistent with this appeal. My beliefs align with their mission and I hope to see more empowered change-makers joining us.
FABSCRAP sponsored the recycling fabric for my three garments, including a jacket, a knit top, and a knit skirt as an appreciation of my volunteer work with them.
Yaqi Zhang is a New York based fashion designer originally from Hangzhou, China. Yaqi cares about nature, health and sustainability. Her design pieces have some uplifting and gentle vibe that encourages, supports, and unites people.