Carissa Wang

Burning Red

In my Capstone project, I’ve chosen to explore the aftermath of the Vancouver Bushfire, specifically expressing the psychological and physical torments faced by the wildlife. The collection I’ve created is more than a fashion statement. With its predominant use of blood-red and black silhouettes, it symbolizes the voices of these animals who suffered in silence, evoking their anguish and pain. Each piece is deliberately designed to represent our ignorance of the environment, allowing us to feel moved to take part in solving climate change. As such, I hope to evoke a sense of responsibility and urgency for us to resolve our impacts on the environment and poor consumption habits that have otherwise disassociated us from the natural world. Through various textile manipulation techniques, I was able to communicate and illustrate the consequences of the bushfire to life: the burn marks on the edges illustrate the damage of the fire, the hollowed-out garments represent the aching of the wildlife, and the loose yarn indicate flesh wounds on their bodies. With these techniques, I hope to achieve a message that acknowledges both the immediate and lasting effects of bushfires. Ultimately, my collection acts as a call to action, urging humanity to understand that though we share our differences, we need to collectively take part in preserving the world. However, achieving this is not simple, as it is crucial to accurately reflect these messages through designs that portray emotions and speak for themselves. As such, I have chosen to use unembellished yet strong tones of black and red to exhibit the piece. The crimson red layered on top of the black foundation creates a shadowed effect, illustrating the emptiness and misery of these animals. In essence, this colour symbolism is my unique way of combining art and socio-environmental activism. I believe that fashion can be used as a platform to educate and inspire people to recognize environmental mishaps, and to be conscious about our actions. Though we have agonized aspects of nature, we ought to remain empathetic and faithful towards environmental stewardship and sustainability.