In the spirit of Peruvian summer, Awamaki Lab has been abuzz with creative activity. This September, our talented Season 2 fashion designers, Andria Crescioni and Courtney Cedarholm, joined us in Ollantaytambo to begin their four-month residency. The recent Parsons graduates are working side-by-side with members of both Lab's sewing cooperative and Awamaki's new knitwear association to develop their collection. As Awamaki invests in the expansion of its Women's Cooperative Program, Lab likewise extends the scope of its operation to support more female artisans in Ollantaytambo. Season 2 reflects this holistic growth, as Andria and Courtney experiment with a greater ambit of raw materials to focus Lab's collaborative effort and showcase the handiwork of women weavers, seamstresses, and knitters.
The new design team has had an invigorating presence in the Lab studio, introducing Lab's seamstresses to a wider range of design processes and inspiring them to test the limits of their sewing capabilities. Within this setting, Justa, Florentina and Estela have mastered their second Lab garment, completing production on the very detail-oriented Season 1 tie-front jacket. Advancing their skills further, they've begun to study design and construction with pattern maker Hannah Flor. One of the core values of Awamaki Lab is the encouragement of women to develop the professional skills and self-esteem that will ultimately lead to social transformation. Engaging the seamstresses in more challenging design projects, and teaching them the skills that will allow them to contribute directly to the design process is the first step to achieving this. Hannah has therefore been both professor and mentor to Justa, Florentina and Estela. She has created a hands-on curriculum that complements the seamstresses' learning style and amplifies their skills, while tying in techniques from Andria's and Courtney's collection to bridge the design-production gap.
Just this week, Justa, Florentina and Estela finished sketching, drafting and sewing their own bag designs, which will be sold as part of the Season 2 collection next year.
Thanks to your generous support, we've been able to continue to invest in these kinds of capacity-building workshops needed to expand our program, enabling women in rural Peru to develop a sustainable income for themselves, their families and their communities.
To see further examples of our cooperatives' work and get a jump-start on holiday shopping, visit our online store to view the S1 Lab skirts.
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