A Colorful Connection: Designed by the Sea|
The Samudra collection is inspired by the sea as an interconnected ecosystem and the uniquely beautiful creatures that live within it. I wanted to share the visual connection between my designs and the muses that influenced their creation.
Watching the ocean move is the epitome of relaxation. I am drawn into its mystery and wonder with the rhythm of each passing wave as they roll into the shoreline. I thought of how sea kelp dances with this motion of the salty water and grows to incredible heights beneath the watery surface. This introspective thought process made me pay attention to how sunlight changed in its reflection across the sea from when the day began. As the sunshine faded and the moon rose, I thought about how the push and pull of its gravity decide when the tide will rise in a rush of energy or fall in tranquility.
Beneath the surface of shallow tropical breaking waves lie coral reefs. An extensive network of beautiful creatures that are built over time and is ever-changing. I am fascinated by the fact that they contain a quarter of all known marine life and act as a city with the continuous activity of year-round residents and annual visits from various marine animals. Corals are slow-growing filter feeders that are not only beautiful to look at but are the foundation upon which this underwater city is built. Within the vibrant architecture are Firework Clove Polyps. This type of soft coral community can multiply quickly and is found all over the warm waters of the Pacific including the Great Barrier Reef.
As I dove deeper, so to speak, I pondered the other sea creatures that rely on and find refuge within the foundation of a coral reef. Tiny Christmas Tree Worms find coral to live within and use cilia to acquire their food as it floats by. Their vibrant colors make them easy to spot, but they can quickly retreat into their burrows and wait until the coast is clear from danger if they feel threatened. Leafy Sea Dragons take a different approach. The size of a teacup, these ornate and delicate creatures evolved to blend in with the rocky reefs and seaweed beds they live in. The Queen Angelfish is adorned with a crown as a dark spot on their head, bright blue bodies, and stunning yellow tails. They remain camouflaged amongst the colorful reef as they move swiftly between coral to avoid interacting with predators.
When I first began creating my designs I was drawn to the movement of the colors and shapes that were inspired by the flowing fins of Siamese fighting fish also known as the betta fish. In Thailand, these fish are called “pla kat” due to the aggressive nature of male bettas as they will bite and fight other fish who tread too close for their comfort. These small yet forceful fish can be found in shallow bodies of freshwater such as rice paddies, swamps, ponds, or slow-moving streams. In the wild, they feed on insects, small crustaceans, mosquitos, and other arthropods. Sadly, these colorful creatures are vulnerable as their natural habitats are affected by urban development, pollution, and climate change.
It is now more important than ever to preserve the sea and all its creatures. I feel a personal responsibility to give back to what has provided me so much inspiration, but for all of us to continue celebrating the diversity of our bountiful oceans, we need to commit to protecting them. As a proud partner with 1% For The Planet, I wanted to focus on bringing greater awareness to environmental causes for ocean conservation with my designs. Climate change and human influence are threatening to shift the delicate balance of ecosystems and being a part of the fight for a clean sustainable future is very important to me personally and as a brand.