The latest issue of Maker's Magazine, titled Women, launched a week ago, and I am honored that RSPNSV TXTLS' "We Are Woman" project can be found in its pages. This is the first time I created work under the RESPONSIVE TEXTILES label that was purely passion motivated. So it is something I am especially proud of and excited to share with you. This project had been stirring in my heart and mind for about three years. Yes, it took a while. However, in the midst of our country's current political and social turbulence, I think this project poured out of me when it was meant to.
"We are Woman" explores female empowerment and vulnerability in the face of what modern-day sexism looks like. In spite of this objectification, I strived to demonstrate real women just being the dynamic and complex individuals they are. This group of women, who participated and graciously volunteered their time for the project, encompass so many things in their lives: professionals, students, mothers, creatives, adventures and beyond. I asked each to emote what being a woman means to her and how it makes her feel in the moment. This photo shoot documents her response. As a result, the project became an overview of what current female empowerment looks like. This series culminates in a final image of everyone together, in support of each other, owning their space, being direct with their gaze and standing proud to be “Woman.”
A talented team of women made this project happen. And this time, that included me (Kristine of RSPNSV TXTLS) not only being the designer, but also modeling it up! For all who know me even slightly, you know that I am a behind-the-scenes kind of girl. At my runway shows, my finale walk is literally facilitated by a model holding my hand and guiding me the whole way. So the thought of stepping in front of the camera was completely terrifying and vulnerable, especially in the garments I was creating for this shoot. All I could think of was the list of insecurities I felt about myself. However, I was asking six other women, most of whom are not models, to step out of their comfort zone and participate in this project. I knew it was time to be brave with them.
The beginning of my photoshoot time was awkward. "What do I normally do with this hand" awkward. I liken it to standing alone on a spotlit stage. However, after a few minutes, that intimidating stage just became a room. A room filled with friends, some of whom I had just met. The list of insecurities I had brought with me had disappeared. I was in a safe space, enjoying time with amazing people. Seriously... at some point in the day, a Beyonce dance party happened. That is next level people! Very fittingly, the photoshoot itself had created an environment very much like what I aimed to create in this project's final images: empowering and supportive, as well as vulnerable and real. And in this amazing space, these women and I made something very special and very human. Order your copy of Maker's Magazine today and see for yourself.
x Kristine of RESPONSIVE TEXTILES
You can really feel how at home I am in that makeup chair... Hah! or maybe not. Shout out to Joansie Rose for talking me through the process. x
An end of day snapshot taken by the amazing Molly Van Kley capturing me in a perfect state of elation and exhaustion.