Diego Ortega


Class of: 2024

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: Fashion Design

Faculty: Jose DeJesus

Prompt: For my Space & Materiality final, we had to use found materials and repurpose them into the medium of our choice.

I began this assignment by wanting to create a garment that challenged what a textile could be. To do this I used paper shreds to make handmade paper and embossed it with Marigold petals to create the paper textile. The black tufting was created from plastic bag strips and painted black. The design of the garment was inspired by the regalia of Spanish colonizers as I am Mexican- Ecuadorian with Spanish, Afro-Latino, and Indigenous lineage. I wanted to create commentary about the impact the Spanish colonization had on the cultural landscape of Central and South American countries. I did this by embossing Marigold petals into the paper textile because the   ower is used to honor and mourn the dead in Mexico. For my design, I used it to symbolize the bloodshed from the colonization and the death of systems built by Indigenous communities. There is a term used in Latin America called “Mestizo” which is used to describe a person of mixed race, especially with Spanish and Indigenous descent. I feel like one side of me is responsible for the effects of the colonization and the other half of me has been affected by it. I wanted to express this complex sense of identity through this garment.