I am a Fashion Designer who’s garments are expressive, loud, colorful, bold, and playful.
My concepts are inspired by my Mexican background. Studying in the US for the past four years, away from home has made me reflect and connect deeply with my Mexican culture. Recently, I’ve been drawn to and fascinated by our extreme need to celebrate small achievements and joys of everyday life – from celebrating graduating kindergarten to turning 15. We like to celebrate everything!
This excitement and enthusiasm of each celebration is something I enjoy bringing to my designs. They inform everything from the colors and choice of fabric and materials to the shapes and forms my garments take.
I research my concepts from my own personal experiences and memories. As bizarre as a quinceañera’s dress shape is so can the shapes seen in my garments be. They are directly extracted from photographs or memories. Sometimes, the shape drawn on out can be as literal as a fish forming a coat; or abstract and gestural like the party monster in my Baila Conmigo collection.
My sense of color has always been an important aspect of my work, which is attributed to growing up in Mexico. I’ve been surrounded so much by it from the Mexican streets being dotted with colorful houses to vibrant colors even while celebrating the dead in Día de Los Muertos. This is why the choice of color feels very instinctive. I don’t fear pairing a deep blue with a hot pink, which is beside a bright orange that is on top of an emerald green. While designing, I block out conventional color pairings and instead deeply consider the choice of color in relation to what I’m researching. I like every color to stand out and compliment the other, without hiding anything.
The fabrics and materials further exaggerate the form and color. I enjoy using textured fabrics that are largely embellished with sequins and crystals. The sequins enhance my garment by highlighting and drawing the viewer’s eyes to move through the garment. Similarly, I draw with crystals by hand embellishing them into the garments. This allows me to recreate specific line drawings from my sketchbook, for instance, a face on a pair of pants, or crystal shrimps looking off your shoulders.
Together the shapes, materials, and color form a garment that exemplifies a celebration. I want the wearer to feel like jumping, shaking, and dancing with every step. I’m constantly listening to Reggaeton, a Spanish musical genre. This inspires me to bring this rhythm and movement to my designs. My way of bringing this rhythm to my garments is through repetition. I push my fabric manipulation to the extremes, If I pleat fabric, it will be yards and yards or you find 3 different types of ruffles all over a jacket. By exaggerating the amount of fabric on the garment, I create a sense of movement for the wearer.
It is important for me to create collaboratively and gain other insights in every process of making. Since my work is so deeply connected to my cultural background, I like to think about how it may be perceived by those outside my culture. This helps cultivate a design that is both personal and can be understood universally. I further try to elevate my design practice by gaining perspectives from people working in other disciplines such as architecture, graphic design, and fine art.
My garments celebrate the body that carries them. The colors, shapes, and textures make them loud inviting everyone who is around them to celebrate. My garments are an invitation to celebrate, celebramos?
Valeria Watson is a Mexican multidisciplinary artist and fashion designer. Her garments are expressive, loud, colorful, bold, and playful. Her concepts are inspired by her Mexican background. Her research mainly comes from her own personal experiences and memories. Together the shapes, materials, and color form garments that exemplify a celebration for the body that carries them. All the elements together make her garments loud inviting everyone who is around them to join this celebration.