The black diamond-pattern fabric developed for this jacket was originally inspired by the traditional indigo-dyed cotton version of the Buyi minority tribe in the south of Guizhou. In this modernized version, Miao fabric masters re-wove the pattern using silk thread in our training program workshop in Dimen village.
The silk worms for the fabric were raised in the homes of Miao villagers between the months of April and June, when they can be fed the fresh leaves of the local mulberry trees.
The fabric was then dyed black by a Miao dye master using a special tree bark found in the mountain forest. The bark was removed during the month of August when it will not harm the tree.
The hand-pleated skirt was made from organic cotton fabric hand-woven by the Dong minorities in Zhaoxing village. The fabric is brushed with water buffalo glue and tree sap for stiffness. Natural indigo and green persimmon are combined to achieve the black dye.
The black hand-pounded metal pieces show Miao mythological motifs of dragons, half-men / half-birds, and sacred dogs. Traditionally, they were made of pure silver to show the wealth of the family.
Above look credits: Sunny Lee (photographer), Yi Guo (stylist)