This Journey into Jamaican Identity must start with what is symbolic to many Jamaican’s around the world and to me. The above image signifies to me, the true meaning of what it is to be a Jamaican. Our national coat of arms which feature the motto, ‘Out of Many, One people‘ is crucial to my study as this is the essential point where I can view a object and identify myself with it. This notion has inspired me, to develop a collection of textiles that is symbolic to the identity and cultural development of Jamaican people. A celebration and education of our past and present.
From a young age, growing up in a British Jamaican household; we are told by our Grandparents about the importance and value of understanding our heritage, and would often be taken into the living room where this very coat of arms would stand proud as a true symbol of our identity as a people. Creating a collection of textiles and fashioning them as luxury fashion pieces will take on their very own symbolism of identity; at a glance the viewer/wearer will understand what is being celebrated in each piece; much like what many of today’s fashion designers achieve within their collections like John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood, who often have cultural themes; like British colonialism and the on going development of culture and subjective identity within their work today as both a celebration and protest.