A Houston fashion designer reportedly recently created a signature collection to reflect both elegance and endurance.
O’Rhonde Chapman said he took his inspiration from survivors of both natural disasters and man-made catastrophes, ranging from the Las Vegas massacre to the California wildfires, as well as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Chapman, a Houston native, also said he lost his home, his car and most of his belongings during Hurricane Harvey, as he waded through chest-high water to escape his flooded Memorial neighborhood.
“In that moment, I realized you have a choice. You have a choice to shut down and mope or you can pick up your fragments and pieces and create,” Chapman said in an interview with a local TV station.
According to reports, Chapman’s three-dress collection uses materials, such as layered netting, black satin and micro-suede stretch fabric, to symbolize both loss and perseverance through tragedy; he described the colors are mostly dark, without the bright splashes of color usually found in a new designer’s efforts.
Chapman said the dark colors symbolize the “devastation that we go through in life that work together to beautify us & mold us into the masterpieces we were created to be.”
Despite the losses he and other hurricane survivors endured, Chapman said he wants his collection to stand for hope and positive outlooks in times of loss and sorrow:
“I wanted to be that voice for everybody here and show that we can come together and overcome things despite tragedy.”