“El Jardín de Eva”, A Collection of Pussy Power Suits by Atelier Crump
The word pussy has two meanings in the English language. The first, vagina, and the second, coward. That fact is a perfect reflection of the shame that is instilled upon women when it comes to our bodies. The intention of El Jardín de Eva, ("The Garden of Eve") the latest collection of Colombian fashion brand, Atelier Crump, is to trash this taboo and reconcile women with their femininity.
"What happens to me in life is reflected in my work one or two years later,” designer Diana Crump told Mindful Feminism. “For me, masculine energy was always the 'easy energy,' the one I was told was good. Since I was very young, I understood that if I wanted to be respected, I had to excel in mathematics and not in art, I had to be intellectual and not very creative, I ought to be strong and do things like play soccer at school. All stuff that I associated with masculinity. "
It’s not surprising then that Atelier Crump started with the intention of reinventing the suit to transfer the power of this traditionally masculine piece of clothing, to a female audience. “Since I was little, growing up in Colombia, I really hated the way women were expected to dress to please others and to sell themselves to men by wearing low-cut tops and tight clothes.” Later on, Diana lived in Paris for seven years. During that time, she felt liberated wearing anything and everything she wanted, which allowed her to really experience the relationship between fashion and happiness.
Creating structured blazers and fully buttoned shirts for the female Latin American market, was a rebellious bet to encourage women to embrace fashion as a tool of emancipation and happiness for themselves, not others.
Diana considers herself a feminist that contributes to the movement “in her own way.” “The fashion world is an ideal place for activism because people are completely open, they are happy, they want new things, and they want their minds to be changed. I feel that my role in fashion is to change mentalities about women, especially in Latin America."
The idea for her new collection El Jardín De Eva started with a book: "I read an amazing book that helped me a lot, Pussy by Regina Thomashauer. I found it at a friend’s place in Mexico, and the title really caught my eye, I thought it was so intense". In it, Thomashauer criticizes the negative connotations traditionally assigned to the word "pussy" and invites her readers to embrace the intense power of the feminine.
But what pushed Diana over the edge was an article published in The Guardian entitled The Lack of Female Genitals on Statues Seems Thoughtless Until You See it Repeated, "After reading that I said, ok, I definitely have to express this.”
When asked how she felt about the possibility of pushback, she recalled her boyfriend’s initial reaction: "I remember I said to him 'in my next collection I want to do pussies', to which he immediately replied 'No! Terrible!'. He personally thought the idea was divine, and he loves everything I do, but he was also sure my clients would find it awful”. This only made her want it more. And we’re so glad it did because the execution of her idea is absolutely impeccable.
Since January, she’s been researching for the collection that just launched last week in Bogotá. The fascinating pieces include embroideries of eyes and prints full of orchids that evoke vaginal forms. "I wanted to introduce the theme in a sophisticated and subtle way, so I used transparent fabrics with folds, and very pink, blood red, and purple colors. And I called it El Jardín de Eva (“The Garden of Eve”) to make an allusion to the weight of the Christian-Catholic religion that has condemned women because of Eve’s so-called ‘sins’”, shared the Colombian designer.
The breathtaking collection is described by Diana as a major disruption in her creative process. "As I mentioned before, I began working with masculine ideals in mind, wishing to transfer that power to women, but this work is completely different, it’s the fruit of a reflection beyond balancing the two energies and a reconciliation with my feminine energy, one that when I began to truly understand, I began to truly value”.
Atelier Crump’s new collection of pussy power suits is the perfect example of the phenomenal things that happen when women break the rules, recognize their worth, and ignore the tons of voices that say we should be invisible. More of this in the fashion world, please!
*This interview has been edited & condensed for clarity.