PROJECT PM WATERLILY
Innovative. Avant-garde. Distinctive. Sophisticated. This is Patricia Michaels. A Native American fashion and textile designer, native of Taos Pueblo and creator of PM Waterlily, a thoroughly modern, beautifully original fashion design company. From New York City and her home in Taos, New Mexico, she produces custom tailored garments, high-end limited edition apparel and casual ready-to-wear lines for men and women, incorporating artistic hand-dyed fabrics.
THE REALITY (TV):
Winning runner-up on the popular Lifetime reality series "PROJECT RUNWAY" Season 11, was the chance of a lifetime opportunity. The experience was invaluable, the exposure was priceless, the accomplishment of being the first Native American Designer to appear on the show was history making, but there was no consolation prize. The monetary compensation for appearing on the show and coming in second place was $0. This is where I need your help!
"MAKE IT WORK!"
This truly is a make it work moment for me, my PM Waterlily Label, and my team. The goal of raising $49,000 will be used as the seed money to help allow my company to blossom. So much goes into production, manufacturing and putting on a runway show, and this amount will just begin to cover an extremely expensive endeavor. The plan is in place, all I need is your cooperation. This next collection is crucial to the growth and future of PMW. $49K in 49 days seems like an incredible request, but we feel that if Indian Country gets involved, Project Runway fans get the word out and PM Waterlily clients continue to support us, we can achieve this together. To Natives, a "49" is a celebration or impromptu party after a gathering or powwow, it is spread word of mouth and usually spontaneous in spirit. We intend to throw fundraising events throughout the campaign to share in the experience and bring the community together. Be part of history!
PLANT THE SEEDS
If I could persuade all of my family, friends and fans to generously contribute $1 - $5 to this Project PM Waterlily Campaign, we could make this dream a reality. Please do what you can to spread the word; share this -http://igg.me/at/pmwaterlily/x/3944590 link on all your favorite social media outlets, tell 5 friends, use the indiegogo share tools, give what you can. Your support and energy are essential in making this crowdfunding campaign successful!
The PM Waterlily Label is constantly evolving while maintaining the original essence of what makes it so unique. This new collection is once again eco-friendly, in tune with Mother Earth, inspired by and conscience of protecting it. We are entrusted to take care of the environment for future generations, and this is the central driving force behind the PMW design process; from the fabrication, to algae plant-based dyes, locally sourced fibers. The textile printing and hand-painted methods, cuts of material, draping, and minimal machine work, all contribute to reducing waste and creating a sense of balance. This ready-to-wear line will have a more structured silhouette, lots of mix and match pieces in a variety of fabrics that will take you from day to evening wear, and affordable pricing. The majority of the garments will range from $50-$350. Of course there will be some of the luxe, avant-garde showstoppers, but all of these pieces are designed to flatter each other, offer effortless elegance and compliment your style personality. Feel free to dress it up or down, layer or go for a relaxed minimalistic look.
My given Taos Pueblo name is Waterlily. For my people, from murky waters, a Waterlily survives. This reflects my life view which is one that embraces endurance. My idea of “green” is really blue. Water can be wild; it can be gentle. Water is not life-giving; it is life itself. My clothing designs are timeless and fluid, capturing this dual nature of water.
I create highly individualized pieces that are elegant, sophisticated and organic by fusing my own aesthetic with indigenous and European perspectives.
The detail of every garment, from hand-painted silk feathers, and meshed leather to textures that echo the natural world, I evoke my own history and culture as part of a larger timeless narrative.
Each design tells a story. Just as a river is pierced by a tree branch, time is momentarily anchored within the garment. Each piece is created, is worn, and continues to create fresh new meanings into the future. Every person brings his or her own sense of self into the narrative and enriches the meaning. In this way, we might defy the consumerist sense of fashion as something we can put on, take off, and casually cast aside.
As the first Native American to appear on Project Runway, it was my mission to ensure that our history and culture are seen through my designs, infusing them with elements from the world around us. Though my aesthetic is not present in the mainstream media, I do want to change the way Native Americans are perceived and portrayed. More than anything I want to be a successful contemporary fashion and textile designer.
I auditioned in 2012 for Project Runway’s Season 11 at the encouragement of the show’s producers who were familiar with my work. After hundreds of questions, essays and photo submissions, I was selected as one of 16 fashion designers from across the United States and abroad, competing for the top spot on the Lifetime hit show that debuted on January 24th, 2013.
My original perspective and talent for textile manipulation, made me a stand out in the competition. No one was doing what I was doing, at times it wasn’t understood or accepted. My designs are abstract, not literal, because they are interpretations. All of my garments have meaning behind them; they come from a very old culture but I bring them into a very contemporary realm. The ability to create a garment from the draping and patterning to the fabrication and design, carried me through the season and in the end helped me claim the runner-up title. The advice and guidance from the Judges; Heidi Klum, Zac Posen, Nina Garcia, Michael Kors and mentor, Tim Gunn, were invaluable to me and I will be forever grateful for the experience. I wanted to represent our People well, to show off the beauty and talents we have to offer without forgetting who I am and where I come from. I believe I achieved this and hope to continue to make my family, friends, Pueblo, all Native Tribes and people at large around me proud, with a strong voice and an honest dialogue of what we believe in.
EMERGENCE & BLOOM
Our Project PM Waterlily: Funding Fashion Week Plan is to pull enough resources to execute, produce and manufacture the next collection(s) for Fashion Week. Our goal is to raise a total of $49K. Plans are already set in place to be a presence during both Santa Fe Fashion Week in Oct. 2013 and NYFW in 2014, displaying our Spring & Fall Collections. This incredible task takes a lot of work from many people and this is where we need your assistance. You, our contributors, are seen as investors. We want to provide only the best ready-to-wear garments, accessories and art merchandise possible. In order to maintain this high level of quality and unique vision, we are forced to expand the company. This growth will be initiated in hiring new staff, training interns, paying photographers, purchasing new up to date equipment, employing the latest textile and fabric design technology, raising funds for full-time PR representation, allotting monies for business related transportation needs, travel, lodging, marketing, social media presence, advertisement, webpage maintenance, textile development, printing options, seamstresses, pattern makers, new bust forms, sewing machines, keeping up with the costs of running the studio, attaining a reserve for models, hair/makeup and so much more. If you believe in this dream as we do, please consider donating to this campaign.
PM WATERLILY IS INTERNATIONAL
Without funding, PM Waterlily has already attained a global presence. But with your contribution, we can take this company to the next level. I feel that this a huge turning point in my career, and now is the time to put all of my years of hard work, experience and know-how to good use. To give a brief history of what is possible, I've jotted down some of my adventures, travels and accomplishments -
My memories of playing among giant stacks of Navajo rugs in my mother’s gallery in Santa Fe, were actually the first contact and connection I had with the rich, brilliant heritage of Native American textiles. Following my desire to create fabric and textile art, I was drawn to the world of couture fashion. My career spans almost 30 years, starting with the Institute of American Indian Arts, where I studied graphic design, jewelry and traditional techniques. This experience led to an internship with the Santa Fe Opera working in the Wardrobe Department. Later while attending The Chicago Art Institute, I worked at the Field Museum and an art gallery. A passion for tailoring, design and craftsmanship brought me to Milan, Italy, where I apprenticed with Tailor Bruno. In Italy, fashion is considered an art form unto itself and honing one’s craft is highly respected. I standby and share this belief to this very day, fashion is art!
My next move was to the “Fashion Capitol of the World”, New York City. I applied my knowledge of art, fashion, and textile design to create some of my first samples and collaborations with Cindy Mak, who was located in the heart of the garment district. This relationship produced my first collection that was showcased at Fashion Week. With the help of “UNRESERVED” American Indian Arts & Fashion Alliance, I became the first and only Native Fashion Label to show at the prestigious New York Fashion Week at Bryant Park. Project Runway presented me with the opportunity to accomplish another unprecedented feat; first Native American Designer to participate in Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week in The Tents at Lincoln Center.
Other career highs include working with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as the assistant director for two international cultural exchange shows that promoted Native American and South African fashion designers and artists. I showed in both the Santa Fe Indian Market cultural fashion show and the Johannesburg, South African runway show. I was also selected as a featured artist for the Aboriginal Awards Festival and showed at Toronto Fashion Week. After launching my first line of eco-friendly clothing at BODY of Santa Fe and being part of the “Art To Wear” exhibit at the Wheelwright Museum, I was asked to participate in New Zealand’s world-renown Maori Art Market Fashion Show in Wellington, NZ. Upon returning to New Mexico, I was chosen as one of the featured Native American Designers at Buffalo Thunder Resort’s first annual fashion event which later became Santa Fe Fashion Week. SWAIA’s Annual Indian Market then awarded me with several prestigious awards including Best of Classification in Textiles (a unanimous vote; an unbelievable first for a modern garment or textile) a First Place in Garments and First Place in Contemporary Fashion & Accessories. Recently, I was honored to be named as one of the “Remarkable Women of Taos” and received a Letter of Recognition of Accomplishments from the New Mexico State Senator’s Office.
All of this happened because others believed in me and my vision. It is just the beginning and more is just around the corner. By giving to this campaign you will be reserving a spot for a Native American perspective in the mainstream fashion world and create future opportunities for upcoming NA Designers. You will also ensure the continuum of a rich culture, beliefs and art through your generous act of donating.
Where exactly will the funds go? Well, here is a breakdown of our current and most immediate needs:
Fabric – Silks, Organza, Tulle, Seersucker, Leather, Felted Wool, Cotton, Bamboo, Soy, etc.
Illustrations (Working & Promotional) – This includes croquis, detailed working sketches for production, and finished gouache illustrations for clients and press.
Ink, Dyes, Paints, Tools & Brushes - All necessary to implement my hand-painted designs & silk-screening.
Findings – Jewelry making supplies, Beading, Embellishments, Trim, Ribbons, Buttons, Zippers, Thread, etc.
Mannequins – New, size 4-6 bust forms and display mannequins for showroom.
Machinery & Technology -Sewing Machine, Serger with Industrial capabilities, more machines for multiple seamstresses, 3D Printer, Office Computer & Laptop.
Staff – Paying Seamstresses, Assistants, Business Manager, Accountant, Legal Advisors, Webmaster, Studio Helpers/Organizers, Fit Model, Editorial and Runway Models, MUAH, Photographers, Social Media Interns, Graphic Designers, Event Security, Public Relations, Writers (Grants, Proposals, Budget), Shipping and Receiving Orders, etc.
Transportation – A company vehicle for Trunk Shows, Markets, Trade & Fashion Shows; capable of transporting garments, supplies, roller racks, hangers, booth partitions, steamers, repair kits, banners, promotional items, bags, packaging materials.
Travel – Personal appearances, events, interviews, lectures, show openings, fashion week costs, food, accommodations, air & ground transportation, per diem and costs of traveling with assistants, manager, etc.
Studio/ Showroom – Electric, Gas, Water, Internet, Phone, Rent, Repairs & Waste Management/ Recycling.
Production – Keeping up with current and future orders, muslins, samples, patterns, manufacturing capabilities, etc.
Venue / Permits / Licenses / Insurance – A New York location for the runway show. Certain options are available, though a prime position is important. A contribution of a gallery space, store, warehouse, club, hotel, loft, penthouse or a unique venue in lieu of a financial donation would be greatly appreciated. Also needed, space for a possible reception/ meet & greet with press, clientele, investors before the show, after party & Buyers follow-up meetings.
Stage / Lighting – A professional team to set up and design the backdrop, backstage area, runway, seating and lighting.
Sound / Music – Original compositions and sound engineer / mixers.
Event Staff – PR, Production, Security, Door People, Guest List Check-in, Ushers, Dressers, Hair & Makeup, In House Photographer, and Videographer.
Advertisement - Invitations, flyers, postcards, pamphlets, banners, photographs, printing, assembling guest lists, contacting media and buyers, creating awareness, networking, cross-promotion, recruiting sponsors, step & repeat, red carpet & rope, press releases, look book, donated items for gift bags and seeking out possible partnerships.
Stylist – Creative Director, Hair / Makeup, Accessories, Jewelry & Shoes.
Incentives – Money to cover the costs of offered incentives that include airfare, food, lodging, materials, studio time, fundraising event related costs, promotional material, product and shipping. Please take a look at our Indiegogo "Gallery" tab. We will have pictures of some of the offered incentives here.
(Accountability) - Estimated shipment dates are posted with item(s). Due to the nature of these handmade products, slight variations will occur which make each garment or accessory unique. We will directly contact you if there are any changes or unavailability of promised item. A comparable item, package or experience will be offered in compensation if the need arises. All dates are subject to the PMW schedule and availability. Airfare and accomidations are not included unless otherwise noted.
THE PMW IMPACT
What I understand is that tradition and modernity combined, can move forward the dynamic and creative cultures of Native Peoples. As far as my creative process is concerned, I realize that I don’t own traditional culture; I am just fortunate enough to participate in it. The pure enjoyment and love I feel through my participation – combined with my global travels – has helped me create the different forms, shapes, cuts, textures, and subtle imagery of my designs. My commitment to both fashion and heritage has led me to walk many creative paths. I want you to join me on this continued journey.
By sharing this information and campaign address with your family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, on social networking sites, blogs, forums, and at similar events or community gatherings, you can be one of the seeds that help grow this new company. Any contribution is appreciated, even as small as one dollar, because it all adds up in the end. A great many people together with a united goal can make any dream possible. All of the milestones that I’ve experience in last few years were not achieved on my own. I had a group of people who believed in my work, collaborated with me, donated their time and resources and now you can be acknowledged as part of my team.
Since I was young, I was told that when we leave our village, we represent our people so when we return home we should make them proud. I was taught by the women in my family to walk in grace and that the women from Taos Pueblo are strong but gentle – we have nothing to prove, just that we take care of our family, ourselves, and our culture. This dream is my way of giving back to the community, to give a voice to my People. I have always aimed to raise awareness for NA Causes, Schools. Scholarships & Non-Profits. I have donated my time, energy and clothing to help benefit at-risk youth, NA Organizations and Art Programs. My ultimate hope is that I will be able to open doors for other aspiring designers and artists, give them as sense of confidence and have our shared legacy live on.
THE NEAR FUTURE
Some of the amazing opportunities that have been presented to us are confidential, but we will share them with you when the time is right. You can keep up with all our events, collaborations, and purchase PMW originals by visiting the PM Waterlily website –
You can also “Like” Patricia Michaels / PM Waterlily – Project Runway Season 11 (The Official Patricia Michaels Facebook Fan Page) –
Follow pmwaterlily on Instagram -
Or follow us on TWITTER -
This is where you’ll be the first to hear about breaking news, appearances, lectures, shows, exhibits, TV spots, radio interviews, charity & fundraising events.
POEH Cultural Center & Museum Exhibit – Show Runs: August 15th thru November 16th (8/15/13 -10/16/13). August 15th, Opening Reception 5pm - 8pm, Pueblo of Pojoaque, 78 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506.
Call 505.455.3334 for more information.
Native American Family Wellness Day (Patricia Michaels: Keynote Speaker) - Saturday, August 24th, 7am - 3pm, 6601 S San Fernando Ave Tucson, AZ 85756
PM Waterlily Workshops @LEGENDS Gallery - August 14th & 16th. Workshop Hours- 10am-2pm. 125 Lincoln Ave Santa Fe, NM 87501. Call 505.983.5639 to enroll or for more information.
Patricia Michaels' Indian Market Opening Reception @LEGENDS Gallery - August 17th, 7am - 5pm. 125 Lincoln Ave Santa Fe, NM 87501. Call 505.983.5639 for more information.
Indian Market Weekend: Patricia Michaels @LEGENDS Gallery - August 17th & 18th. 125 Lincoln Ave Santa Fe, NM 87501. Call 505.983.5639 for more information.
*Fundraising Event - Patricia Michaels' Indian Market Party & Indiegogo Fundraiser @the Palace Restaurant & Saloon. August 17th, 6pm - 11pm, 142 West Palace Ave Santa Fe, NM 87501. https://www.facebook.com/events/146558802218187/
*Fundraising Event - Indiegogo Launch Party and Project Runway Season 12 Premiere Screening - @Rouge Cat, July 18th, 5:30pm - 9:00pm, 101 West Marcy, Santa Fe, NM.
The "Remarkable Women of Taos" Book Signing & Launch Party - @KTAOS Solar Center, Thursday, July 25th from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, Taos, NM.