During the 9th Annual Chicago Fashion Show (a benefit for Live Out Loud Charity) held at the gorgeous Palmer House in downtown Chicago, there was a prismatic designer that left the crowd awe-struck with her picturesque, one-of-a-kind, variegated designs that kicked off the show with a bang. Which designer is this you ask? None other than PranaMaker. The visionary behind the designs, creator Natalia Marie. Let’s get to know her.
An interview with Natalia Marie.
Q: What inspired you to become a designer and to create the types of pieces that you do?
Prana is upward moving, life-force energy, which I strive to impart through my use of handpainted textiles in art, activism, interior design and fashion. PranaMaker embodies my multifaceted healing modalities which acknowledge that fashion is a form of self expression and self care. I have the first piece of fabric I ever painted framed and signed. I was 3 years old. There are photos of me walking in the wilderness wrapped in my mother’s textiles at age 7. So in many ways, I have lived as a designer, though I avoided wrap dress-up for 20 years after a family member became interested in me. I developed PranaMaker handpainted wrap fashion to reclaim the empowering experience of dress up, first for myself, and then for other survivors around me, including practitioners at the Hancock Center for Healing Arts, where PranaMaker is used therapeutically.
Q: How can models & admirers find out more about your collections and your shows?
First and foremost, shop my immediately available selection at PranaMaker.etsy.com. Then follow me on Instagram and Facebook to catch updates and opportunities like digital model calls. And definitely subscribe to my PranaMaker YouTube to dive deep into wrap tutorials and to see music videos I have shot and have been featured in.
Q: What shows/productions have you showcased in our publications are you most proud of being featured in?
Sherrie Gearheart’s 9th Annual Live Out Loud Charity Show in Chicago in December of 2018 was the most exciting and satisfying events I have ever been apart of thus far in my almost ten years designing as PranaMaker, from shows I have done in Maui, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Illinois. This was my first landmark opportunity to open a fashion show and perform a duet on stage with my husband Soulo. I also celebrated presenting the largest collection of designs I had ever curated.
Q: Why did you choose to showcase in the Live Out Loud Charity, 9th Annual Chicago Fashion Show held at the Palmer House?
Undoubtedly, the main draw is the high-level of organization that Sherrie Gearheart implements as CEO and Producer. Emanating from her leadership is the greatest cast and crew of interns and volunteers and investors who coalesce around the motivating mission of suicide prevention, a topic that is near and dear to me for the survivors in my life and the struggles that I personally face with CPTSD. It is this phenomenal intersection of mission-based work, fashion, and high-level production, that draws me to Sherrie Gearheart’s Live Out Loud events.
*Photos by Cuauhtemoc Campos.
*Producer: Sherrie Gearheart