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Dancing with the Survivors: Mariella Amado

Just like in any ballroom dance, the design, colors, texture, rhythm and music all coexist with each other to help the dancer. Expressing emotion in the room, creating an atmosphere where everyone is focused on her: What she's saying with her figure, how the colorful fibers move with her body voluntarily, as the audience is enjoying all the turns and variations of the melody.

I wanted to represent the breaking struggle, endurance, and the courage that a breast cancer survivor has gone through – achieving this by designing and constructing something meaningful. I wanted to create a balanced composition with this dress. The leather representing the hurt, harshness and the pain of being ill. Along with the soft fuchsia organza skirt and delicate flowers, creating the hope and beauty that it is to be alive.

I was very happy to meet Diane, and to hear about her family and experiences. I feel fortunate to have met such a wonderful lady, and I'm honored to be able to create something with such important message.