Monday, December 4, 2017

Ethereal Light: The Look Book

These garments and the thousands of hours I spent hand-knitting them were inspired by the process of healing and designed to give light to an area that is dark.  This darkness took me 4 years of "umms and stumbles" before I could even say it.  When I was young, I was sexually abused by my older brother. He suffered from schizophrenia and he later committed suicide.

Conquering these traumas weren’t easy; it took a lot of amazing people to knit me back together and bring me out of darkness, which is why I designed this collection inspired by light: to remind those of us who have been abused that they there is light after darkness and that they are not alone.  

I'm very thankful to these people, one of them being my beading collaborator Hannah Buechler who crystalized these pieces with hundreds of sparkles.  Also, I’m incredibly thankful to Swarovski Crystals for sponsoring my collection and giving even more light to this story!

Photography:  Franklin Headen.  Video:  Jordan Studdard.  Model: Mattah Parker. 

My heart in sharing my story and this collection is to give hope for those processing a similar abuse.  I contemplated for a long time whether or not to share this, but In the end, I needed to; I know there are those of us who feel more broken than whole - but wholeness does come again!

Healing is not a sad face emoji in the comment section. It takes a lot of pain, and hardship to say the truth out loud to someone you trust.  The fear is overwhelming at first, but it becomes less of a terror each time.  

The best thing that people did was listen, and remind me that I was not defined by my situation.  That there were better things ahead.  That it may not come right away, but eventually, after a long night, there would be a glimmer of light.  And eventually, those dark memories would be drowned out by light.


  1. the collection is absolutely beautiful.

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  2. I've been a follower of your blog for a long time but I think it's the first time I comment. I admire your strength and resilience to share your story, I'm sure it will help many people. You probably know it already, but if you don't, in the "Dear Sugar" column (before on The Rumpus and now in the New York Times), and subsequent book "Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed there are great words about healing.
    Your collection is absolutely gorgeous, congratulations on bringing such a big project to life!

  3. I am very proud of you, Esther.

  4. This is a beautiful post with a gorgeous collection. You are: Brave, Talented, Strong, Brilliant, a Warrior, an Inspiration to others who have gone through similar trauma... but mostly- you are NOT Alone! Thank you for being transparent bc in doing so, Freedom is attained- you, my dear, are going to be Free from this day forward and no more secrets can hold you captive! It’s just beautiful.<3 May God Bless You and Be with You.XO

  5. Beautiful collection from a beautiful young lady. It's unbelievable the strength that you would have had to muster up to do this work! Blessings to you!

  6. This collection is beautiful and a testament to extraordinary perseverance and hard work. You are very brave to tell your story, and I am so glad to hear people reminded you that you are not defined by your trauma. I wish you all the best for your future life, and work.

  7. Your talent and craftsmanship are breathtaking, your creativity and imagination are inspiring, and your bravery and heart are beautiful. Many congratulations to you on everything you have accomplished.

  8. You are amazing, Esther. Thank you for speaking out so that others can find courage and healing. Your work is simply beautiful.

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  10. Breathtakingly beautiful. It exhibits so beautifully your finding your light.

  11. I have never commented before, though I've long admired your work. This look is beautiful and unique, and speaking your truth will spread comfort like snow to to further corners of the world than you ever thought possible. We are not a dichotomy, the broken and the whole. We all have equal capacity for joy and success and beauty. Thanks for reminding me. -From Washington state

  12. Esther, it is so touching to see the beauty in your creations! The process of healing is hard and it is great that you are on that path. It’s good to know we are not alone, but our Lord leads, directs and carries us in these healing times. You are loved!

  13. Esther, I've watched your work for a long time. I'm a friend of your mom's and have long admired your creative vision, the detail and sweep of your sewn work, and the transparency and healing I've seen in some of your videos. This collection embodies all that I've seen before - the connection of your creative vision to your own deep truth and courage, the light and transparency that has long been emerging, and your courage in revealing some of the brokenness and healing that you have experienced. You continue in my prayers, and I am blessed by your sharing and your work. Congratulations on all that you have achieved - both in your heart and in your work. May grace continue to abound.

  14. This outfit is pretty classy and it looks great on you!

  15. Esther, these are STUNNING. I need to look you up more often; you're doing big things. Congrats on your wedding! I'd love to catch up when you're back in the sticks sometime.