Invisible Seams tells the stories of eight different Asian seamstresses and pattern-makers in New York, painting an intimate portrait of their diverse backgrounds, how they interconnect and together weave the fabric of the New York Fashion industry. Through the lens of Director Jia Li (Spicy Village), the documentary short celebrates the lives of these fascinating and talented women through their own voice and stories.
Director and Cinematographer Jia Li has always been passionate about exploring heartfelt stories of the Asian American community. Most recently the Director of Photography for Lisa Ling's HBO Max special 'Take Out', Li's work highlights the multifaceted lives of individuals through intimate portraits and storytelling.
The New York fashion industry has been the backbone of the American garment business for decades. At the heart of the Garment District, designers, models and stylists work with the unsung heroes of the industry – seamstresses, tailors and pattern-makers who toil night and day to make the perfect look for the red carpet, department stores, special occasions and beyond. Many of them, Asian immigrants who have worked for local brands and ateliers for decades, have mastered and perfected their craft that can rival their counterparts in Europe.
Throughout the pandemic, these women have been the frontline workers of the fashion industry, commuting long distances to work to finish samples for the never-ending demands of every season. Coupled with the health risks of the pandemic, they have had to contend with a sharp raise in hate crimes across the country - during the first half of 2021, The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force reported a 73% increase in cases of hate crimes over the same period the year before. Asians were the most targeted demographic.
Invisible Seams sets out to paint a vivid portrait of these women, so that they are no longer Invisible to the wider public.
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