Jessica Neafsey

I couldn't have imagined a better way to share Anima with the community than through the Timeless Fundraiser!  This Community Palette fashion-show-turned-fundraiser became a beautiful multidisciplinary expression of local talent, that shifted intention to focus on acknowledging the Soberanes Fire, and raise funds for relief.  I was just a few days from launching Anima’s website, and still in my two-week evacuation from Weston Ridge, when I got in touch with the crew to donate the special fire scarf I designed as an auction item...  I was honored to be welcomed by Domini and Kierstyn as a designer in the show, and am still filled to the brim with gratitude for the experience!  It was simultaneously pure fun, and quite meaningful to engage with the many talented and caring people that came together to create such a wildly imaginative, positive, successful and unique event. With intense and prolonged concern about the fire, my own home, those fighting it, and for those who suffered losses, it felt so good to direct the energy of Anima’s launch into this compassionate cause.  Check out Walter Ryce's pre-show article about the event, and a few kind words about Anima in the Monterey County Weekly:

"If the litmus test were not just need, but virtue, Jessica Neafsey's clothes would warrant reward. She creates clothes with animal patterns uncommon in greater fashion, but native to our landscape – the Western scrub jay, plankton, Pismo clams, the Western fence lizard." “This is one of the most biodiverse places in the country,” Neafsey says. “It’s about promoting a little eco-literacy.”

With just a few weeks to prepare, amidst a busy work schedule, seven looks were designed and crafted with love and inspired curiosity for this new medium!  It was a beautiful experience to see some of the classics – including the Western scrub jay dress - emerge out of the nest, modelled by the wonderfully audacious artist and activist Michelle, in addition to the new pismo clam print romper, modelled by local visionary filmmaker Caroline Harrison. Ana and Drishti lent their alluring beauty to share dungeness crab – featured in a new silk tank, as well as giant kelp and copepod prints. It excited me to no end to see the lovely dancer and fellow landscape architect Marion Weaver carry the Soberanes Fire Scarf down the runway, with such grace and light and power, as the cool ocean breeze lifted the scarf and its intended message of resilience high in the air.  You can read more about this pattern – made of California condor, brown pelican, and red-shouldered hawk feathers, here. Profits on your purchase of this scarf will go to CPOA in support of those who lost their homes, or to your local volunteer fire crew of choice – Mid-Coast, Big Sur, or Cachagua. These are flying! It’s wonderful to be able to give actual dollars back out of something that was so therapeutic to create.

Enjoy the slideshow and take a listen to Hanif’s song he crafted just for our set – pay close attention to hear the hawk carry you into the beat, and the scrub jay closing it out!  The next show, you can be certain, is going to be ALL about the animals!!!!  

Huge thanks to so many for so much – including original music by Hanif Panni of Hanif Wondir Production; Excellent photography by Nic Coury, Michelle Magdalena, Patrice Ward; Jewelry by Carrie Beth McWithey of Nautilus and Sway; Makeup by Gaia Cascio of Naked Faces, Karen Alatriste, Leah Beets of Absolute Artistry; Hair by Ann Parodi of GaGa Hair Lounge with Diana Mondragon; Shoes donated by Shara of Footsie; Show organization by Community Palette – under the leadership of Domini Anne and Kierstyn Bachmann-Berlin as part of Sand City’s West End Festival; Anima models included Marion Weaver, Ana Poirier, Caroline Harrison, Drishti Nand, and Michelle Magdalena!

 Stay tuned for new items for sale and new prints! This summer I’ll be focusing heavily on the Kelp Forest Collection!