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Samantha Bratzke

Samantha Bratzke was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Samantha graduated summa cum laude from North Carolina State University with a BA in Art and Design. She spent her term abroad at The London College of Fashion, where she learned traditional corsetry under the instruction of Mr. Pearl. She expanded upon that practice throughout her BA, and upon starting her master’s she has used these skills to empower women to take ownership of their own bodies. She spent the summer after her first year working for Sinéad O'Dwyer, developing her skills as a maker by creating garments for a variety of different body types. During her time at the RCA, Samantha was selected to participate in the Bio-inspired-textiles summer course and she was selected as a finalist in the Prospect 100 x Kering Global Design Competition (both projects center on sustainability). She has also received a Commendation of Excellence in Shima Seiki’s 2022 Digital Knitwear Student Competition. Samantha specializes in design research, image making, textile development, and design development.

Special thanks to Everyone Active in Porchester Center and Muscle Works in Bethnal Green for their generous equipment loans.

The title of this body of work is, "Flirting with the Judges"

I collaborate with female athletes, specifically bodybuilders, whose muscular bodies represent resistance against dominant cultural notions around women as fragile, weak, and subservient. This exploration is inspired by my background as a black belt martial artist, and the things I learned being a female athlete. Being loud was encouraged. It became ok to take up space, I stopped making myself small. I create second-skins to highlight the bodies that exist outside of society’s narrow parameters of femininity. For me, second skin is not only a bespoke garment, that bends, moves, and breathes with its subject, but also its extruding the essence of the subject and creating a piece to reflect that. 

Reverse Gradient Rib Knits

Everyone Active at the Porchester Centre

Thank you to the Everyone Active team for loaning equipment for my video shoot, which will be released in early July.