Design Catwalk
Nikoline Liv Andersen . Theatrical visions performed through fashion mannerism

Nikoline Liv Andersen was educated at The Danish Design School, majoring in clothing design; she graduated in 2006. Instead of following the normal trajectory, focusing on “target groups” and moving along the commercial path as a fashion designer and thereby contribute to what the fashion industry aims to present as the most up-to-date and “in” style, she has chosen to work artistically with experimental clothing design. In recent years, she has let her clothing designs become constituent parts of three-dimensional sculptural installations.

Seeing that her works are situated in the cross field between design, crafts and art, Nikoline Liv Andersen is evidently seeking to relocate the limits of our understanding of design and clothing and to challenge her audience when it comes to their perceptions of the world around us. Ever since her departure from the Danish Design School she has, on her own initiative, been presenting a number of fashion shows in different spots in Europe. Moreover, Nikoline Liv Andersen has been working in collaboration with the firm, Saga Furs, where she has played a role in experimenting with fur as a material and in developing new ways of treating fur and of piecing furs together. In this connection, she has taken part in several of Saga Furs’ demonstrations being presented all over the world.

As we might imagine, a fashion designer like Andersen works with haute couture, devoting herself in an uncompromising, expressive and experimental way when it comes to getting her expression across. Most of her work is executed by hand. Time and toil are two matters that do not appear to be negotiable. What is characteristic of Andersen’s work are the textile surfaces and structures that surprise the viewer with their material-constructions and -collisions. She builds up the textiles by adding layer after layer of fabric, knittings, pieces of lace, threads and yarns, but there are also furs, leather, plastic and even nails that can come to form part of the finished works. She decorates the surfaces with beads or sequins; she embroiders and sometimes paints right onto the textiles.

In order to express the sensation of life’s fragility, which occupies her to a great degree, she initiates a process involving the decomposition of the finished work. She unstitches and tears open, adds substance and starts painting again – construction, decomposition and dissolution – again and again and again, until she feels satisfied with the result, which accordingly takes on depth and gives the eye a sense of three-dimensionality. Or she sews thousands of straws in different colors together to form a surface that transforms a known subject – the straw – into a hitherto unseen surface and form, which is brought forth by varying the distance between the rows and the length of the individual tubes. The surface calls something animal-like to mind. One of the challenges is to get the materials to resemble something that they are not: for example, to make cotton look like fur.

 

In Nikoline Liv Andersen’s design and in the way it is being staged, as well, Andersen is influenced by ethical problems in the surrounding world, problems of a political and social nature. She typically allows her clothing installations to express an ambiguity that oscillates between the dramatically staged, the theatrical and the sometimes repulsive, and ultimately, the childlike, the beautiful and a romanticism that can even appear tragic at times. Through her works, she manages to convey to her viewers an admixture of emotions that run the gamut from the exclusive and feminine through the humorous to the gruesome and frightening.

 

Kirsten Toftegaard

Morethanlove . Creative director and Editor in Chief
She’s born in the same day of the fashion icon Diana Vreeland, she covered the role of communication consultant for both national and international fashion brands, Enza is Design Catwalk Digital Director and founder, her work as Art Director includes the likes of: Lacoste, Ermenegildo Zegna, Grand Hotel et de Milan, Digital director for WHITE Fashion show.





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