‘’Why (my) love?’’ Is a project born from the designer’s personal concern towards the narcissist approach of feelings in modern society after the arise of social medias. Inspired by the book ‘TheAgony of the Eros’ (Byung Chul Han, 2012) the designer explores the individualism and technology manipulation of social interaction, which sees an increase of narcissism that looks for love and desire within the ‘inferno of the same’. She explores how this phenomenon is directly reflected in fashion which sees an abandonment of feelings and a more superficial approach towards it, both in the purchase (online shopping, fast fashion) and in the actual creative process (copy and paste from past collections).
In order to fight against her concern Nicole tries to develop what she called ‘the theory of the three feelings’: being capable of love your present society and history and be conscious of it, understand and love the past history, and listen and love your self and your nature.
To do that Nicole decided to use as source of research her personal Love story divided in three stages: falling in love, break up and loneliness. (Self love)
Not avoiding the importance of visual research, Nicole wanted to express another love story through the evolution of Italian’s bridal dresses from the 60s until the 80s, integrating a research on groom suits which evolved in a further one on menswear fashion also from the same period of time. (Love for the past)
Nicole’s attempt is not only the one of expressing her feelings in this collection, put also to make the customer having an actual experience with the garment its self, creating a more conscious and individual way of experiencing the garment.
For instance some of the garments are made to be worn and so experienced in two people, others through string and hidden supports will have a specific look when worn, different then the one exposed in the hanger. This process challenges the customer to break the boundaries between superficial purchase (i.e. online shopping) and personal experience. (Love for your present)
In the first stage (Falling in love), Nicole express her feeling of comfort and safety while she was hugging her lover. She accentuated the areas of the body that are not ‘hugged’ in order to create space for the hand of the imaginary lover. She combined this process with details from 60s bridal dresses, in specific corset’s and skirt’s structures.
In the following stage (Break up) Nicole imagined of being stuck with her lover in the situation from which she was trying to get out, put pulled and trapped by him on the other side. She analysed the point of contraction and tension of her body while escaping from the relationship: tension on the neck, armpits tension and waist tension. She combined this process with the structure of 80s bridal dresses (bra cups, crinoline, wide shoulders) contrasting them with draping 70s bridal dresses.
The last stage (Loneliness) sees Nicole alone, and completely wrapped in the her loneliness as a cocoon/comfort zone, in which she was hiding her feeling in order to indulge other’s people expectations of being happy, completely loosing her identity. She compared this specific stage to the current phenomenon of faking identity and hiding behind social medias. At the end of this stage she finally shows the acceptance of her sad feelings, which helped her to get out fo the cocoon and to complete the process of ‘re-birth’ into her real self. She use bridal’s cape as source of garment research.