The Fashion Designs of Nikoline Liv Andersen

April 10, 2014

Nikoline Live Andersen is a Danish artist who works with experimental clothing design. In recent years, she has let her clothing designs become constituent parts of three-dimensional sculptural installations. Situated somewhere between design, crafts and art, Nikoline Liv Andersen's work is 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. 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.