My undergraduate thesis in fashion design culminated in a capsule of six looks, presented on the runway at Élysée Montmartre in Paris.
Please view the corresponding tactile collection here .
The foundational concept of j e l can best be expressed through a quote from Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1938 novel, Nausea:
"I construct my memories with my present. I am lost, abandoned in the present.
I try in vain to rejoin the past:
I cannot escape."
j e l examines the “social life” of objects, specifically the relationship I have with my childhood belongings from 1998 through 2003, and the inevitable phenomenon of distortion that occurs when memories are viewed through the deceptive filter that is nostalgia
ello Creation System
designed for Mattel
by Richard Manville
The Robotic Kitty
Oops!...I Did It Again
Warped by nostalgia and longing then presented as an idyllic slice of time, it often seems that my memories bear no evidence that what they depict was ever real. But the belongings that I preserved from that time, through their very continued existence despite the passage of time, affirm incontrovertibly that they represent a romantic dream that was once reality. The most nostalgically evocative of these “relics” include toys, fashion items, and pop culture media like The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Another significant relic is
Vitamin C's eponymous debut album. A luscious, ingenious confection both sonically and visually, it combines the dichotomous sounds of candy-like pop and sassy rock dipped in gel.
View the photographic tribute here
Relics like Vitamin C's album and the ello Creation System have continuously influenced my aesthetic and chromatic inclinations and have played a role of gargantuan proportions in shaping my creative vocabulary as a designer and artist
Many emotionally charged items
(and indeed moments) are forgotten over time, but some are recovered by a stroke of serendipity and guided back to their family of relics in my memory.
Others will remain lost forever
During the translation from concept to product, the idea of distortion was conveyed through various methods of fabric manipulation: random smocking on fabrics printed with icons of the early 21st century, blurred images on crisp cotton satin or sharp images on plush velvet, sheer overlays to represent the deceptive nature of nostalgia, and the use of trompe l'œil to signify the fallibility of memory
My preliminary experiments with distortion included crumpling printed images of iconic faces and images, which would yield new ones
At its essence, j e l is an earnest endeavor condemned to futility to rejoin the past. Arising from a deep, unassuageable dissatisfaction with the present,
nostalgic ideation does not result from a desire to revisit any one specific past moment but rather the state of mind with which my past has come to be associated.
This begs the following question:
"If I could attain this state in the present, would I still yearn for the past?"
j e l :: the playlist
The Lizzie McGuire Movie