the final year of my studies in fashion design concluded with a collection consisting of six looks, presented on the runway in paris.
please view the corresponding tactile collection here
the essence of the concept behind
j e l can be expressed through a single 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 distortion of my childhood memories, which inevitably occurs due to the presence of a filter of nostalgia - nostalgia for a specific period of my youth, from 1998 through 2003.
this idea of distortion is physically manifested primarily through various methods of fabric manipulation imposed upon sleek, simple silhouettes that are evocative of the minimalistic styles of the late 1990s and early 2000s as well as representative of my own visual predilections
my visual inspiration and research rely heavily upon vintage artifacts from my past - " relics" (left)
the most nostalgically relevant of these include toys, fashion, and pop culture media, such as
The Lizzie McGuire Movie (above)
many other emotionally charged items
- and indeed moments -
have faded from my memory over time, and only some have been recovered after an encounter that somehow guided that forgotten article back to me.
others will remain lost forever.
following my attempts to recover lost memories is the inadvertent phenomenon of distortion, specifically that of my memories by an ever-present nostalgic filter: what i recall as a perfect, unadulterated slice of time is merely a warpage of memories
during the translation of this concept to a women’s ready-to-wear collection, the idea of distortion has been conveyed through various methods of fabric manipulation, which include draping and random smocking on fabrics printed with iconic images; blurred prints on crisp cotton satins or sharp prints on soft velvets; the use of trompe l'œil to represent the illusion that are our recollections; and sheer overlays to signify the
fallibility of memory
my preliminary experiments with physical distortion included crumpling printed images of iconic faces, thus yielding new ones
among the most significant "relics" was the eponymous debut album of
vitamin c - a luscious, ingenious delight, both aurally and visually, and a confection of dichotomous sounds, combining the innocence of candy-like pop and hard rock dipped in gel
view the photographic tribute here
since purchasing the album about fifteen years ago, in 2004, it has continually influenced my overall aesthetic and chromatic inclinations, and even my musical and graphic design preferences
in addition to j e l being an immense effort to reconnect myself with the past, the ultimate question that it addresses is the following: since it is not, in fact, a specific moment that i wish to revisit but rather a state of mind - my desire for which and nostalgic ideation have rendered my memories as a false image of idyllic beauty - one must ask,
"if i could attain this state in the present, would i still wish to return to the past...?"
j e l
the following songs were not selected merely for their temporal relevance to the era addressed in the concept for j e l
but primarily for their nostalgic value and the direct portal that they provide to the past despite the inexorable passage of time