As always, life gives you opportunities when you expect them the least. So, I stumbled upon work of a Denmark visionary, Nikoline Liv Andersen, by pure chance surfing the very popular surface of ideas/fashion/life which everybody knows as Instagram. What I saw just blew me away and I was instantly drawn to her magnificent pieces of Art. And yes, it can only be called as Art for the way she expresses her inspiration through her skillful hands. It`s those hands, indeed, that she uses as a primary tool cause most of her work is executed by hand, which is extraordinary considering the amount of time it must takes for only one piece to finish. Her skill comes from her education at The Danish Design school which was founded on the Nordic design tradition, but grew in a modern, business oriented school where visions and new technologies go hand in hand with creative artistic development and professional innovation. She majored in clothing design in 2006, but before that she had an internship at the House of John Galliano in Paris which she described in these words:

             “…It was always a good idea to get experience from others before starting your own brand. It was very rewarding to work for Galliano. I was in clover working a place where everything was made by hand and rarely by a computer. Furthermore it confirmed me in the reason of working without compromises always seeking the magical moment where design and art meets…..”

              And indeed you can see that moment in her design constructing, seeking, experimenting with layer after layer of fabric, pieces of lace, threads of yarns, furs, leather, plastic, nails, yes nails or she decorates her focus with beads, embroidery or she actually paints directly on the textile to find that perfect texture until she is satisfied with the result which gives the feel of three-dimension. So, it`s no surprise that she chose to work artistically with experimental clothing design after finishing her education. Since then, she`s been presenting a number of fashion shows through out the Europe, collaborating with Saga Furs in experimenting new ways of treating fur and her most recent, dress collaboration for Denmark singer, Emmelie de Forest, winner of 2013 Eurovision song contest which didn`t go unnoticed on the  Eurovison contest this year.

             In the following lines you can read an interview she was so kindly willing to give me upon my request when I thought there was very little chance of her saying yes. So, I`m thankful for her consideration and open-mindedness and hopeful that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

When did you realize that fashion is your calling in life?

I have always known that I wanted to work with something creative, but during gymnasium I got more and more focused on that way.

What would you say are advantages  or disadvantages to be educated in the Danish Design School?  What would you remember the most from the education you received there, the things  you learned, the mentors, what do you think it gave you?

I really loved studying at the Danish Design School. there were so many opportunities and I  really   saw it as a duty to use the school and the workshops as much as possible and work hard. In Denmark you get money from the government while you are studying and you don`t pay for your  education so you have all opportunities to work hard and do your best.

What keeps your interest in fashion and how did you discover that your preference is toward experimental clothing design?

I have always been drawing and painting a lot and I am really interested in displaying the human body and mind. Moreover since I was a little girl I have loved dressing out. I guess a mix of this is the reason why I Chose to work with clothing design.

What I find interesting in your biography is the fact that after you majored in clothing design you decided to take unusual for some, a path of experimental clothing design,  As a young artist with such a less profitable preference how do you manage to keep yourself in business?

I love my work and I have much discipline – that is evident if you want to achieve something. Immediately after graduation I started running my own company instead of getting employed at another company. So, I have never tried to have a steady monthly income – somehow I think that it is good not to get too used to that if you want to start your own. Never the less I often get support from foundations. 

Who is target audience and what do you think your clientele love about your design?

I never work with target groups. The reason of that is that I want to work without compromises. But I guess that my “normal” audience are people with an interest of visual story telling, art and fashion. It is always difficult to read others mind, but perhaps people find it interesting how I work with materials and the fact that everything I make is extremely time – consuming. 

Where do you find your inspiration, what keeps your drive to move forward, to search, to keep looking?

Once you get started you can not stop again. One project leads to another and inspires you to move on.

What was the most painful experience, I suppose you had a few considering the materials you use, you had with making the experimental material, shape?

It is always a huge and hard work to do a project especially with a company this small and there are always many challenges. But that is evident if you want to develop and I love it. The hardest thing of working like that is my own expectations and the fact that I have two daughters that deserve great love. 

Are you collaborating with someone in the making of your design, if not, are you planning on some future collaborations with some of the fashion houses?

My husband, Christian Kornum, is my right hand and he is always an evident part of the process. I fell so lucky to be able to share that with him.

Where do you see your design in 10 years time?

I don`t make plans for that long and if I do I like to keep them a secret :) but I prefer to focus on the present, but that does not mean that I don`t have any ambitions – I have a lot.  In fact, I can tell you that from January – March 2015 I will be having a big exhibition in the The Danish House at L` Avenue des Champs – Elysees in Paris.

What do you think about today`s commercial fashion and it`s future?

I am working in my own world without thinking of the newest trends. 

Who do you look up to in the fashion world? 

I love when designers, artists and people in general are following their dreams and are searching for new ways of expressions.

What is your biggest fear when it comes to fashion and your design as well?

I believe that if you are working hard you will  succeed.

What advice would you give to a young designer entering in a world of fashion?

Work hard and do your best. 

 

Following photographs are latest work by Nikoline Liv Anderson called ” Only Angels Have Wings “, Part 2, 

Winner of the Pimp my Coat in collaboration with Saga Furs 2014, 

Photo by Signe Vilstrup, 

Make-up by Anne Staunsager,

Hair by Lasse Pedersen

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” Only Angels Have Wings “, Part 2, photo by Signe Vilstrup

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” Only Angels Have Wings “, Part 2, photo by Signe Vilstrup

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” Only Angels Have Wings “, Part 2, photo by Signe Vilstrup

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” Only Angels Have Wings “, Part 2, photo by Signe Vilstrup

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” Only Angels Have Wings “, Part 2, photo by Signe Vilstrup

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” Only Angels Have Wings “, Part 2, photo by Signe Vilstrup

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Nikoline Liv Anderson, Studio Portrait by Alastair Philip Wiper, Courtesy of MINDCRAFT

As the last sentence is finishing this article, words of the Curator for the Design Museum Denmark, Kirsten Toftegaard, finds it`s path as the perfect ending:” Nikoline has a sincere urge to leave her mark on our consciousness…..”. And it sure did. Left a mark.

 

See the entire article and more visuals of Nikoline Liv Anderson work on our blog http://kon2re.blogspot.com/

 

Sources that helped in creating this story are:

  

http://www.nikolinelivandersen.dk/

http://www.filepmotwary.com/

http://www.yatzer.com/

 

 

                                                                                                Written by Melina Marelja