“THE WORDS ‘BORDERS’ AND ‘TELEVISION’ FACE EACH OTHER ON FABRIC, ACTING AS A COMMENTARY ON OUR GENERATION’S PRIORITIES: YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO BE POLITICALLY AWARE, BUT ENTERTAINMENT IS ALWAYS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.”
Her designs have always echoed her deepest personal preoccupations. Her first collection explored the opposition between corporation and spirituality, inspired by her sister’s experience of feeling crushed by the ‘big company’ world of investment banking and seeking refuge in meditation. Her second collection then reflected the anxiety she felt for her mother’s health – anxiety which translated into prints of glitches of the flowers her mother would receive at the hospital, juxtaposed with violent symbols like knives and wires. Finally, this third collection, although not strictly political, addresses the experience of being young in a war-torn region and the oh-so-relative concept of security. Nafsika is profoundly disillusioned by the neighboring countries’ endless fights for more power, resources and land. The words “borders” and “television” face each other on fabric, acting as a commentary on our generation’s dual priorities: young people want to be politically aware, but entertainment is always just around the corner.
Having lived in different countries and learnt to speak both Arabic and English fluently, Nafsika thought a lot about language and miscommunication, in particular a feeling of frustration caused by the amount of information and beauty lost in translation. The messages on sleeves in English and Arabic calligraphy are direct translations of one another; an attempt to bridge a failure of understanding.
The military influence is clear. She warped and saturated the print to the point it no longer resembled a camouflage print: “military made beautiful”. Models wear targets; a dove brings a burning match instead of an olive branch. An F17 fighter jet flies on a denim jacket and her signature couture embroidery lines begin to resemble a blurred TV transmission or a messy frontier. She resorted to googling symbols, to find visuals that would be immediately recognised and understood by all.
She also collects old books and other printed material where typography and images interact, feeling particularly inspired by the graphics on stamps, which are both artistic and historical primary documents that tell the story of their time. She feels fashion collections can also potentially reflect a social climate as well as one’s own inner world.