Danish fashion designer and mom Nikoline Liv Andersen caught my attention with her bold silhouettes and dramatic detailing. Her work is being noticed both on stage and in art ateliers while her clientele includes celebrities like Bjork.
She interned at studios of John Galliano , Christian Dior and is working for Fendi for 1,5 years in Rome now. Nikoline is creative in many ways and when it comes to her fabric choices, enjoys exploring contrasts like artificial versus organic for her artistic creations. Experimenting and developing techniques on top of often philosophically based concepts, results in a unique signature design style.
For me it was great getting in contact with and learning more about Nikoline Andersen and of course we hope you appreciate this wonderful interview which might create further curiosity in this wonderful fashion designer and artist.
As always, we are eager to learn what you think and how you feel about the interview, the subject and her work, so don’t be shy to leave a comment.
Our readers are always interested in the person behind the artist; so can you tell us a little about yourself, your designer husband Christian Kornum and extended family?
My family and I live in a small house at Østerbro in Copenhagen. We are my husband, Christian and I and our two daughters at 7 and 5. At the top of the house I have my studio, from where I work when I am not in Rome working for Fendi.
How did Scandinavian culture and in particular Copenhagen influence you and your current style/ work?
Though my roots are Scandinavian and though I have a strong connection to the Scandinavian culture I don’t really think my work has a specific Scandinavian feeling.
You wrote poetry, made music and fashion films, photographed, created sculptures, draw, paint and set up what can be considered complete art exhibitions to display your fashion collections. Is this multi-faceted artistic approach a personal must for your work and how did you develop the ability to be so broadly but also deeply creatively focused and capable?
I love telling stories with my works and I find it interesting to show not only fragmented pieces of clothes but to place the clothing or textile components in a context with humans/dolls, music and poetry.
I have always been drawing and painting a lot and I love mixing different genres.
Considering your inspiration with science fiction as expressed in your ‘Only Angels Have Wings’ exhibition, have you ever thought of incorporating technology in your designs or creating them with new technology like e.g. Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen does with 3D printing?
I have thought about it, but I must admit that I prefer working by hand. I love drawing with a pencil and cutting with a scissor. It might take an awful lot of time, but first of all you can control the process from start to finish and secondly I have eternal patience when it is something I believe in.
You deservedly received great reviews and recognition when Björk wore your dress at the Vulnicura Tour, where your design style and the musical artist’s character seemed to be a match made in heaven. Which other artists would you like to work with, you think aligns best with your style and are you inspired by?
Thank you 🙂 I was very happy about being contacted by Björk, because she’s such an amazing artist. Other artists with a strong artistic integrity could be interesting to work with, but it is not something I focus on.
Your work like the 3 monkey wigs of your ‘The Dance of the Deaf and Dumb Eye’ exhibition have a great deal of philosophical foundation and background. Are there specific philosophers or great thinkers whom inspire you and can you give us another example where you clearly incorporated it in your creations?
With my work I always try to question something I don’t understand in our modern life and society. Why are we placed on Earth when we are going to die anyway? Philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Darwin can be a part of a certain research, but the stories always grows from my own basal fears, doubts and dreams.
We see a lot of mostly unconventional fabric manipulation in your clothing and would like to know how you decide the materials to use/ transform and techniques to apply for the desired affect.
I spend a lot of time in a project on developing techniques. I love this part of a process. Even though there is always a deadline I try not to focus too much about it when I experiment with the fabrics, because for me it is very important to do everything I can to reach a certain point in the process that seems unexpected, but totally right.
Since your pieces are highly time consuming to create, how do you manage and do you ever make concessions in order to make deadlines for specific events or in favor of usability?
Yes, everything I make always ends up being extremely time consuming to make. I have always believed that if I work hard enough I will manage. I must admit it’s a bit harder after having children.
The use of dolls clearly has a special place in many of your artistic works. Do you draw inspiration from new series featuring mannequins, cyborgs and robots like “Westwood”, the Swedish ‘Äkta människor’ or films like Ex Machina and the like?
In many ways I am very old fashion. I don’t have a television, never tried to watch anything on Netflix and because of lack of time I rarely see any series. But I love the entire atmosphere of Blade Runner. Also the soundtrack by Vangelis is amazing.
Do you consider yourself a perfectionist and if so, how do you turn that into an advantage?
Yes, I really see myself as a perfectionist, which sometimes can be a bit annoying. But it definitely forces me to work hard which is evident if you want to succeed.
Have you come closer to finding your and humanities meaning in life and what do you think would ultimately give you the most sense of purpose?
If we could live forever.
What are you currently working on and can you unveil a little of your near future road-map?
The last one a half year I have been working for Fendi and that takes all my time, but in the near future from May I will be participating in an exhibition with Scandinavian designers and artists in Copenhagen.
… her intuition, her designs with one goal in mind: to create clothes that make your smile!