Alternative Realities with Nina Doll

Our capacity to imagine alternative realities is becoming greater and greater the more we find out about our existence and make technological advances. Today we’ll be looking at the work of an artist who actually works to create alternative realities. Nina Doll, a self-described “teenage witch”, experiments with digitally creating different 3D worlds that bend our imagination of physical dimensions, in which people have a glossy sheen over their skin and have no physical boundaries, yet are still incredibly fashionable. Nina lives in Berlin and is currently finishing her master in fashion design for which she has shifted to showing her fashion creations completely digitally. Fusing her interest for fashion design with her technological skills to create digital landscapes, she has found a very unique way of showcasing her creations. Nina has managed to beautifully recreate her clothes digitally, so that they look like real, tangible clothes. But her artwork does not solely focus on showcasing garments. For her her master thesis Nina Doll explores emotions in a digital space, creating abstract digital configurations and masterfully plays with the meanings of different colors, utilizing green and purple to communicate the feeling of disgust for example and black and red to communicate rage.

With Covid-19, many brands are currently paying more attention to the possibilities of virtual fashion and digital catwalks. You can #stayathome and still feel like you are at a fashion show, or still be able to create beautiful images through digital photoshoots. Also, fashion shows would therefore create less waste and be more sustainable. In e-commerce ways of utilizing digital fashion and augmented realities are also being tested out more. Instagram Checkout for example is starting to use AR to overlay products as a type of “filter” onto the customer’s physical body, so that you can try on the product without actually physically trying it one… Pretty crazy, right? It seems that combining digital 3D work with fashion is definitely one of the areas that fashion is slowly branching out to and there is still a lot to be explored in that field.

For our Alternative Reality project Nina has created two digital characters, one trapped in a glass box and one on the outside looking in in the futuristic digital landscape of a big city with colorful lights. In our interview with Nina Doll we talk about her creative process, how she got into focusing on digital fashion, and the advice she would give her younger self if she could.

1. Please introduce yourself briefly and let us know what you usually work on.

Hi! My name is Nina, I am currently finishing my master in fashion design, which means I also work a lot with “real” fabrics, pattern making and tailoring. Next to this I am a freelance digital fashion designer and creator.

2. Did the epidemic influence you anyhow positive or negative ?

I would say both, on the one hand those times are really scary. But looking at the situation from a working kind of view, it helped me shift my focus on the digital development of garments, which lets me design fashion in a way more sustainable and creative way. I am able to realize my vision in any kind of surrounding.

3. What is your usual creative process, while working on a project ?

I always try to think about a topic of a project in a way that leaves me a lot of free interpretation, so that I can get inspiration from different fields of interest. For my master thesis for example I am writing about emotion in digital space, within this whole emotion topic I learn a lot about neuroscience, psychology and also social studies and I try to take inspiration from all those different areas. Afterwards I always need to sort my thoughts that randomly come to my mind from all the input and from there on the process happens kind of naturally.

4. Could you explain how you handled the Alternative reality project and what went through  your mind that lead you to your final piece ?

Within this project I wanted to visualize the feeling you sometimes get when you think back of a time where you struggled and felt powerless with everything happening around you. After some time you can look back on the old you like a kind of an antique museums piece.

5. What is the difference for you in reality and alternatives ?

For me it’s the same, the only difference is the way you look and think about your “reality”. All of the alternatives can also turn into your reality.

6. Are you a realistic person and good at self reflection ?

I try my best to be both, sometimes I need to get myself out of a certain situation to really be self reflecting.

7. What inspires you the most, especially during hard times like these?

Actually a lot of my friends are the most amazing artists, being surrounded by their creativity and talking about our works inspires me a lot.

8. Any Artists you look up to ?

Because my friends inspire me, they are also the artists I look up to, they are such beautiful souls who all have different creative visions and are really ambitious about what they do.

9. Is there any advice you could give to people during a hard and confusing time to keep being motivated ?

I think most important is to not stress yourself, if you need your time to adapt to a situation like that it’s totally fine! For me my work is what I love to do, it’s like an alternative reality itself. So I would say in times like these do something you love to do, something that will take your mind off of those hard times.

10. Is there anything you would like to add on your piece for this project, that you think people might not understand ?

Feel free to interpret it in your own reality 🙂

Thank You Nina !!