Forget about wearing your heart on your sleeve. Jasmine Febbraro’s taking things a step further by printing porn on your pjs.
Click here if you dare. Fall down an internet black hole back into the millennium where you couldn’t get online without a discordant dial tone and you couldn’t click on a webpage without being surrounded by pop-ups. Jasmine Febbraro’s update is somewhat cooler and certainly darker than the sparkling GIF ads you used to get for cartoon clickers and moving aquarium screensavers. The Kingston University grad’s site is an extension of her collection, which is plastered in pornographic titles and after you reluctantly remove the safe guard of your pop-up blocker, your screen will be flooded with all sorts, from images to messages, to films. We won’t spoil the surprise but if you haven’t opened it all ready, you might not want to take a look while you’re at work.
Intrigued and impressed, we pinned down Jasmine to ask her about her choice of words, her entrancing website and find out more about the hacker ethic, which she defines as “an intimacy with the machine, a philosophy of sharing, openness and decentralisation.”
What were your main inspirations for your collection?
After reading an article written about a technology revolution taking place in the comfort of peoples own homes, I decided to focus on pyjamas and loungewear lending to a unisex design style, but used internet ‘hackers’ as my main source of inspiration, as I considered these the extreme technology users. I took inspiration from 90s tech movies, hacker scandals, and information written about the way hackers work and what they believe in.
Why did you decide to use porn titles as a print?
Through my research it became obvious that technology and the beliefs of hackers revolve around sharing information. I was interested in commenting on what is really shared on the Internet. I felt the Porn Hub’s imagery was perfect, as to some it’s instantly recognisable, as well as the website being a place for sexual liberation, but at the same time creates damaging stereotypes for all genders. Regardless of all of that, you can see by what’s printed; “Beautiful 10 INCH Cock HOT BAD BOY, 205,745 views, 86% Likes”, that people do watch it and like it.
Do think porn has been normalised or did you involve it because you find it shocking?
I think in our generation where everything is so accessible online, everything is in a way normalised, but I think more than ever we have a public and private self. A part of us that is shared proudly, but another part that is kept slightly hidden away because it is strange, embarrassing or inappropriate. I think in a way I enjoy bringing these slightly obscure themes to the forefront. Literally wearing a two piece covered in risque text that you only notice and get to read when up close and personal.
What has the reaction been like?
The reaction has been positive, I think people like the humour in admittance that they recognise the print. But the more I think about the collection I feel the aim was never to please, but in a way just document what real people share, like and are interested in. The fact that it is so often perceived as shocking, whilst being so popular, suggests a huge part of popular culture is rarely touched upon, almost a taboo.
Who do you imagine will wear the collection and where?
I hope both men and women will wear this collection. It would also be exciting to see different ages wearing it. Whether it’s a business woman chilling in her house, or someone trying to make a statement at a party. However, I would love to see musicians like FKA Twigs and Grimes’ wearing the designs, as I feel they always make bold fashion choices and do not fit the mould of what a girl should look like. Especially Grimes describing herself as genderless, and embracing natural body hair. My collection includes a pair of hand-felted trousers inspired by hairy legs and pubic hair — a stereotypically unsexy thing to share on webcam.
What were you listening to while you were making the collection?
I listened to Gorillaz – “Plastic Beach” continuously:
As well as this mix by Jamie xx and John Talabot:
Both are very experimental, long and electronic. As well as “Giorgia by Moroder” by Daft Punk every time I had creative block!
Where did the idea behind your website come from? How difficult was it to design?
The website was designed by a graphic designer called Nick Reilly. I explained I wanted a website that was to be inspired by hackers and virus’ with a voyeuristic feel, being less like a website, but interactive and almost difficult to use, an experience rather than the average fashion website. We also spoke a little about the Revenge Porn stories that were appearing in the news. After that the project was all his!
What is the hacker ethic?
A set of beliefs encouraging openness and sharing of information. All designs allow the wearer to share their body, either through open, deep v-necks, or suggestive zip detailing. The trousers can be split in half and re-joined with another design through the central zip; encouraging the wearer to edit the design or expose themselves. My main aim was to make the wearer have ultimate creative control, encouraging them to create disruptive and mismatching combinations, or the removal of parts completely.
Who are your favourite designers?
My favourite designer of all time is Martin Margiela, mostly because of the way he used to destroy and re-appropriate old clothes, whilst using ordinary people as models. As well as ACNE — every collection is totally new, modern and slightly odd, with a concept shared across both the mens and womens’ collections. I think both Margiela and ACNE constantly challenged notions of fashion, gender and style.
Fashion Design and Creative Direction: Jasmine Febbraro
Photography: Ursula Underhill
Graphic Design: Armaan Khan
Website Design: Nick Reilly
Models: Rowan J Stevens and Rachel Cockerell
Words: Lily Walker