Remember when we would happily squeeze into a full metro carriage and spend half an hour pressed up to total strangers just to avoid waiting ten minutes for the next one? Neither do we. Covid-19 has changed the world as we know it, with mask wearing and social distancing now firmly a part of everyday life. Whilst most have had enough of 2020, this year has sparked creativity in fashion designers around the world, giving them opportunity to rework traditional garments into pandemic-proof pieces.
Anna Dienemann, a recent graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, is the designer behind ‘Bounding Spaces,’ a collection of ‘distance-keepers’ which provide a playful solution to the very real problem of staying safely socially distanced in busy public spaces (without resorting to some of the more extreme options we have seen this year!) We spoke to Anna to find out more about her project and how she envisions the future of Covid-appropriate fashion.
Anna’s accessories provide a wearable and user-friendly option for those who want to feel safe in crowded areas: ‘The collection of accessories are size compressible and add something to an outfit while creating awareness to keep the distance. Through the use of a pop-up tent technique, they can instantly unfold whenever others might come too close. When the belt is released, they pop into flamboyant distance-keepers with various prints and forms. When the risk has passed, they can be easily compressed and add yet another fashion statement to our reshaped lives.’
‘Bounding Spaces’ was Anna’s graduation design project. She decided to take the opportunity to create a line of accessories which could help us adapt to our new normal. ‘Since the pandemic seems to be here to stay it demands solutions that adapt to it. Bounding Spaces gives a fashion-driven answer to the fact that we have to keep distance in public for longer.’
Earlier this year, Anna collaborated with the Van-Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Netherlands, to test out the distance-keepers during Dutch Design Week in October. She has also worn them herself when out in busy areas, telling Fashion North: ‘It adds a colourful layer to my outfit and I feel safe when it pops-up!’
When asked about the future of her collection, Anna stated: ‘I would love to provide distance-keepers at public events, like art shows, concerts, or small festivals, where people can borrow a distance keeper during their stay. I hope the situation stays temporary and Bounding Spaces maybe remains as an accessories line besides indicating distance.’
With no clear end in sight, it is likely we will be living under social restrictions for quite some time to come. Perhaps socially distanced fashion will help us along the road back to normality.
All photos courtesy of Anna Dienemann.