A KALTBLUT exclusive. Fashion and styling by Danny Feng. Photography by Nina Schollaardt. Models are Floyd Rorije, Hongquan Liu and Kevin Berkhout.
“I’m a fashion design graduation year student from the ArtEZ University of Arts in the Netherlands. My designs are mostly menswear, but I try to push the boundary of menswear. My goal is always to make story-telling collections, my concepts are often built on a fictional world or story setting I create.
“Sugar-coated” is based on a fictional version of my very own personal story. It is about a boy who feels different and doesn’t fit in the ordinary world. Out of fear and anxiety, he locked himself inside his bedroom and developed a Hikikomori/Otaku lifestyle. But as time pass, the anger he kept inside finally overflown and realized he’s not alone. So he gathered a group of boys with similar experience and formed the Sugar-coated Self-defense Army to fight for a world for themselves. They are cute but vicious.
The collection is combining elements of loungewear and army wear, which came from the indoor lifestyle and the self-defense army. And the theatrical elements are inspired by anime and games which are a big part of otaku culture. The collection portrays the process from dealing with social anxiety and fear to seeking out for the feeling of belonging, till finding pride and confidence. “Sugar-coated” is also expressing the fact that people who are quiet and harmless always have to compromise for the people with power, so the dark emotions they locked inside themselves won’t be able to contained eventually. The sugar coating will wear off, Hello kitty will bite if you push too hard.
As for the photography, I want to present that by being themselves in this world, every day is a fight, a war, even in the most mundane situation, like grocery shopping. Therefore, I collaborated with documentary photographer Nina Schollaardt to create this series of images of the boys in their daily life situation as they are finally live their lives as who they are, no matter even if the world is against them.”says Danny Feng