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Reptilewave (2017)

Research, online community & speculative clothing

After finding out about the role that social media played in Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, I examined online-born cultural phenomena that would eventually explode and carve their way into the physical world in the shape of fashion, music, etc. (e.g. Health Goth, SeaPunk or Vaporwave.)
To further immerse in this new sphere, I started a satirical online moodboard on instagram called @reptile.wave, combining fashion marketing imagery, sarcastic internet meme lingo and elements of the widespread conspiracy theory revolving around a ruthless reptilian elite allegedly subjugating the human race.
Based on my research, I developed a few speculative fashion pieces to visualize how some gnarly niche online culture can quickly transform into “prêt-à-porter” ideology through design, which bears some dangerous potential.

As manifested during the 2021 storming of the U.S. capitol, what starts as a seemingly small-scale, entertaining and ironic online community can easily become instrumentalized through social media and have serious consequences – what is to be expected from people educated in algorithmic echo chambers and what can be done to become more conscious of how massively online interaction influences our experiences?