Merde Magazine Issue VI x Jivomir Domoustchiev
As part of my interview for Issue VI of Merde magazine I was asked to create a set of 8 collectible NFT's which are available as a Live Auction on Opensea platform.
The images are like a window into my though process of both reimagining beauty and challenging aesthetic and imagery. Just me and a model on set that embodies my work, some one that inspires me and effortlessly embraces my approach to design. Read my full interview on the pages of Merde and if you love the images you can enter the Metaverse by bidding on them via the link on my NFT page.
View The Full article: https://merdemagazine.com/merde-vi-archival-ephemera/jimovir-domoustchiev?rq=jivomir
You can also read my interview here by the wonderful Matthew Burgos
Perpetual production and transitory outfits in the fashion industry mean either overproduction or limited edition. Once the tides have shifted, these objects—once desired and now forgotten—may be treasured in fashion archives to be re-introduced years later. These days, stowed-away fashion pieces have entered the digital landscape, forcing us to question what is tangible and intangible. With the advent of NFTs, the Metaverse, and Web3, the concepts of decentralization and token-based economics are hacking the way fashion archives work. No longer sitting in a warehouse or studio, the archives go online, now digitized. Yet some designers still prefer to store fashion archives in their own physical spaces or sell them to collectors across the world. For fashion designer Jivomir Domoustchiev, this is how it works.
Jivomir induces sexual prowess through his handcrafted, custom-made fashion pieces and accessories. Imagine a medieval armor with gauntlets and gloves, but tweaked to suit the modern fantasy: chastity chains lock the neck and vulva, rings loop around the harnesses that barely cover the body, jockstraps hug the waistline with belt buckles, and bras have holes to display the nipples. Jivomir’s clothing invites the wearer to kneel, open their legs, close their eyes, dip their fingers into arousal, and moan as ecstasy ripples through the boundaries of their skin and identity.
Jivomir admits to having some sci-fi influence, thanks to reading so many books of the genre. On a deeper level, though, it’s primarily cars that inspired his design sensibility. “I was obsessed with designing cars, drawing and customizing them endlessly,” Jivomir gushed. It’s not just any old cars either, but specifically 1960s Italian and Americana automobiles. “Looking back, I think my fondness for extreme architecture and modern automotive design has fueled my drive to test the boundaries of my outfits.”
Jivomir has fallen under the spell of manipulating shapes and forms, swinging between symmetry and asymmetry without holding back. He cuts, molds, and folds garment materials into his reimagined future of fashion. There’s nothing sugary in the way his pieces and accessories look—all spiced with a zest for sexuality, profanity, and revelry. “When I create something new, I stare at it on the mannequin until I am happy with its proportions from every angle. Sometimes, I add more; other times, I take something off. It is all about balance,” Jivomir says.
His creations stand as wearable works of art and fashion, never settling into one category. He spends weeks holed up in his London studio giving birth to his pieces, all of which are custom made-to-order. As much as the designer wants to store them up in his place, his space calls for one-offs, individual orders, or small-batch limited pieces. From this, Jivomir finds himself archiving his works. He tells MERDE how his pieces reside with collectors all over the world, “I like to think that [collectors] display them. My other pieces are in storage or my families’ homes.”
Going through his portfolio, Jivomir archived his SS19 collection, ‘Shape Shifters / Spirit Animals.’ He immortalized anthropomorphism and formed a symbiosis of this animal-human dynamic within his fashion realm. The further he explored the theme of animals taking on human form, the more his mind swang into diverse themes like humans' fondness for animals, primal instincts, and angelic beings. The animorphous narrative delivers pliant, fauna-inspired clothing that can still be ordered upon request: silk organza split sleeve trench coats with glitter trim, transparent vinyl sculptured long coats, spirit-animal headpieces, sinuous chiffon pockets, and glittering oversized coats.
“I keep getting requests for old pieces. I do not think the industry views me as a seasonal brand. People come to me with archive pieces they love and ask me to make them again, for example, the pieces that were worn by Nicki Minaj and Jennifer Lopez. I keep these pieces safe, hoping to exhibit them one day. Sometimes, I need space or even funds, so I sell my archival pieces to people who I think would care for them and love them,” says Jivomir.
The way that new and returning clients and collaborators ask Jivomir to reproduce his archives opens up a new thought process; there is power in the influence of old designs to reinvent themselves into fresh takes. This is a designer who treasures the sense of permanence in his archives, and thus, prioritizes the spirit of his past works in his present and future designs.
Rather than the transcience that seems to infiltrate the current climate in fashion, Jivomir subverts the toxic paradigm of fashion’s speedy trend cycle. “I love seeing my older pieces, the ones that have been hidden away from the public. I recently recreated some of my favorite dresses with new approaches to finishing and details that make them better in my opinion,” says Jivomir. “I have learned a lot of lessons about craftsmanship since I started my brand, and one of them is acceptance of the fact that not everyone will immediately see and feel what I am trying to create. Sometimes, it takes time.”
The battle between popularity and algorithms is a war that Jivomir chooses not to participate in. “Many ideas that I created years before have only taken off recently,” he explains, “when I first launched the repurposed and spirit-animal headpieces and my puff coats, stylists did not jump at them. It took them years to do it, and now the others have followed suit.” For him, the test of time and transitions in the fashion industry—old is the new new—have given Jivomir the patience to let his designs speak for themselves. He thinks this is what reimagining the future is about, a future where the has finally caught up to the present.
As a vessel of inspiration, Jivomir imagines himself being remembered for his eccentric designs and approach to repurposing objects into collections. He transforms the unwanted, overstocked materials from commercial brands and rebuilds them by sculpting raw materials into collectibles, a solid signature he established long ago. Such a style has driven this designer to push through the ever-changing fashion climate by working on immortalizing his pieces and infiltrating the boundaries of design and art. As he tells MERDE, “I will not give up, but keep pushing, reinventing, and reimagining our fashion future.”