Mode Design (B.A.)

The mermaid as a symbol for multifaceted femininity and crossing borders

Femininity can’t be limited: it stands for diversity, strength and independence. These aspects, which the mermaid embodies as a fantasy creature, create a symbiosis in my collection.

Profil Zoe Alyssa Akalin

My bachelor collection “mystique” is based on the motif of the mermaid with an emphasis on the image of femininity. “Mystique” refers to the unfathomable, mysterious and fascinating element of the mermaid and the underwater world associated with it.

The sea creatures are dazzling and multi-faceted fantasy beings with human and animal traits. They cannot be grasped or exactly defined – just like the principle of femininity. Due to her many characteristics, the mermaid is a perfect projection surface for femininity and the power and independence of women.

Traditional femininity requirements often reduced women to certain characteristics such as vulnerability, weakness, dependency, and the role of housewife and mother. This image has changed a lot: the notion of female is varying today – depending on your own perception. I see femininity as a strength: it is diverse, individual and complex. With her transgression of boundaries and her body as a hybrid being, the mermaid is also a symbol for the dissolution of gender boundaries and can represent gender fluidity.

The mermaid also represents the tension between tradition and modernity: on the one hand, she embodies the traditional image of femininity – the graceful, the beautiful and the motherly. But at the same time she has many characteristics of a modern, self-confident and independent woman: she represents strength and power, she loves to live in freedom and makes her own rules. She stands for seduction, danger and the mysterious that seamen and knights feared in legends and stories. As a hybrid between human and animal, she represents a break with traditionally defined limits. The mermaid does not adhere to patriarchal rules or societal norms, thus becoming an independent woman.

In my designs, femininity is implemented as a complex principle that is not defined in a gender-specific manner: the collection contains feminine aspects, such as flowing silhouettes and transparent shiny elements, but also masculine influences through the use of faux leather and a men’s blazer and a vest. These presumed opposites come together in my designs to form a synthesis and show that femininity is comprehensive and knows no boundaries.

Maritime elements, such as fabrics with a net look, can also be found in my collection. The combination of classic and draped elements creates contrast and tension. As a result, the designs radiate strength and self-confidence.


Fotografin: Lynda Chioma Ejiofor
Models: Eliza Bos, Dina Zolotarev
Makeup: Nika Harder
Schmuck: c.collective2

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