Neil Grotzinger presents the NIHL spring summer 2023 collection as part of New York Fashion Week.
“For this collection, creative director Neil Grotzinger sought inspiration from queer childhood fascinations in order to continue on their journey of projecting Queer nightlife futurism. They initially sought inspiration from strange objectivities from their childhood such as Clear lucite Macbooks, Gameboys, and Hitclips which inspired a feeling of translucent architecture for this collection. Pants and tops were constructed out of multiple layers of bright sheer mesh with contrasting stitching and closures on the interior which reflects on the exterior to create a similar feeling of being able to look into the inner structure of the garment.
Neil also sought a great deal of inspiration from childhood cultural obsessions of theirs such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, taking ephemeral cues from the idea of the early Aughts socialite to create a vision of a new queer nightlife persona that inherits a similarly bombastic and sexually energized attitude. This collection intends to look to the not-so-distant past in order to create a futurist vision. One top within the collection is made entirely out of interconnected strands of pink, green and red beads that resemble the neckline of a skimpy party dress. Their intention was to make it feel almost as if this dress had completely disintegrated from age, so all that was left were the fraying and dangling tendrils of embroidery on its surface. Other pieces within the collection have an almost deliberately tacky “space age” feeling to them, being made out of reflective grey ripstop nylon and paired with ultra bright embroidery to reference the slow but ongoing deterioration of past visions of futurism that still have a strangely unique quality to them.
Neil’s work consistently intends to reflect upon aspects of queer identity and experience in highly specific and narrative-driven ways. For this collection, they pulled references from childhood fascinations because they felt that in some ways each of them reflected aspects of their own queer identity that even they had yet to understand. Neil feels that to some degree, many queer people can reflect on their childhood obsessions and fascinations in a similar way; looking back at them feels like looking in a mirror at what you couldn’t fully grasp at the time; they are like relics of growing self-acceptance and understanding.”