Even before the pandemic, I loved a good nap. But since the lockdowns began, my little siestas have become a survival mechanism. In the midst of long days, full of exhausting Zoom calls, I look forward to a few minutes of shut-eye on my sofa in the afternoon. I’m not alone. One of the most popular fashion trends this year was a dress designed specifically for napping, from a brand called Hill House Home. (I own three.)
Santa Kupča, a Latvian designer who recently graduated from the Design Academy of Eindhoven, has taken this idea to the next level. She created a collection of three garments called the Stuck-At-Home Masquerade. They’re each made from a material that looks like a duvet, so you don’t even need to find a blanket when you take your midday pandemic nap. For now, these are just conceptual, but if she decides to manufacture them, I will be the first to sign up for the waiting list.
Kupča designed each of the pieces at home while in the throes of lockdown in Amsterdam, using materials that were lying around, from polyester fabric to an actual duvet. And to make the project even more meta, each captures a different aspect of the reality of quarantine life.
My favorite, called Hesitant to RSVP, is a dress emblazoned with an image of a calendar where every day has been crossed out. It comes with a funny little hat made from the same soft, puffy material, with a long ribbon to keep it in place. The gown is a commentary on how every day feels exactly like the day before, with no end in sight. As Kupča tells Dezeen, it also speaks to the fact that after months of being trapped in the same tiny space, you seem to blend into your background. “The clutter that surrounds me becomes a part of who I am,” she says.
Of course, pandemic life isn’t all bad. Many of us are learning to make the most of all the time on our hands, throwing ourselves into baking, knitting, and doing puzzles. The second dress, a light yellow and pink number, is an ode to doing absolutely nothing. Kupča calls it Dolce Far Niente, the Italian phrase for “pleasant idleness.”
But then reality kicks in, and it’s back to the interminable Zoom meetings. So Kupča created a puffy dress printed with an image of a bookshelf. It’s a way of poking fun at how many of us have carefully curated our backgrounds to make ourselves look intellectual and sophisticated. (Never mind that we haven’t actually read many of the books on our shelves.)
The outfits are meant to be works of performance art, but I really hope Kupča finds a way to commercialize this project. It’ll make transitioning from Zoom to nap time so much easier.