- ROLE: DESIGNER
- FOR: SOSOLIMITED
- STATUS: COMPLETED
We think love looks good on you – however you wear it.
The Love is bandana design draws inspiration from the rich history and symbolism of textile art such as quilts and bandanas, emphasizing their multifaceted nature as both functional accessories and powerful symbols.
The format of a bandana is inspired by both nineteenth-century coquettish language with perfumed kerchiefs, where gestures like hanging it over the shoulder meant "follow me" and folding it indicated a desire to talk, as well as the LGBTQ+ community's use of colored bandanas in their back pockets to signal their sexual preferences to potential partners.
The design mirrors the patchwork structure of Elizabeth Chapman's 1829 quilt–likely made for her marriage–through a mosaic of images and patterns with sentimental inscriptions, reimagining the traditional medium for contemporary expression. This accessory serves as a textile narrative, continuing the quilt's legacy of storytelling through fabric art.
Love is captures the spirit of hidden expressions and subversive communication of love and attraction, serving as a canvas for personal narratives, a medium for expressing emotions, and a symbol of inclusivity that celebrates love in all its forms.
Each phrase surrounding the Love is bandana comes from poetry that compares love to something we can see: a spring among the hills, a shining sun, the watching stars. We used a generative AI model to translate these phrases into images, and arranged the results into a 19th century Chapman quilt pattern.
Inspired by the imagery of these written scenes, we asked an AI model to translate the text into images. Would a modern algorithm picture love as we do? As the poets did? We learned to collaborate with the AI generator as we worked, eventually guiding the images towards different styles and color palettes, always keeping the image content rooted in the poetry.
We wrote a script that searches through the Gutenberg Poetry Corpus for phrases that begin with “love is like”. The resulting lines of poetry – each at least a century old – evoked both familiar and surprising scenes of love: a field of wild roses, a ship safe at harbor, a dancing ghost.
CREATING THE GRAPHIC
The process of collecting fragments of poetry and images reminded us of patchwork quilting – a craft with a long history of text, image, and recombination. Our final graphical composition is based on the 1892 Chapman Quilt, a marriage gift which was once thought to have love letters sewn directly into its fabric.
CHOOSING THE BANDANA
With many ways to be worn, bandanas are a fitting object to celebrate many kinds of love. In fact, from 19th century women’s “coquetry” to queer “handkerchief code”, bandanas have long been used as a subversive love language — allowing wearers to communicate otherwise unspoken desires through gestures, colors, folds, and placements.