Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
Life has been moving on an upward trajectory for Nicole McLaughlin. The upcycling designer attended Jacquemus’ show for Paris Fashion Week and was involved in workshops at Highsnobiety before the Covid-19 outbreak put everything put on hold. Now that quarantine life is everyone’s reality, host Jian DeLeon catches up with Nicole who checks in from her studio, which has always been a work-from-home situation. Nicole talks about supply runs, working on furniture pieces, and maintaining connections during a time of social distancing on the newest episode of ‘Vibe Check.’
The below interview is a transcribed version of ‘Vibe Check.’ It has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Nicole McLaughlin: One of my biggest things that’ll take me out of my house is going to a thrift store and going to find materials. But I’ve actually revisited old project materials, so I was taking some things apart and trying to find new uses for them. So I’ve definitely worked with what I’ve had here and maybe just looking at things in my house a little bit differently, which is kind of an interesting challenge, I’d say, and kind of just working with what you have.
Jian DeLeon: Looking at some of the past projects that you’ve worked on, you had like the Eggo french toast waffle vest, how’d that come about?
NM: I had a ton of waffles in my fridge. I actually really love having waffles for breakfast. And so I was like, oh I could probably use this as a material. I’ve just been trying to be really resourceful with the projects that I’ve been doing, especially with food items because I’ve definitely been eating all of the gummy candy, like the Haribo stuff. So I mean, just trying to be fun with it and make use of everything that I have here.
JD: Did you guys eat the vest?
NM: Yeah, it’s gone.
Nicole’s self-taught skills would be essential during any apocalyptic event, the current pandemic included. She’s been brainstorming ways to contribute to the lack of supplies with her sister who also sews and creates objects (9:23). Nicole emphasizes a need for sensitivity as she checks herself against buying hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and masks for the sake of creating art when the resources are needed elsewhere. At the same time, platforms like Instagram have given rise to other forms of pressure (13:01).
JD: Have you felt more pressure to post or anything like that since a lot of people are at home, a lot more people are online?
NM: I’d be lying if I said no. I’ve been on Instagram a ton, way more than I probably should be. But I definitely feel like kind of putting out content because I am home and because I know people are online. But I still want to make kind of my standard, and not just putting something just for the sake of it because every project that I put out there is always really thought out. But I do think I’m looking at it as like a challenge that if you can use those moments to your advantage, I’d say, try and do it without going crazy. So I’d say if you can use your platform to get people to stay inside or do something good for the community, definitely do that. But also if you’re home, do those tasks that you’ve been putting off and those projects that you’ve been wanting to try out. This is your time to do it. And anything that you create during this time, that’s yours, and that’s something that you’ll have for yourself.
Tune in to new episodes of ‘Vibe Check’ released every Tuesday and Thursday.