Fashion

Chicago Designer Takes ‘Free Hugs’ to New Extremes with Monstrous Yellow Coat

Fashion

Chicago Designer Takes ‘Free Hugs’ to New Extremes with Monstrous Yellow Coat

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Photography: Jim Prinz

Chicago designer Eda Yorulmazoglu has an acute talent for developing otherworldly narratives, as shown by her last full collection, “My Perfect Nuclear Family,” which merely skimmed the breadth of this wide-reaching imagination. A senior at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, Yorulmazoglu sees environments that have yet to be conjured, reveling in the power of fiction as a way to bend the confines of reality and appease her limitless creative intuition.

Her most recent project, “Free Hugs,” is a monstrous canary yellow coat, designed to look like stacks of arms hugging the wearer. Featuring more than a dozen cartoon-like appendages, the coat appears to swallow whomever puts it on, imbued with the designer’s signature childish aesthetic. One could imagine something this bizarre being dreamt up by a toddler, like a wondrous imaginary friend that never materializes. Best part? The coat folds down into a working mattress.

“I was thinking about loneliness and how one would comfort themselves without a physical person to fill that emptiness,” Yorulmazoglu said. “I also looked into creating imaginary friends, because children often come up with friends to play with. I [developed] a character, named Marty, that one day discovered how to make himself feel better, and that was [by] taking the arms of others to wrap around himself. This became the Free Hugs jacket, so [Marty] walks the streets with a pile of hugs around him, always.”