“i am a very lazy man.”
That’s not really the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.
Film costume designer, Hyères jury president, Y-3 sportswear line creator, musician and soon film director, not to mention one of the people who revolutionized fashion aesthetics, Yamamoto has done his share.
I had the pleasure of spending an evening backstage at his fashion show to get an exclusive peek for the new Joyce.com website.
Antoine Asseraf for Joyce.com, interview by Lucienne Leung.
Thanks: Coralie Gaultier, Filep Motwary.
The Stimuleye is proud to announce, with the support of Vogue Italia, an “erotic fashion epic” : Monsieur Chypre.
“HE KNOWS WOMEN, AND WOMEN KNOW HIM”
Erotokritos, it’s a strange name for a fashion brand.
It’s an even stranger name for a person.
And yet, he is truly called Erotokritos Antoniadis, named after the main protagonist of medieval epic poem, a hero “born from the labors of love”.
For 15 years, his label has been seducing women of all ages, drawn to collections that go back and forth between the sophistication of Paris and the dolce vita of Cyprus…
"come and get it."
“THEY CALL HIM MONSIEUR CHYPRE”
France and Cyprus, Paris and Nicosia, it’s a long-distance couple.
In Monsieur Chypre, by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher, they come to life:
Loan Chabanol, channeling the nostalgia of Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, plays the tormented Parisian woman, cracking at the surface,
while Constantino Kouyialis, in his first first on-screen role, is a revelation as the seductive eponym hero, a modern day Alexis Zorbas.
“AN EROTIC FASHION EPIC” we call it.
“Erotic,” how could it not be with a name like Erotokritos ?
“Fashion,” of course: stylist Michaela Dosamantes, fresh from winning Best Fashion Award at La Jolla Fashion Film Festival for La Main Dans Le Sac, mixes the season’s classic looks to capture the heroine’s transformation from “bluesy” in Vuitton to “red-hot” in Valentino.
And “epic” ? What else do you call a fashion film 10 months in the making, taking place not only in Paris but in numerous locations in Nicosia, in the salt lake facing the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque in Larnaca, in the Almyra and Anassa deluxe hotels, in small taverns by the side of the road, or in the majestic monument carved directed in the stone, the tomb of the Kings in Paphos ?
“HIS VOICE IS A SONG”
So, now the tough questions.
Is Cyprus really like this ? A little bit. Not at all. It depends how you look at it.
It is an island of freedom in the east mediterranean, where couples from Israel and Lebanon come to escape religion. It is the birthplace of Aphrodite. You go, you decide.
So how can I meet this Mister Cyprus ? We hear that one a lot. From women (and men) of all ages. Maybe he’s real, maybe he’s a figment of our collective imagination, our repressed desires. One thing’s for sure — we can’t give you his number.
“ATTEMPTING TO CHARM HIM IS USELESS. HE IS THE ONE WHO WILL FIND.”
Powerdreamcouple part 2. Director Elisha Smith-Leverock has been going back and forth between fashion and music.
Her fashion films collaborations with designer Fred Butler, scored by Benjamin Esser, have been both acclaimed and rewarded.
She made the first music video for Esser before directing for Cocknbullkid, Pixie Lott, Sunday Girl and now… Esser.
Interview by Filep Motwary & Antoine Asseraf.
Your new video for Esser is very strong, and seems to show more confidence, perhaps because of the success of “I Want Muscle” ? I would like to hear your thoughts on “I Want Muscle”, how the story was perceived and how difficult or easy it was working for the film.
I think the Esser video and I Want Muscle might seem more confident because they are both very personal projects.
Making ‘I Want Muscle’ was a great experience. I set out to explore what physical strength can mean for women and I also wanted to challenge and expand peoples ideas of female beauty.
Obviously there were some difficulties, especially trying to find clothes for Kizzy to wear. Some designers just flat out did not want their clothes to be seen on a bodybuilder and others were willing to lend but sample sizes are generally tailored to fit a very specific kind of figure, so they did not fit her.
The reactions to the finished film were overwhelmingly positive, from winning the ASVOFF Grand Prix, down to the number of people that watched to film and how they reacted to it.
A lot of people have said to me that they had never seen a female body builder portrayed in this way, without the fake tan and irony. But there was a time when people were more appreciating of ‘strong’ women and different body types, just think of Lisa Lyon for example.
I WANT MUSCLE by Elisha Smith-Leverock.
You made, if I’m not mistaken, the first music video for Esser, as well as the one for his hit “Headlock” – how is it working with someone you know intimately, to be simultaneously in tune with his world and able to step back to connect it to a bigger picture?
It’s the best and the worst thing at the same time. It’s amazing because you have great mutual trust and it’s really easy to communicate and yet it’s the scariest thing because you feel so much more pressure. You don’t want to let the other person down when they have done something so great and have worked so hard for it. You don’t want to let them down by not getting your end right.
When I shot Ben’s first video and successively the video for Headlock the approach was somewhat naive. These were also amongst my first experiments with moving image and it was really fun because Ben was just finding his feet as a solo artist so we both didn’t feel any pressure going into it.
The process for his new video was more conceptual which very much mirrors Ben’s approach to making the track.
What are your inspirational catalysts and how they help you form what you do today?
Most recently I’ve ben watching a lot of Hans Richter films, this has been a great influence for the ‘Enmity’ video.
Esser: Enmity on Nowness.com by Elisha Smith-Leverock.
How do you approach making music videos versus fashion films ?
I think generally making fashion films gives me a little bit more freedom so my approach varies. It will alway depend on if it’s a personal project where fashion aspect is a byproduct to the story or the visual idea or if I am working with a specific designer to actually showcase their collection. With personal projects the idea is more important to me than the clothes but obviously if working for a designer then you need to focus on showing the collection as well. I think this approach bares similarities to how I do music videos.
With music videos, the idea/concept always becomes secondary to how the artist is presented.
How do you see the future of fashion film ?
I’m not sure how the future will be but I know how I would want it to turn out.
I would love to see a stronger move towards actual content. Director-driven fashion films. Less ‘moving photographs’ as I like to call them. Whilst these type of films can be beautiful, I personally don’t find it very interesting to make them or to watch them. Seeing someone swishing around for 3 minutes gives me nothing.
I think its far more interesting to watch something more abstracted, a story or mood film that tells me more about the ideas behind the collection. A well crafted film that really brings you into the world of the designer and the collection rather than just straight up showing the clothes.
What is the last thing which stimulated you ?
Charles and Ray Eames.
Musician Benjamin Esser & director Elisha Smith-Leverock are not just a dream couple, they’re a power couple.
She directs his music videos, he scores her fashion films.
Now as they prepare to release the first single/video from the upcoming second ESSER album, a radical shift from the first LP’s pop mood to darker synth pop, we talk to them about music, film, fashion, and what it’s like to work with your significant other.
Interview by Filep Motwary & Antoine Asseraf.
Benjamin Esser by Filep Motwary.
Since the release of your debut album back in 2009, what are the changes to the way you perceive your own music, and how it has evolved?
Benjamin Esser: I think the beauty in first records is naivety, which you can never regain.
But I feel a lot less pressure in a lot of ways with this second one, there’s a confidence that means I can let the music take its time.
I think people might immediately assume that I ‘discovered’ a whole genre of music that I’d never listened to before. But that’s not true, I’ve always been into bands like Cluster, Tones on Tail, Suicide, Add N To X (mixtape – coming soon!)…
What is inspiration for you ? Do you consider yourself as eccentric?
I find inspiration in repetition.
Inspiration for me isn’t about looking outwards its about looking further inwards – into the core of things.
No I definitely wouldn’t say I’m an eccentric, I guess I have my own ways of doing things. But everyone does.
People would tell you my views on organization and timekeeping are fairly abstract. I strongly disagree.
ESSER performing at Hyères 2012 Fashion & Photo Festival, with Stage of the Art.
What are you looking for in music? And how do you measure success?
I’m looking for complete submergence.
What does it mean to you to have an image change, beyond the need to convey a change musically?
Do you care about fashion or style?
Well I completely agree with artists like David Bowie. His concept of reinvention was incredible and the conceptual way he approached his records is a big influence for me.
Of course the amazing thing about fashion is anyone can become whoever they want to be – I could be a different person by tomorrow.
ESSER performing at Hyères 2012 Fashion & Photography Festival, by René Habermacher.
How is it to work with your wife – when she’s directing you around, when she’s making videos for other music acts or when you’re the one scoring her films?
I like it.
People always asume that you can’t be objective if you’re working with someone close to you, but I think it’s the complete opposite. We work together constantly actually and I’ll always ask her opinion on whatever I’m doing and vice-versa.
In fact we’re the only ones that can give each other honest opinions because we know each other so well.
As far as working on music for her films, she always has a really strong idea about what she wants. Which is great. It’s often a reinterpretation of a song (“I want muscle,” Donna Summers). So it’s always satisfying to do that.
What is the last thing that stimulated you?
Charles and Ray Eames.
COMING SOON : II : Elisha.
Thank you: Laurence Alvart, Pierre LeNy.
If you didn’t make it for the 3 days of the Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival, you still have until May 26, 2012 to see the exhibitions of the festival at the Villa Noailles in town, including Yohji Yamamoto, Jason Evans, Anouk Kruithof, Ina Jang, Cunningston & Sanderson, Chronique Curiosité, Inez & Vinoodh and… Lynsey Peisinger + The Stimuleye’s performance/installation/video hybrid, PILORI.
Until the end of May you can see at the villa the PILORI installation featuring footage of the performance (with the cooperation of Yohji Yamamoto Inc.) and video contributions by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher, starring François Sagat, by Jason Last & Jaime Rubiano, Clément Roncier, Sebastien Meunier + Romain Dja Douadji + Tomek Jarolim, and the winner of our internet contest, Simone Fehlinger, who met up with Filep Motwary.
PILORI (“PILLORY”) is a unique collaboration between choreographer Lynsey Peisinger and The Stimuleye for the Hyères Festival. Drawing on a pool of both local and Paris-based performers, Lynsey Peisinger conceived 2-hour performances inside a specially built space in the Villa Noailles’ Sautoir space: a wall with 4 pairs of legs poking out, moving, at rest, ignoring or harassing each other…
For its exhibition phase, the performance footage is augmented and interrupted by the footage of BEYOND THE WALL, different video artists’ renderings of what lies beyond the wall which cuts the performers in half.
CLONES starring François Sagat, by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher.
Sebastien Meunier, Romain Dja Douadji & Tomek Jarolim for BEYOND THE WALL.
Clément Roncier for BEYOND THE WALL/PILORI.
Jason Last & Jaime Rubiano for BEYOND THE WALL/PILORI.
Simone Fehlinger for BEYOND THE WALL / PILORI.
Filep Motwary: What is your video about?
Simone Fehlinger: my videos visualize the stories of walls. Parts of these walls are broken : colors, wallpapers peel off and uncover it’s past… The videos invite to a personal imagination of what this wall’s history is about… Now, these walls have moved to Hyères 2012 and will be part of a new story…
Filep Motwary: Why have you chosen white as your “backwards” canvas?
Surfaces are extremely exciting ! But the interesting part is not the perfectly clean, virgin, new, white layer.
It’s the layer underneath…
What is your opinion about Hyeres.
It’s legendary ! I’m really happy and honoured to be a part of…
What would be your next projects about?
My new big project is my own graphic and video design studio in Paris.
Simone Fehlinger, winner of BEYOND THE WALL contest.
Special thanks to Coralie Gaultier & the Yohji Yamamoto Inc team,
Simone Fehlinger for her contribution,
and all the performers who gave their time to participate in this project.
A few weeks before the Hyères madness, I had the incredible opportunity to once again spend a few days with Galliera curator Olivier Saillard as he put together not 1 but 2 special exhibitions in a brand new space dedicated to fashion in Paris : Les Docks / Cité de la Mode et du Design.
Alongside a special Cristobal Balenciaga Collector exhibition contrasting the 20th Century designer’s creations with unseen objects in his personal collection, Saillard was putting together a second exhibition more anchored in the present, and even in the future:
WHITE DRAMA, an exhibition of Comme Des Garçons’ current SS 2012 collection, with an eye-popping scenography by Rei Kawakubo herself…
a PREMICES FILMS production
Directed by: Antoine Asseraf
Assisted by: Thibault Della Gaspera
Sound by: Pierre Emmanuel Martinet
COMME DES GARÇONS WHITE DRAMA /
CRISTOBAL BALENCIAGA COLLECTOR
Cité de la Mode & du Design / Les Docks
34 Quai d’Austerlitz, Paris,
Until October 7, 2012.
For the first time ever, follow the Hyères Festival 2012 Fashion Show at the Palais de Tokyo and on The Stimuleye…
Fashion Show Production: EYESIGHT
Fashion Show Art Direction: Maida Gregory – Boina
Live Stream Production: Premices Films
Live Stream Direction: The Stimuleye
-After wowing everyone last year with their acoustic concert set in the suspended gardens, The Shoes return to Hyères for a DJ Set, accompanied by their GUM label mate Esser, as part of Stage of the Art‘s special music line-up.Interview by Mali of Skattie What Are You Wearing ?
You’re playing at Hyères this year and you also played last year. What does the association mean to you? Is it important to associate yourselves with the fashion world?We love the fashion world and the human size of the festival. The mood is just so great. We really enjoyed being there last year so we are more than happy to come back play at la Villa Noailles.You’ve had quite a journey so far and you have collaborated with some of the more edgier and interesting names in music. How has all of that influenced how you approach your music?It’s always really creative and interesting : we learn a lot about ourselves, and we have the chance to produce only for artist we like. Benjamin and i are not good for the same things, so depending on the project, it’s more him, more me or more us. Anyway, it’s always surprising. Concerning remixes, it’s different. We learned that we are more talented remixing a track we don’t especially love, because it’s challenging, it means creating something we love from something we don’t like. It’s exciting.Nowadays the internet, social media, youtube etc play a big part and are often used as the main tools to build a brand/band and get musicians out there, has this been a reality for you ? How has it impacted your come-up ?It’s been a reality for The Shoes, yes. Well, we are from the myspace generation : we were in several bands, we did a lot of different stuff, and one day we wanted to do something different, so we created a fake band account on myspace, with the first fake band name that came in mind and put some new tracks on. 3 months later, we were signed on Green United Music. It was in 2008. Now it’s 2012, we are about to play the Olympia in 2 months, which is the most famous venue in Paris, and it’s gonna be quite ironic and funny to see our band name in huge red neon letters as we still have this first fake band name that came in mind…You’ve also done a lot of production for other artists, is this something you are going to continue with or are you focusing mainly on your own work going forward ?Both ! We are always producing for other bands at the same time, it’s more healthy because if we were only working together all the time on our stuff, i think we’d kill each other !How did your collaboration with Jake Gyllenhaal come about?Daniel Wolfe directed the video for Stay The Same, and we loved it. We wanted to work with him again, and he really likes our music. So we talked about doing a new video for Time to Dance, and he was really into it. Daniel is working a lot with actors, in Stay the Same it was with Johnny Harris (This is england), this time it was with Jake Gyllenhaal.Would it be fair to see it as symbolic of a full-on cross-over to mainstream fame?No, we don’t think so. We’ve never been more indie ! It’s about a famous british director doing a video for an indie french band with a mainstream A-listed american actor, and about this same actor who likes our music, playing a psychopath serial hipster killer in our video, because it’s far away from roles he usually plays.And how has his presence in your video affected your popularity as a band?Everybody was talking about it, about him and then about us. But we won’t play at le Stade De France like David Guetta because of that.A lot of bands that are viewed as underground in the early stages of their careers often adjust their sound as they get popular, has your sound changed as you’ve grown? if it has, how has it changed? If not, then how do you stay true to it?In the beginning our music was more electronical, but also because we just through out few tracks one day on myspace, and producing electro music at this time was a good way to become famous and produce for others. We have always been a pop rock band. So as we get popular, we also get closer to what we are really : a pop-rock band. We are just becoming what we trully are.The imagery used in some of your videos is pretty dark, and all the way to gruesomely violent in your video for Time to Dance, what’s the deal? What is the narrative behind the Time to Dance video?Ha ! This is Daniel Wolfe style ! We let him free to decide about his imagery because it’s his job. We won’t give him advices because we don’t ask for his opinion on our music productions.We adore what he did the two times we worked together.The songs I’ve heard from you are in English, why English over French?Because English is internationnal, and pop music is english, rock too.There’s an opulent and somewhat camp disco sound that comes across in your music, amongst other influences, and it has also been described as dark electro pop. Are these intentional influences? If they are, where do these influences come from for you? If not, what are your influences?We have this common interest for pop music since forever, and separatelly we can say we are influenced by almost everything musical. Benjamin in more into french music, french rock, some folk music. I like hip hop, rap and electro music. We were in many bands, we had that drum & bass band when we were young, we then had a french rock band, we did some electro music too, we produced instrumental and classical music for Woodkid recently. So many things.What is on your playlists currently?You’re gonna laugh but i have a lot of my music label’s artists in my ipod, because some are friends too. Anyway the music is always good : Woodkid, Part Company, Rocky…How important is image to you?As important as music. Nowdays a great single has to come up with a great video.What is the next step for The Shoes?Holidays ! And maybe a new ep, or album, and many new collaborationsCan we hope to see you playing in South Africa one day?We wish ! Please invite us we want to meet Die Antwoord !
Among the crew of fashion wisemen assembled by Yohji Yamamoto in the Hyères 2012 jury is Alan Bilzerian, owner of the eponym Boston boutique, who was kind enough to answer the questions of the Hyères partner blogs…
How important is craftsmanship in a collection for you?
Actually, its one of the first points that bring me closer to the designer. It puts a skip in my step when young designers succeed in translating quality.
When looking at the Hyères ranges, what is more important to you, the designer’s ability to conceptualize a range and see it through to its most artistic and expressive, or do you focus strongly on the commercial viability of the ranges?
I feel very uncomfortable about looking at large ranges of any designer. I believe you can exhibit your emotion of design very clearly in short exhibitions. But I look at both the commercial side as well as artistic expression.
How supportive are your consumers to young designers? What is the most challenging aspect of trying to sell a young designer, and what can the designers do about it?
The consumer will listen to us about any new designer and will certainly give it a chance with a try on or touch. The competition is so strong because of the immense amount of product, we feel you need a little push from the editorial side and a strong support system with shops of high caliber.
The corporate fashion conglomerates are assembling more and more brands under their umbrella and control through advertising the exposure of fashion in the editorials.This makes it harder for young, independent designers to create visibility and establish their vision and brands. How do you see this affecting your work as a buyer?
Its always very challenging to move into new names because in my shops I like consistency to prove that I made the right decision for the customer. The fashion umbrella of the conglomerates are needed as well because of the visible progress shown to the consumer, it helps momentum.
What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?
Exclusively on Vogue ItaliaMONSIEUR CHYPREA Short Film With Erotokritosa THE STIMULEYE productionSTARRINGCONSTANTINO KOUYIALIS as MONSIEUR CHYPRELOAN CHABANOL (ELITE) as MADEMOISELLE PARISPARIS UNITSTYLING – MICHAELA DOSAMANTESHAIR – ROMINA MANENTI @ AIRPORTMAKE-UP – TIINA ROIVANEN @ AIRPORTPRODUCTION ASSISTANT – LYNSEY PEISINGERLOCATION – HIROMI OTSUKACATERING – EROKITCHENVOICE by LYNSEY PEISINGERMUSIC by LORI SCHONBERG + SHANE ASPEGRENPOSTPRODUCTION by THE STIMULEYE
Everything you need to know about the
Hyères International Fashion + Photography Festival 2012.
April 27-30 2012, Villa Noailles, Hyères, FRANCE.
Fashion + photo juries, fashion shows, exhibitions by Yohji Yamamoto, Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Jason Evans, Chronique Curiosités, Maison Rondini, Matthew Cunnington & John Sanderson, Fabrics Interseason, Lynsey Peisinger & The Stimuleye, Lea Peckre, Celine Meteil, Internationales Fashion + Textile Conferences, The Shoes/TEED/Citizens…
a film by The Stimuleye,
with Lynsey Peisinger and François Sagat.
-His name may not ring any bells, especially if you’ve never attended one of the numerous exhibitions he curated during his years at Union des Arts Décoratifs or more recently in his new position as curator for Paris’ Galliera Fashion Museum.But his appreciation, his judgement, informed by an impressive culture and understanding of fashion in the long run, leave little to doubt.Who better to evaluate the young talent of tomorrow than one of the few people who get fashion beyond the trends of the moment ?Days before his double Comme des Garçons / Balenciaga exhibit opens at Cité de la Mode, here is Olivier Saillard.
Hyères 2012 jury member, Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Fashion Museum. Photo by René Habermacher.Why should a garment be considered as important?
At the risk of appearing a bit primal, because we’d be a bit cold if we had to live naked, unless we all moved to warmer pastures !Beyond climatic considerations, I love to see a garment as a solution, and to note that some designers are, to this day, still preoccupied by the idea of solving, through a way of dressing, our natural morning wardrobe.You have produced works that straddle the line between fashion and performance. Or maybe there is no line. When looking at the collections for the festival, how important is the element of presentation to you? Would a poor presentation of a great garment influence how you score it?
Now more than ever, presentation interests me less than the garment itself. I skip fashion shows and rather appreciate presentations in show rooms.
“Fashion goes out of fashion” says veteran creative director Marc Ascoli.
A jury member for the upcoming Hyères Fashion + Photography Festival, Ascoli is known as the man behind the image of Yohji Yamamoto, Martine Sitbon, Jil Sander for many years.
He knows the times change, and yet the thirst for creativity is never quenched.
Here’s a taste of Hyères.
FILEP MOTWARY/UN NOUVEAU IDEAL: What makes a young designer interesting in your eyes ?
His/her sensibility before anything else, that he/she has something to say. But also the degree of creativity, the ability to show he/she doesn’t fit the mold or follow established models.
A young designer, to be interesting, needs to reflect his era and talk about the times.
MALI/SKATTIE: Once you’ve started working with a brand, what is your degree of involvement and counseling?
It really depends on the intensity of the relationship I share with the person. Today the difficulty is to know which direction a brand wants to go, how to express its singularity.
Marc Ascoli + photographer David Sims for Yohji Yamamoto.
MISHA/TOKYO FASHION DIARIES: Today, it seems essential for a designer to have a public persona. How does that affect you ?
The current situation is ambiguous. Designers are personae, they embody and diffuse the image of the brand. Taking into account the investments made by fashion houses in terms of publicity, designers have become true flag bearers.
But that’s where the error often lies, to hire people gifted in public relations but much less in terms of style.
Today there is a “bottom line” in fashion, people tend to look at things commercially. Does the buzz which personality give off equal the quality of the offering ? The question today is primordial. [In the case of] Sarah Burton for Mc Queen, we don’t see a flamboyant personality, but everyone is floored by her work.
Even though it’s a time of crisis, everything is about competitivity. Considering the number of collections (men’s, women’s, pre-collections), it’s about standing out through quality not only personality.
RENÉ / THE STIMULEYE: What is the role of the stylist in the creation of a fashion image ? How did the evolution of this role impact the role of the artistic/creative director ?
There’s now a lot of confusion between stylists and artistic directors, but I believe the two have very different roles. The artistic director works on the long term image of the brand, its DNA and visual impact, whereas the stylist reflects the brand’s fluctuating image by styling the clothes, whether it’s for ad campaigns or a fashion shows.
Marc Ascoli + photographer Craig McDean for Jil Sander
BRUNO / BRRUN: Does fashion have a political role beyond aesthetic and function ?
Fashion takes place in a different universe. It’s a universe where you’re bringing something else to reality, where there is little concern for politics, because it’s all about creation and individuals.
You can see today that there is a huge gap between fashion and the political reality of our times.
Fashion goes out of fashion; fashion is irrational so it can’t be political.
ANTOINE / THE STIMULEYE: When and how does a creator, singer, artist need to work with an art or creative director ?
An artist always needs an alter ego with whom to exchange ideas, to help write his/her story. It’s not just a matter of positioning. The artistic director has to be sensitive enough to understand the artist’s universe and then catalyze it ; establish an image visually and eventually commercially.
Marc Ascoli + photographer Nick Knight for Martine Sitbon.
What is the last thing which stimulated you ?
Being a very curious person, I am constantly stimulating my creativity through various cultural activities. The exhibit of Madame Grès curated by Olivier Saillard at Musée Bourdelle really seduced me. Everything was in its place, the location, the clothes, the spirit.
I was also very stimulated by the latest Comme des Garçons fashion show. I thought it was majestic.
Part 2 of our spring fashion film series takes us to Vietnam, a land of mysterious fruits and exotic flowers.
Norwegian Wood actress, Towai Tei-singer, and model Kiko Mizuhara lets us into her garden,
for Vivienne Tam.
Spring is in the air, so the time has come to see the films of the spring-summer collections which will soon hit the stores… A little wishful thinking has never hurt, has it ?
First up: Marios Schwab and his dark yet summery, very Lana Del Rey, “Chiaroscuro” collection, starring himself alongside Amy Bailey, in Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher’s CHIARA SKURA.
For the 27th edition of the Hyères Fashion + Photo Festival, The Stimuleye presents choreographer Lynsey Peisinger’s PILLORY, a performance/video/installation hybrid.
Submit your 30 seconds maximum video before April 1st for a chance to have it featured in the installation, which launches April 27th at the 2012 Hyères Fashion + Photo Festival, next exhibits by Yohji Yamamoto, Jasons Evans, and Inez van Laamswerde + Vinoodh Matadin.
Imagine what lies beyond the wall of the PILLORY installation.
All submitted videos must be
no more than 30 seconds long,
from one angle/point of view,
and submitted before April 1st, 2012.
Fore more info and video guidelines: email@example.com
Damned movies, cinema legends, performance, a trance…
Guy Maddin’s new project at Centre Pompidou, featuring Ariane Labed and other stars such as Mathieu Amalric, Amira Casar, Udo Kier and Charlotte Rampling, has all the right ingredients, and best of all, is open for all to see.
Cult Canadian film-maker Guy Maddin invites anyone in Paris or with an internet connection to follow him and his actors live as they meditate and then shoot lost, unreleased or unfinished films by the likes of Hitchcock and Eric von Stroheim…
More info on the Pompidou Center website.
Follow the shoot live with 3 cameras on the Nouveau Festival / Spiritismes website.
She’s French, but she acts in Greek.
ATTENBERG was her first film, but it won her a Lion at Venice in 2010 for Best Actress,
and the admiration of Quentin Tarantino and Sofia Coppola.
She loved the shooting, but hated the fame which followed.
Introducing Ariane Labed in
an exclusive film by Justin Anderson,
in collaboration with THE STIMULEYE and Giorgio Armani,
and original pictures by René Habermacher.
ARIANE, directed by Justin Anderson. Clothes - Giorgio Armani. Furniture - Armani Casa. Commissioned by THE STIMULEYE.
Antoine Asseraf : Bonjour!
Ariane Labed: Bonjour!
Are you currently in London ?
Yes, finally! I was supposed to move to London last September, but I’ve been moving around nonstop!
Do you often go back to Greece ?
I was in Greece in November to play with my troup VASISTAS, but now I’m more between Paris and London.
When did you first come to Greece, and what was your impression of the country at the time ?
I arrived in Greece 3 years ago, for a 9-month project of my troup with the National Theater of Athens, to put on a Faust.
I was born in Greece, lived there until I was 6, and I think I left part of my childhood there.
I dreamt of returning. When I met Argyro Chioti in college, a Greek theater director with whom we created the troup VASISTAS, I jumped onto the opportunity of going.
So instead of 9 months, I stayed for 3 years, meeting Athina [Rachel Tsangari] and Yorgos [Lanthimos] had something to do with hit. Beyond a purely sentimental attachment to this country, I was impressed by all the artists I met and their urgent need to create. Without expectations of getting anything in return, beyond any judgement to which they could be subjected, beyond thinking about breaking even.
If I have just left, it’s only because I need to live in a country where I feel foreign, where I lose myself in the streets. That’s what I’m doing in London. The day where I won’t lose myself anymore, I will leave again.
But I will always return to Greece.
Ariane Labed by René Habermacher.
The films of Yorgos Lanthimos and Athina Rachel Tsangari in which you starred have universal resonance, but we can nevertheless imagine that they come in a context, in reaction to precise things happening in Greek society: the influence of the Orthodox church (the impossibility of cremation), the need to break the myth of Greece as a postcard-perfect location (the desolate landscapes of Attenberg)…
As you said yourself the Greek audience doesn’t really support these films, and when reading the article in THE GUARDIAN regarding New Greek Cinema I found the comments left by the Greeks to be very virulent – do you think the films play a role in questioning Greek society ?
If Greeks have a difficulties situating themselves in films such as Dogtooth or Attenberg, it may be because they carry a truth about their country which hurts.
This young generation carries with them the failure of the previous generation, a generation who thought they offering through a notion of “progress”, and after the military dictatorship, a better life, without taking into account the contradictions of orthodox culture and the desire for revenge after several centuries of hardship when the Greek people were a strange gate to the East.
Being French, I love all these contradictions about Greece, but that is also where the complexity lies, and these are facets which the new generation denies or which the previous cannot accept.
What I also love in Greece is that it’s non-colonial, as luckily they could never afford to be colonial, but it is painful to see and hear the Greek racism against the recent wave of immigration. I think the Greeks are overwhelmed by a lot of things today, and it’s evidently linked to the government which “enjoyed” European aid for decades, including the Olympics of 2004.
Though all this is probably only the beginning of what is slowly happening all over Europe.
ATTENBERG by Rachel Athina Tsangari - Trailer. Best Actress award at 2010 Venice International festival.
The beautiful thing about this chaos is that, these artists, without means, who expect nothing from the government, find the strength to meet and trust each other enought to creat together. That’s the case for HAOS, the production company created by Athina, which led to collaborations with Yorgos Lanthimos on DOGTOOTH and ALPS, and EMBROS, a new squat which just opened and brings together theater, danse, performance, critiques, writers, etc… Greek artists have never collaborated as much as they do today.
Of course the films of Athina [Rachel Tsangrai] and Yorgos [Lanthimos] carry and will continue to be denounced by a society which closes its eyes, much like other Western socities. That may be why they are recognized abroad but considered “weird” and barely tolerated in their home country. The taboos touched upon in Attenberg – death, cremation, incestuous desire, lesbian sexuality, are topics on which one can hardly have a dialog in Greece.
But it is difficult for me to criticize Greece… Beyond the corruption of the government and the misery into which it has dragged the people, which I can intellectually denounce, there remains for me an unspeakable element, a vibration I feel only there. A chaos which I find appeasing.
Ariane Labed by René Habermacher.
How did you live this experience of the “fashion film”, between actress and model, with Justin Anderson ?
I was quite reticent at first… but once I met Justin [Anderson] and he told me the concept, with the slow motion, I became quite excited. In the end it was a beautiful experience.
What are your current projects ? Can you tell me about your play with VASISTAS ?
The big news is that I’m about to shoot a film in France. The first film in my native tongue !
It took quite a while for people to figure out I’m French. My first 2 films, ATTENBERG and ALPS, are both in Greek, so everyone thought I was Greek. It doesn’t bother me at all, but really it’s quite a different exercise to play in a foreign tongue.
Congratulations. Are the plays with VASISTAS also in Greek ?
I’ve worked with my troup for 5 years now. We are 3 women: 1 Greek, 1 Mexican and myself. We met in college at Aix-en-Provence and created a troup. We work in different languages, centering on the body, on the impossibility of communicating with words. We don’t work from existing plays but rather from an editing of texts ranging from Deleuze to advertising… I play in French most of the time, but the text is there to relate to meaninglessness… My work is rather physical.
So it’s your own creations ?
Yes. The last show was called “spectacle” [“show”]. www.vas.eu.com
This impossibility to communicate is also an important theme in Attenberg, your character is very physical but has difficulties communicating with others —did your theater experience push the role in this direction or was it already thought out this way ?
The writing of Attenberg didn’t change much…but it wasn’t written for a foreigner, so maybe inadvertently we pushed this Marina towards another manner of communicating. Certainly, with Athina we didn’t want to approach the character psychologically. There’s always a great deal of physicality in my approach.
Ariane Labed by René Habermacher.
Where does this physicality come from, is it because you’ve practiced ballet, or did you practice ballet because it was in you ?
I did 10 years of classical ballet. I stopped when I was 16 because I could no longer stand the way the body was dealt with. It’s a strange contradiction, I was and remain persuaded that ballet is a sublime and fair form of expression, but I can’t deal with the instrumentalised body. In ALPS, I play the role of a competitive gymnast, it was a superb challenge to have to return to this physical condition, and yet a real nightmare !
So you keep this tension within you, between the habits of ballet, the need to express yourself physically, and the rejection of the classical dance system….
Yes, something like that.
When we spoke for the first time by email over a year ago, I wasn’t aware that you were at the time going through a “reaction”.
Reaction, or crisis, ou questioning ?
Was it the reaction to cinema ? to the success of Attenberg ? or to the rigors of a gymnast’s discipline ?
Yes, it was shortly after my award in Venice… I was lost. I did not know how to deal with anything — I didn’t expect and wasn’t prepared for such a level of display. I locked myself into work (the preparation of the role in ALPS) and fled the journalists. It took me a long time to realise that it could be a gift in my life.
That’s when I decided to get an agent in Paris to continue film-making. When I made Attenberg, I didn’t think I had a place on a screen. I’d loved the shooting, but I couldn’t picture myself fitting in. This award led me to hope I could continue, and now I only dream of shooting again.
Before Attenberg, was there something you found repulsive in cinema, or was it an attachment to the physicality of theater ?
I didn’t think you could find the intensity you have in front of the public. That moment when you lose the notion of time.
And paradoxically what troubled you after Attenberg was the intensity of the public scrutiny !
Being exposed in a work of art has nothing to do with being exposed as yourself holding a world cup trophy.
I can be naked, raw, give myself completely for a scene or a film, but to expose myself as Ariane Labed in the press is something I find completely uninteresting.
ALPS by Yorgos Lanthimos - trailer. Best Screenplay at 2011 Venice International festival.
So it’s rather the status of the “star” that troubles you rather than shooting itself ?
Shooting is sublime. But I’m not sure of what the actress’ status is. I don’t think there’s a rule. It’s a crazy job, and I hope you can go about it your own way. At least that’s what I’m trying to do.
You returned to Venice for ALPS, which won the prize for Best Scenario, how was it this time ?
It was a holiday ! I took a lot of pleasure, and I was very happy for Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filipou [the writers].
Let’s quickly talk about ALPS – when does the film come out ?
In France I’m not sure, but in the UK in the Spring.
How was this second film for you ?
I was afraid. After the success of Attenberg, I put a lot of pressure on myself… I was telling myself again that maybe Tarantino was wrong, maybe I shouldn’t be on screens anymore….but it helped me to work even more. It was a small role in ALPS, but which required 3 months of intense preparation, so I tried to make the most of shooting days and give my best. It was a very different experience. Yorgos doesn’t work like Athina at all, he leaves the actors with a lot of doubt, and captures everything that slips through.
Can fashion still dazzle us ? To prove that the answer is “yes” for its 2012 edition, the legendary Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival has invited Yohji Yamamoto to preside its fashion jury…
Leather Jacket by Daniel Hurlin, one of the contestants. Photo by René Habermacher.
There is problem in fashion today.
It’s a time of transition, adjusting to the internet, new markets, and the weight of conglomerates.
It’s a time of new opportunities for many.
But it’s also a time where a house like Dior cannot find a replacing designer without causing a game of musical chairs – we are to understand that there are so few established designers out there, that Dior’s next womenswear designer must come from a competing house.
As if there were no young designers up to the job.
As if Galliano himself had had much experience when he started.
The problem is, today, that it’s become increasingly tough for young designers to develop their visual aesthetic independently, starting from scratch.
And if young designers can’t develop their style, be allowed to mature and establish themselves, well, there won’t be any mature designers around when Dior needs one.
The submitted silhouettes of the 10 contestants. Photo by René Habermacher.
Luckily, there is Hyères.
Since 1985, the Hyères Fashion and Photography Festival, located on the Côte d’Azur in the South of France, has promoted the work of young designers by putting them in contact with the industry’s top professionals, organizing for them state-of-the-art fashion shows and drawing an audience of buyers and press from all over the world, giving them the chance to make a first impression.
Hyères has given us Viktor & Rolf, Felipe Oliveira Baptista (Lacoste), Gaspard Yurkievitch, and many others who now run the studios of the biggest houses.
The Hyères 2012 Selection jury.
This Hyères (forgive the pun), Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto has invited an all-star group to join him in the fashion jury: photographer Paolo Roversi, curator Jules Wright, Galliera fashion museum director Olivier Saillard, creative director Marc Ascoli, buyer Alan Bazarian, Hermès art director Pascale Mussard, and i-D magazine’s Terry Jones were all present to go through the dossiers of the applicants.
Jury member Olivier Saillard examining a dossier.
After hours of looking at dossiers and submitted looks, and additional hours of deliberation, the selection jury chose 4 men’s and 6 women’s looks from designers coming not only from traditional Western European countries but also from Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Finland and Estonia.
The designers now have 2 months to complete 6 more looks from their collection(and a special Chloé look) before flying in to Hyères in April and being prepped by fashion director Maïda Gregory for the jury and presentations, fashion shows and showrooms happening over the 3 days of the festival. In addition to a Grand Jury Prize (15 000 Euros by L’Oreal Professionel) and a Première Vision Prize (10 000 euros), they’ll also be competing for a new Chloé prize, with a specially designed look.
Photographer Paolo Roversi saluting us as he leaves the Yohji Yamamoto HQ. Photo by René Habermacher.
Check back with us soon for interviews of the jury members and news about the photo competition as well…
Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets. Every year, the Villa Noailles art center in Hyères, France offers fashion designers and photographers the opportunity to step into the spotlight…
Photo by 2010 photo winner Yann Gross, look by 2011 fashion winner Léa Peckre.
Design duo Viktor & Rolf ? Stills photographer and Ricard award finalist Erwan Frotin ? Mugler men’s designer Romain Kremer ? Fashion photographer Sølve Sundsbø ? ANDAM 2011 prize winner Anthony Vaccarello ? Lacoste designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista ? All these people have one thing in common – their work was all launched into the spotlight through the Hyères fashion and photography festival, which is now going into its 27th edition.
As a contestant, you must register by November 26th and send your application package by December 5, 2011. Your work will then be reviewed by a jury of fashion, art and photography professionals (including in the past Azzedine Alaia, Nan Goldin, Riccardo Tisci, Peter Knap, Karl Lagerfeld, Viviane Sassen, Dries Van Noten, Tim Walker, Christian Lacroix…).
If you make it past the first rounds of selection, you’ll be given production help for your collection, flown to the Hyères, given the chance to meet and talk with the 2012 juries, and have the famous Hyères team produce a gallery show of your pictures or a fashion show of your collection, in or around the unique setting of the avant-garde Villa Noailles, once vacation home to the likes of Dali and Cocteau…
And of course, the best part: my little finger tells me this year there will be even more prizes…
In case that wasn’t enough, here’s everything you need to know about Hyères in 2 minutes 6 seconds.
2012 Contest guidelines & registration
Registration deadline: November 26th, 2011
Submission deadline: December 5th, 2011
They’ve produced Shakira, Sha-Sthil’ed, released a secret Japanese album, toured Europe, and now they’re preparing their big Paris concert, before continuing more collaborations with WoodKid, Aikiu and Philippe Katerine. Ladies and Gentlemen, take your socks off for…The Shoes.
You guys DJ’ed at the Hyères Fashion Festival, then at Versailles for the end of Couture Week, are you infiltrating fashion ?
It was a fun DJ set, a bit camping/bar mitzvah, but well mixed.
We also played in Florence for Pitti, in a beautiful place.
Are you continuing to do production for other artists?
Benjamin: It’s a part of our identity we started and really want to develop, so we try to keep it going, in between festivals, concerts and other requests that come in. We’re working on the WoodKid (Yoann Lemoine) album, a track with Philippe Katerine, very different things as long as we like the artist.
Guillaume: With Yoann it’s a bit different, as he’s also a friend.
How long has your album been out – you seem to have a lot of different videos already ?
B: The album came out in March, I think like Mylene Farmer we’re going to make a DVD with all the videos… (laughs)
G: We’ve done 4 videos already, preparing Time To Dance for the fall. In the end half of the album is going to have videos.
The Shoes ft Esser, STAY THE SAME. Directed by Daniel Wolfe.
Is Cliché one of the tracks for which you’ll make a video ?
G: a lot of people have asked, it’s a track that chicks like a lot because it’s the only feminine voice on the record, but it’s not in the plans right now, we think Time To Dance will work.
B: We’ve seen people go crazy on that track even though it hasn’t been played much. It has an old-school, Underworld-style crescendo that lasts 2 minutes.
I’ve seen you at the Nouveau Casino the first time around…do you manage to get some of the singers from the tracks to come sing from time to time ?
G: that was really at the beginning! We have Ben Esser who comes quite often, Anita from Cocknbullkid came at Nouveau Casino. But of course the audience likes to put a face on the song.
It’s a bit unusual to have the lyrics pre-recorded with live instruments, usually it’s the other way around — live lyrics with instruments playback. Especially because you guys really are hardcore on the instruments, while the voice seems to come from nowhere…
B: that was the main criticism aimed at us at the beginning, and we hadn’t solved it when you saw us.
G: we were a bit shy, now we sing it ourself, it’s not perfect but it works more with energy instead. Now we’re starting to more or less control the singing.
The Shoes performing WASTIN' TIME with Esser at Hyères 2011, with Stage of the Art.
Do you sing it entirely live now or do you mix with the recorded lyrics by the singer ?
B: you’re getting into our trade secrets… we mix the voices actually.
G: we don’t try to hide it. it was a problem at first, but now we’ve worked it out – though of course when someone like Esser comes along it’s great, it gives it more of a band feeling and we can concentrate on instruments.
So how did you choose the singers and bands with which you collaborated ?
G: it happened by itself.
B: we were spending time in the UK, we met lots of people, making friends. It started with Primary One, we did the music for the track People Moving, he came to the studio in Rheims and we realized we could never have this kind of result with our own voices, so it became our first featuring. Then we contacted the people we had met with some demos, sometimes with lyrics sung in “yogurt”. No real name dropping.
G: none of the featurings are very famous people, it’s rather people who are at a similar stage of their career… since then we see a lot more Cocknbullkid and Esser.
Singing in French, is that something you’d consider ? I imagine the collaboration with Katerine is in French ?
B: for The Shoes, no, but for other artists we do it.
G: Benjamin does it more than me, but it’s not something for The Shoes yet.
The Shoes performing STAY THE SAME with Esser at Hyères 2011, with Stage of the Art.
What’s the current program, festivals ?
G: [this summer it was] festivals, the WoodKid album.
I’ve also produced the album of this artist called The Aikiu, which is a complete transfiguration of the initial project.
Is that the first real album by The Aikiu ? It seems it’s a project that has been on the verge of happening for a long time, I remember hearing a single at least 5 or 6 years ago…
G: They’ve had EP’s only so far, they asked us to come work on the album, we arrived and blew the whole thing upside down. We broke everything and started from scratch. I think Alex has a great voice, and that there’s great things to do with his voice — but that’s complete now and we’re working on WoodKid.
And working on WoodKid’s album brings some extraordinary conditions, we get to use unusual instruments. Yoann also puts a lot of constraints on us too, he knows what he doesn’t want, which pushes us to do things in different ways.
I was also very happy to discover that you (Guillaume) were behind Gucci Vump and the track SHA SHTIL which was THE track of the summer last year… Is that something you’ll continue or are you focussing exclusively on The Shoes ?
G: I’m focussing more on The Shoes, but Gucci Vump is a funny project, a bit shapeless, Louis (Brodinski) and I run into each other from time to time, we get commissions for remixes from time to time — like WoodKid’s Iron. It’s a dilettante project.
So after the festivals you guys are focussing on your own tour ?
G: Yes we have over 30 dates in the fall, the climax will be November 9th at La Cigale in Paris. We also hope to return to Japan.
You’ve already played in Japan ?
G: The album did really well over there, Japan’s the first country to sign us besides GUM, and they didn’t want to wait so long for the album, so we released an album just for Japan, with B-sides. People try to get their hands on that album, which is a bit of a collectors’ item, with demos and beta versions of tracks which later appear on CRACK MY BONES.
But we’re very focussed on our La Cigale date – with almost all the guests from the album, extra band members…
We usually have 2 percussionists, but we’ll probably go back to 4 – visually it’s beautiful and in terms of sound it doesn’t hurt. When you have 4 guys doing a sort of choreography, it gives something unusual.
The Shoes, photo by René Habermacher.
The last thing which stimulated you…
G: a DJ from a rap group called 1995, a French group, which made an amazing mixtape for the summer.
B: for me, it was the Solidays concert of Ebony Bones – I usually don’t listen to her music, but in concert it was impressive. It’s really made for a festival.
G: from time to time, you get groups that you don’t necessarily like that make a strong impression on you live, they transfigure their music. But you also get the opposite…
I had that with Gonzales. 10 years ago I liked his stuff, I went to see him live, and I hated it so much, I couldn’t listen to the music again for several years. And still now I like the music but I can’t stand his videos or his imagery in general.
G: it was really important for us to delegate the image to Pierre (LeNy), even if we have our ideas regarding what we like visually.
So far you haven’t appeared in any of your videos….but you’re not hiding either ?
G: You often see beautiful videos that fail as soon as the singer appears, the acting required from the singer brings the whole thing down. We want our films to be little bits of cinema – we’re not going to add anything to that feeling.
Special concert at LA CIGALE
November 9th 2011
Opening act: ESSER
STYLING: Michael Philouze
GROOMING: Tanya K @ B-AGENCY
PHOTO ASSISTANT: Fabien Campoverde
with special thanks to Pierre Le Ny & G.U.M.
The Stimuleye is proud to announce the release of the latest film of the Vogue.it – A Short Film With series, CHIARA SKURA, a collaboration with Marios Schwab featuring his hot Spring Summer 2012 collection.
Watch it here.
Come celebrate the release of CHIARA SKURA with Marios Schwab and friends,
Friday October 30th, 10pm – 2am
at Le Pompon,
39 rue des Petites Écuries, 75010 Paris
Metro: Bonne Nouvelle
Hot on the heels of Marios Schwab’s breakthrough SS12 collection “chiaroscuro”, The Stimuleye is proud to announce “CHIARA SKURA – A Short Film With Marios Schwab” for Vogue Italia, coming September 28th…
Directed by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher
Starring Amy Bailey
The Stimuleye is back from summer hyper-hybernation.
After a galloping transatlantic spiral of frenzy, we lay exhausted for days on various shores around the globe. Meanwhile, not entirely lazy, some of the Stimuleyes danced away in Watermill or invented a bookclub of a new, performative kind, shuffling readings of MANHUNT, STILETTO and Jackie Collins’ masterpiece THE STUD into a new, exciting bootleg. But more about that later.
During this hot days another Stimuleye project rushed through printers rotation: a collaboration with Marina Abramović featuring Freja Beha Erichsen photographed by René Habermacher for POP magazine.
Freja Beha Erichsen and Marina Abramović, both posing with Marinas "mini-me" and wearing GIORGIO ARMANI Photography by René Habermacher
The Fall Issue will feature 2 covers with Marina and Freja and an inside story with exclusive interview, plus a limited edition hardback showing Marina’s death mask. Some of our fellow readers might recognise another co-star: yes, it’s Daisy the Boa which we met in Manchester, in an attempt to strangle the alter ego of Marina, her “mini-me”.
Coming soon to the newstands, the new POP is investigating this time THE REDEFINITION OF THE LADY. As Ashley Heath, its publisher puts it:
“POP has been exploring the notion of a very particular kind of modern fashionable woman. But it’s shifting all the time in such an interesting way. There’s a very liberated, new-world perspective to it and I think Marina Abramovic taps into that. She’s a figure who will only continue to grow in influence I believe. You hesitate to use the word ‘icon’ these days, but Marina and Freja are both resonant female role models at a time when lowest common denominator so often rules the day”
POP's Special edition Hardcover with Marina Abramović's death mask and "mini-me" wrestling with Daisy. Photography by René Habermacher
MARINA CREDITS: Styling Isabelle Kountoure , Hair by Chi Wong at Julian Watson Agency using Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Make-up Yannis Siskos at Effex using Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, Photography Assistance Jonathan Flanders & Hannan Jones, Digital Remastering The Stimuleye, Snake Wrangler David Steward for Creature Feature, Production Lynsey Peisinger for The Stimuleye
FREJA CREDITS: Styling Isabelle Kountoure, Hair Peter Gray at The Collective using Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Make up Romy Soleimani at Management Artists, Manicure Tracelee Percival at Vue using Priti NYC, Model Freja Beha Erichsen at IMG New York, Casting Angus Munro at AM Casting, Streeters NY, Photography Assistance Cesar Rebollar, Fashion Assistance Jodie Latham, Stephanie Waknine, Rebecca Sammon & Michaela Dosamantes, Digital Technician Dilek Islidak, Digital Remastering The Stimuleye, Set Design Anne Koch at CLM NY, Production John Engstrom at Scheimpflüg Digital, Shot at Eagles Nest Daylight Studios NYC
They’re not even close to turning 30.
And yet they are releasing their third fashion film superproduction, IS THIS REAL LIFE for designers Mastori and Motwary, on Vogue Italia; and doing the cover story for UNDER THE INFLUENCE, out on Friday.
They are… Suzie Q and Leo Siboni.
Antoine Asseraf: how did the two of you meet ?
Suzie Q & Leo Siboni: We met while studying at Ecole des Gobelins, Paris, in 2005. At first we helped each other out for our personal projects, and then in 2007 we started working together.
And what was your first project as a duo ?
It was a photo series for the fashion magazine DOUBLE, named SCREENPLAY. We used different films by John Ford, projected as a background.
The idea was to establish a relationship between John Wayne and the model.
At Gobelins, did you both study photography ? And why did you start with fashion photography ?
Yes, we both studied photography. For us fashion is a way to experiment, fashion imagery is about mise-en-scène, putting the clothes forward.
Paradoxically, what we like the most are the constraints.
It helps you create, pressures you to act quickly. It’s rather intense.
Funny that your photo series should be about cinema…
Cinema inspires us a lot. We work more and more with the idea of an image within the image, of a certain depth, a frame within the frame. In the end I think we’re attached to the idea of the screen.
At last, at last. After an epic ping pong interview months in the making, here it is. Painter – turned video artist turned – precocious fashion film director Justin Anderson.
He has a bum fetish, just like everyone else.
BIKE by Justin Anderson, for Armani Jeans. Still by René Habermacher.
Antoine Asseraf: What is the last thing that stimulated you ?
Justin Anderson: On Friday night – I watched a film by Jean Pierre Melville – ARMY OF SHADOWS.
It had a big effect on me. It is brutal but very paired down without any melodrama. None of the actors either particularly young or good looking, the direction is tight and the subject really tough. It is about the French resistance to German occupation – it is about death, betrayal and torture.
The film was gripping was absolutely masterful. What I love is that I discovered this film because I loved the way Alain Delon looked in LE FLIC in his raincoat – which then led me to such a film. I feel very lucky to live in a time in which it is so easy to discover these kinds of gems and I love the fluid way you can to move from one to the other.
So, which would you say are you main influences in film-making – classic films such as the ones you just mentioned, or more experimental fare ?
All kinds of image making influence me particularly fine art – which is how I trained. I would say the paintings of Fontana, Morandi, Barnett Newman, Stella, Ryman, the sculptures of Brancusi, Donald Judd artist like Walter de Maria. Dan Graham, Bruce Nauman were particular influence to me. These have all impacted on my filmmaking as much or more so than other film makers because that is what I studied for years. I suppose my taste currently in film making are as you say classics. I was hugely influenced by Buñuel when I was introduced to it as a 14 year old boy by a very good art teacher at school – he knew exactly how to stimulate a 14 year old boy.
Currently I working my way through the classic European film makers of the last century, Bergman, Antonioni, Chabrol, Renoir and recently Melville. Having not studied film I feel like I have a lot to catch up on.
UNTITLED VIDEO STILL by Justin Anderson. Courtesy of Gerwerbe Karl Marx Gallery, Berlin.
So how did you transition from fine art – painting if I’m correct – to video ?
I started working in video quite along time ago whilst still studying at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. The work was structuralist and minimal – I chewed gum live on television for 5 minutes, made a video in NYC where I drew the lines of a huge tennis court across midtown Manhattan and the dove them with a camera attached to the roof of a car. The video camera was moved through space like making a drawing – instead of leaving a marking on the space you were recording what is there.
I made a video of a guy dressed in protective sports gear standing against a wall and shouting “Just do it” in German whilst I served tennis balls at him as hard as I could. It was quite violent (our friendship ended soon after!).
At the time I was making very large paintings of the lines on parts of sports courts- it all seemed to flow from one to another- the video camera was just another from of mark making. The videos had virtually no editing and certainly no close ups or variants in the shots.
Stimuleyees and Stimuleyettes, at last, here it is – the Vogue Italia film commission for bag designers Jamin Puech… La Main Dans Le Sac / “Caught Red-Handed”When Vogue Italia asked us to make a film for their A Short Film With section with bag designers Jamin Puech, we were at first a bit puzzled. Up to that point, all the films in the section were built around designers preparing their fashion shows, but Jamin Puech didn’t have fashion shows.So we drew inspiration from the opening scenes of Hitchcock’s MARNIE – we never see the face of Tippi Hedren who plays a con artist opposite Sean Connery. We only see a silhouette do questionable things with different bags, purses and luggages… Together with stylist Michaela Dosamantes we built graphic and cinematic scenes around each bag, building up to the moment she gets caught.
Bag by Jamin Puech, glove by George Morand, suit by Max Mara, necklace and ring by Karry' O, bracelet by Andra Neen. Photo by René Habermacher.The title is a French expression meaning “the hand in the bag” which means that you’ve been caught in the act.It was too perfect a title.
Left: jacket and trousers by Carven, blouse by Equipment, sunglasses by Prada, necklace by Andra Neen. Right: coat and belt by Dries Van Noten, gloves by George Moran, necklace by Andra Neen. Photos by René Habermacher.Though we loved the Hitchcock soundtracks, and used it to set the mood while editing, we wanted something more contemporary and original for the sound, so we asked our past collaborator Lori Schonberg and his colleague Shane Aspegren of the Berg Sans Nipple to write something for us.
Top + pants by Giambatista Valli, Fendi belt, Pierre Hardy shoes and Karry’O earrings.
Photo by René Habermacher.Of course the film also benefits from the setting : caviar and seafood restaurant Prunier, by the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, where you can treat yourself to “all that comes from the sea”, including delicacies such as the “Christian Dior” oeuf en gelée with Tradition caviar. Designed in 1925, and owned by Pierre Bergé since 2000, the restaurant is an Art Déco jewel, featuring the work of the best artists of the time, such as I.M. Cassandre, but also of modern artists like Bob Wilson, whose installation sits at the bar.
La Main Dans Le Sac by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher – more info, full fashion and production credits: www.maindanssac.comBuild with Erosion, by The Berg Sans Nipple.Special performance at Musée du Quai Branly on June 12, 2011.