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
Once upon a time, we made a fashion film shoot with some of the best men’s designs around.
Givenchy, Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Gareth Pugh, Comme des Garçons…we had it all. We also had a great concept (think butoh meets inception), a fantastic cast (Ippei is an amazing butoh performer, while Matvey and Willy, both top men’s models, would film Woodkid’s IRON video a few days later), great hair and great make-up, everything great.
RAEVE stroke-inducing poster by Clément Roncier.
Only problem was, we never really found the time to edit it.
So without further ado, ræve.
by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher
starring Ippei Hosuka + Willy Cartier @ Success Paris + Matvey Lykov@ Success Paris
styling Jean-Luc Française / photo assistant Laurent Dubain / styling assistant Tiphaine Menon / hair Tanya Koch @ B Agency /make-up Akiko Sakamoto / studio Le Petit Oiseau Va Sortir
editing Axelle Zecevic / Clément Roncier / postproduction Clément Roncier / music Oedo Sukeroku “Shunrai” + John Cage “Sonata V” / special thanks Jean-Marc Locatelli
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
For your embeddable pleasure, a story of bags, fashion, crime, and more bags, commissioned by Vogue Italia.
Who is hiding behind those Prada shades ? What is she doing ? Will she get caught ?
A Short Film With
LA MAIN DANS LE SAC
Quinta Witzel @ IMG Paris
Romina Manenti @ Airport
Shane Aspegren & Lori Schonberg
The Berg Sans Nipple
Suzanne von Aichinger is a modern archetype of the Parisian muse, in spite of the fact that she was born in Germany, and grew up in Canada.
She was discovered by the legendary illustrator Antonio Lopez, whom she considers to be one of the great influences in her life, as well as a very close friend. She inspired and collaborated closely in the design studios, with Christian Lacroix, John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier. Suzanne von Aichinger posed for iconic photographers Serge Lutens, Paolo Roversi, Mario Testino, Jean Loup Sieff, Ali Madhavi, David Seidner, and strutted down the catwalks of Yves St Laurent, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior (Galliano) , Hermes, Martin Margiela, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier.
In Greek mythology, the Sirens with the irresistible charm of their song, lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island..
SUZANNE VON AICHINGER feature, is a collaboration between Un nouVeau iDEAL and THE STIMULEYE Fashion Editor : Ines Fendri ⎜ Make Up : Akiko Sakamoto ⎜ Hair : Karin Bigler Production : Lynsey Peisinger for THE STIMULEYE Special Thanks to Mr Rick Owens and Anne van den Bosche @ Rick Owens Press Office
KALI, Suzanne von Aichinger wears a Rick Owens cape and gloves, all FW2011. Photography by René Habermacher
I always liked her and when we finally became friends, I liked her even more. In the following conversation Suzanne shares her thoughts on fashion, music, talent, the water, mythology and other obscurities. You are about to discover the muse, the model, the artist, the stylist..
I caught her leg on her daybreak between styling for a Vogue photo shoot and organizing a major project.
FILEP MOTWARY: Hi beautiful? So it was very difficult to catch you in the past two months. What have you been up to?
SUZANNE von AICHINGER: I know Filep. I’ve been a little like Houdini…escaping. But for a good reason. I had plenty of work and styling projects
Tell me more about it please. It seems you work non-stop.
It’s been good for me lately. I’ve been styling some perfume campaigns, editorials for Russian Vogue, Italian Vanity Fair, doing photos with Dita, and now I’m preparing another perfume campaign, and a major photo shoot with one of the MOST gorgeous women on the planet.
Oh Gosh, indeed its a lot. You mean the actress, Elisa Sednaoui? Ali posted a shot of her on twitter…
Oh what a beauty Elisa is!!! But, I’m referring to another lady…very iconic. I don’t know if I should say who it is. I don’t like to talk about things before they come out…
I understand. How easy it is for you to collaborate with people. What a concept needs to have in order to get you involved in it?
Collaborating with people is my ultimate way of creating. I find the dynamic of working with another or others, stimulating, and proven a successful way of expression for me.
How do you make your choices? Is money an important motive or not always?
There has to be an element that compels me, something that excites my imagination. I also have to feel that I have something relevant to bring to the story. Money is very often not a motive. But, sometimes it is an essential part of creation. We must also live, make a living, etc. You have to know when to give and when to sell!! There is no shame in being paid for a job well done. Andy Warhol considered making money the highest art form. I’m not sure that I adhere to this philosophy, but I don’t love being broke either. I like the freedom that having some cash on hand can procure you.
On the other hand there might be talented people, who would love your contribution but, lets say, cannot afford you. How would you react in such conditions?
I usually say YES to a project, which stimulates me. It’s not about the $$$. It’s about the action. I believe in working with people that I consider talented or kindred spirits. As people of great talent have wanted to work with me, when I had no money to pay them. Just for the sheer joy of seeing an idea become a reality.
I wanted to ask you about the photo shoot you just did with René Habermacher. It’s so iconic, yet in a very special way. How was working with René?
I loved it. We had a beautiful day together, with a great creative team. We wanted to express in this series, something that is based more on personality, than fashion. I feel that there are many stories to be told in my future with René. There is a quality in his vision that is very strong and appealing.
CASSANDRA, Suzanne von Aichinger wears a Rick Owens dress, boots and gloves, all FW2011. Photography by René Habermacher
Exactly my point. The photographs serve our conversation so right! I’m very happy that Rick Owens was so positive when I contacted him for the garments. He is always so nice to me. Also for the fact that we shot his winter collection which is by far my favorite!
So am I! I LOVE Rick! He is one of my favorites. And, his fashion is timeless. I know that this can sound cliché, but if you have some pieces by Rick from 12 years ago, they are as relevant as pieces that he has made 2 days ago. They don’t go in and out of fashion. They have their own essence and place.
Having in mind that Rick’s clothes are so special, yet the 2000’s are the epitome of diversity. Each designer points out a different outline every season, there is so much choice. How do you see fashion now yourself, as a stylist?
It’s hard for me to answer this. I see many great things happening, no doubt. But, I see a lot of nonsense going on as well. There is not enough power any more in the hands of the creators. Now, big design houses change designers like they change their underwear. Just ridiculous. There is no time for the designer in place to create a brand identity, that he is fired. And very often, they find out that they’ve been fired, by reading about it in the papers.
It’s as if the financial/commercial people at the heads of some houses, envied the position of creator, and wished to usurp it. They believe that they are capable of being the creator. WRONG!!!!
Bags ! Lanvin ! Prada ! Crime ! Dries Van Noten ! More Bags !
It’s LA MAIN DANS LE SAC / CAUGHT RED HANDED !
TEASER - LA MAIN DANS LE SAC by Antoine Asseraf & Rene Habermacher, A Short Film With Jamin Puech for Vogue Italia.
Coming July 1st on the THE STIMULEYE, playing exclusively on Vogue Italia, our short film commissioned by Vogue Italia for bag designers Jamin Puech, “LA MAIN DANS LE SAC / CAUGHT RED HANDED”.
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.
One of the reasons we’ve been away recently… La Main Dans Le Sac, a film commissioned by Vogue Italia.
The Stimuleye presents
A Short Film With Jamin Puech
for Vogue Italia
Styling by Michaela Dosamantes
Assisted by Alexia Hollinger
Starring Quinta Witzel @ IMG Paris
Make-Up by Tracy Alfajora
Hair by Romina Manenti @ Artlist
Assisted by Masako Hayashi
Filmed at Prunier, Paris
Music by Shane Aspegren & Lori Schonberg of The Berg Sans Nipple
The Stimuleye is proud to announce its upcoming film for Vogue Italia, La Main Dans Le Sac.
Literally, “the hand in the bag”, as in “caught in the act”.
Made in collaboration with bag makers Jamin Puech, the film will debut on Vogue.it’s A Short Film With section,
featuring original music by Berg Sans Nipple.
LA MAIN DANS LE SAC
A Short Film With Jamin Puech ⎜ Directed by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher for Vogue Italia – Talents
Styled by Michaela Dosamantes Featuring looks by Prada, Jil Sander, Lanvin… ⎜ Starring Quinta @ IMG
Original soundtrack by Lori Schonberg & Shane Aspegren of the Berg Sans Nipple
Filmed at Prunier Paris
Semi-live from Hyères, it’s Hyères Alive !
Hyères 2011 Fashion Shows.
Hyères 2011 Award Ceremony.
Directed by Antoine Asseraf
Filmed by Antoine Asseraf + Jason Last
Edited and post-produced by Clément Roncier
Voice and coordination by Lynsey Peisinger
Sound Design by Lori Schonberg
In a joint interview with Caroline Daily, we talk with Yelle collaborator and 2008 Hyères winner Jean-Paul Lespagnard about his first Paris Fashion Week presentation…
I Could Be Yours - Fall/Winter 2011/12 presentation, filmed by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher.
Antoine Asseraf: Did your presentation go well this week?
Jean-Paul Lespagnard: It went really well. The feedback is really good. It was very difficult to organize, obviously, but as I always say “we learn from our mistakes”. ha ha. In the beginning I wanted to do something simple and small and in the end, I found myself doing 7 shows in one day! My assistants tell me all the time that when I tell them something, I think that it is really simple, when in fact it isn’t. So when I tell them that we are going to do something difficult, but that we will succeed, they know that it is going to be a mountain of work! But really really happy with how everything went. The people from the press are really enthusiastic. The people that came by the showroom are very enthusiastic too. I had some buyers–one from a boutique in NY, one from a boutique in Hong Kong, among others.
Was it complicated to plan?
It was a personal choice to put myself in the “off” on presentations by appointment. And i think that I will continue to do that. Because, this idea of doing 6 shows in one day was difficult and I launched myself into a crazy adventure, but I really want to do it again. I think its great because people can come whenever they want to. There is something that I like about not having chairs, it was standing only. I think that the next time, what I could do is have little portable stools for people that want to sit down. I just really like the idea of something spontaneous like what we did. So something that I am going to work on and try to perfect for next time. This defilé was meant as a way for me to come back after the festival and to present my work to buyers. When the buyers came to my showroom, they said “its great, its fresh, we have never seen this before, but we are not sure where to place your work for the moment” This is good actually because now, they have 6 months to digest what they say and to think about ideas for where to place my collection and about where my stuff fits in with other designers. I really very very happy with my fashion week in Paris!
The future is back.
That’s the impression you get from Matt Pyke’s new show at Gaîté Lyrique, Paris’ brand new digital creation center. Mutating monsters, illuminated silences, evolving creatures, disintegrating dancers, glowing trees… Pyke and his friends from the studio Universal Everything use every corner of new-old parisian theater to make your head swirl. Literally.
ANTOINE ASSERAF: I noticed everything is looping, there is no beginning and no end. What as your intention with that?
MATT PYKE: One of the reasons for the looping is we’re really interested in the idea of infinity and how it creates video artworks which don’t really have a narrative story to them.
We’re creating almost a video sculpture, a state of mind or a trance-like situation: for example where dancers that are continually struggling up the wall to get to the sound or the giant walking monster in TRANSFIGURATION which is walking forever and nobody knows where he is going.
It’s that idea of foreverness and how you can use video to do that as an artwork that never stops: everything is almost like a machine that is going and going…
Matt Pyke & Friends : Super-Computer-Romantics
Sometimes you have some very un-digital elements like drawing.
I studied drawing and painting at art school and still find it very important to have a pencil as well as a computer. All of the artworks were based on drawings originally. The archive of the Gaîté Lyrique has a collection with all the working drawings from all the artpieces.
In the exhibition, the one called SEVENTY SIX SEEDS was entirely created through drawing but influenced by the more recent years where i’ve been working with people who use codes. The drawings are very much influenced by digital processes and the shapes that code make.
We’ve made an iPhone application that gave me kind of genetic instructions of what type of seed what type of plant to draw every morning- so it’s a way of using technology to control me, control my pencil.
Works in Progress: left Matt Pykes drawings for SEVENTY SIX SEEDS inspired after an iPhone application. Images Courtesy of Matt Pyke
Do you code and program yourself or are you trying to bring that kind of “old school” thinking into that?
I intentionally do not code and program myself. I tried to learn and found it did not suit me, so I focus on the conceptual side of things and the visual side of things in terms of art direction and creative direction and come up with the initial seed idea and then work with programmers who are genuinely experts or super talent in their field.
I think one important thing is, by me not understanding code, that my ideas are not restricted to what is possible.
Last month, the Gaïté Lyrique digital creation center opened its doors in Paris, after many years of construction.
A companion shop also opened next to the gorgeous building : the AMUSEMENT creative shop.
We sat down with Abdel Bounane, who is in charge of the store but also the founder and editor-in-chief of AMUSEMENT magazine.
Antoine Asseraf : So where are we, there’s a store downstairs, but this is something else…
Abdel Bounane: This is the space where soon we will offer services and events linked to the store, and to the magazine.
The service part is probably the most interesting, because this is going to be the most original part.
For the store we try to have some original products, but for services, starting in May, you’ll be able to order a tailor-made video game.
You make an appointment, meet with one of our consultants, and give your craziest ideas regarding what you want from a video game, and we’ll be able to materialize it. It can take a few days, a few weeks, or sometimes a few months, it can cost a few hundred or a few thousand euros.
It’s a world first.
It answers the question “if you want to make a space linked to the digital world, how do you offer something original and human ?”
Something that doesn’t lag behind the virtual world.
Exactly. What is the use of being in the real world when you’re talking about the virtual ?
So for me, it is the meeting with people, the ability to explain face to face your ideas, a human and interactive touch, it’s fundamentally linked to a physical place. It wouldn’t be the same thing by Skype.
That’s one part of the services we will offer.
We will also offer a gallery side.
People have been trying to sell digital art for decades now, and they haven’t really been able to, except for installations which hard to sustain. But now tablets are here, and I feel that tablets are a good media for that art, like a canvas.
That makes me think of that bloom application for iPhone, by Brian Eno…
Well, Brian Eno’s been here !
What we’re developing is the sell of pieces on tablets, offline, and also an online store of limited edition digital content, with a certificate of authenticity on our servers.
How do you co-exist with the Gaïté Lyrique proper?
Well with the digital art we’re going to be working a lot with artists from the Gaïté, such as Matt Pyke/Universal Everything,
They do a lot of cool particle effects, very pop, very colorful, and they’re don’t want something that is all over the internet, just something that is visible physically at the Gaïté, because it’s a site-specific installation, and potentially sold digitally.
That’s where the logic of the Gaïté comes in, it’s not a museum, it’s a creation center.
So it’s perfect for us, we become the distributors of content that cannot be found elsewhere, and digital limited edition fits the Gaïté perfectly.
We’re not only the commercial arm of the Gaïté, we’re here to play with new ways of crossing art and digital, video games and one-to-one distribution, or take a mass media like video games and make it personalized, how do me make something pop more haute ?
How to legitimize a physical location, with launches, workshops, etc.
For the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with director Justin Anderson of Ponyboy on a series of films commissioned by Armani: the Chase Trilogy.
Still from Justin Anderson's Chase film, by René Habermacher.
Garden for Emporio Armani, starring Theoharis Iannidis & Dafne
Chase for Armani/EA7
Bike for Armani Jeans
The last thing which stimulated Justin:
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.
Starring: Theoharris Ioannidis, Dafne, Aline, Nastasia and Bo.
Styling/Fashion director: Isabelle Kountoure
Assisted by Tui Lin
Make-up: Yannis Siskos
Producer: Jason Scanlon
DoP: Ross McLennan
Local producers: Angela Tsepas/Andreas Mitsopoulos
The Stimuleye is proud to announce its new eye, created by artist Marc Turlan.
Preview of 25 HYÈRES film, directed by Antoine Asseraf.
I had the pleasure of meeting Marc Turlan in his atelier in 2007 when making the first teaser for the Hyères fashion and photography festival.
For what was to be his first solo exhibition, MANQUE (“lack”), Marc had prepared a series of sculptures based on magazines partially hidden under resin-masks. The result was very Friday the 13th.
Then in 2008, Marc made a limited series of sculpted magazines, TORN MAG.
He carved magazines, as objects, blindly, until their substance was exposed. Since then, his work has evolved to ink drawing, laser cutting, metal beading… on magazines.
Full view of the TORN MAG piece. 2008, courtesy of Gallerie Anne de Villepoix.
Last year, Marc returned to Hyères with a new exhibit inside a custom-made wooden bunker, SUMMER HOUSE, which is featured in the upcoming film “25 Hyères”.
An artist or a milliner, a sculptor or a fashion creative, Rein Vollenga is a true artist, teetering between both fields with optimistic and unconditional inspiration.
Ever since he first revealed his works to the public back in 2007, Dutch Vollenga’s career seems unstoppable, counting numerous collaborations with the likes of Lady Gaga, MUGLER, Johnny Woo, Marcel Fengler, Mc Kinki, Tiga…
His works have been triumphantly presented in the most prestigious publications like Italian Vogue, Interview Magazine, Dazed, i-D, Vman as well as was featured in notorious web links like ShowStudio, Style.com and The New York Times not to mention Museums like Neues.
Two days before the opening night featuring his participation at “I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY” (a project headed by Lars Laumann presented at The Hague’s West Gallery) I had a chat with him for The Stimuleye. Lets dive in our conversation at the moment I was trying to explain the dramatic changes Greece is going through…
FILEP MOTWARY: So, yes back to drama….
REIN VOLLENGA: Drama is always a good source for making art.
FilepMotwary: How does drama reflect in your work then? The forms you create are not happy yet neither sad. But there is always some kind of expression in them that leads one to wonder what the situation behind those faces is about…
ReinVollenga: My work is never a reference to just one specific thought, but if I can somehow invoke emotion, make people think or stimulate and inspire somebody then I’m happy.
I don’t want to teach or force people to learn something, as Art is a really personal experience, a fantasy or illusion. Artists should treasure that and exclude their own vanity in spite of excluding the viewer. I feel I don’t need to change the world either, neither can I.
I can only interact or have a dialogue with the viewer through what I create. I would love to change the world but it doesn’t make sense, forcing people to believe in something they don’t understand.
In my sculptures I like to attract the viewer through the beauty reflected in them. By looking closely at the piece, it will reveal by itself, something that might not be so pleasant at the end. This is the kind of contrast I like!
FilepMotwary: I like your way of thinking. Yohji Yamamoto once stated, “‘an artist is somebody who creates things that you don’t need’.” How do you see art?
Rein Vollenga: Art to me is an experience, Illusion or fantasy. It’s something that triggers your mind and keep you fantasizing.
REIN VOLLENGA: Untitled, 2008, Mixed Media and Untitled, 2007, Mixed Media
Epic music, grandiose effects, Agyness Deyn and other supermodels in battlegear — Woodkid’s IRON music video seems at once surprising and classic in the way it mixes imagery and music. That’s probably because Woodkid is none other than Yoann Lemoine, a twentysomething, multi-awarded illustrator-turned-director.
He’s already worked with the likes of Richie Havens, Yelle, Katy Perry, Moby and Taylor Swift, done short films for kids, and been rewarded for a film about a dick graffiti… And now he’s releasing his first EP, IRON.
IRON EP cover, illustration by Stephan Balleux.
ANTOINE ASSERAF: The music video for IRON – is it strange to make a music video for yourself ?
YOANN LEMOINE aka WOODKID: Not that strange, because as soon as I started the WOODKID project, I knew I wanted to make images, so it made sense with the video, and it was the first time I could make a movie and control all the parameters, with a budget and without at the same time being told what I could and couldn’t do. Being both the client and the director was a crazy opportunity, so I’m super happy with the result.
To direct and to make music is a bit similar, emotionally you are touching the same sensible points, it’s just a different medium of expression.
You have a material theme going on – you are the WOOD kid, the single is IRON, the tentative album name wood and CRYSTAL…
The project is always evolving, but I really like attention to textures, I made a film once on the texture of rocks, in IRON there is a lot of marble, black smoke. I love looking at textures and the emotions they create. The color, the complexity, what they evoke, mystical and dark things.
So did the song or the visual come first ?
I’ve had an image in my head for this project for a long time, I wanted to make a statement about heroic fantasy, not in a kitschy, elf and trolls way, but to explore what Tolkien, Final Fantasy, and Matthew Barney did. How you create a world with social codes, in a documentary sort of way, with specific imagery, dogmas, political parties, currency, dresscodes, ethnic groups, races, geography… How you recreate these codes in a parallel world. And how to do this in a way that is less cheesy than we are used to seeing in heroic fantasy, more intellectual…
IRON music video, directed and sung by Yoann Lemoine.
You once said on Facebook (laughs) that you were afraid that one day you would have to make a choice between music and directing, do you still believe in that ?
If I have to choose, it will be a matter of scheduling.
So a temporary choice ?
Temporary but… you never know how things evolve.
I come from illustration, and a series of circumstances led me to move to directing without ever deciding “I’m quitting illustration”, but I never came back to it… I just never had the occasion to do it again, a road built itself in another direction.
How did you make the transition between illustration and film direction ?
First it was animation films for kids, because I come from 3D, then I felt the need to make live films, with actor direction, a quality of photography, so I bought myself a camera and started making my own films. Then it turned into commissions, and I transmitted into real shooting my desire to compose images and artistically direct scenes….
At first jobs were appealing to your 3D and special fx know-how, but now on the Taylor Swift video you had no post-production special effects…
It’s all experimenting. What I’m trying to do in my career and in my artistic development is to reconcile a beautiful image, detailed and in good taste, with fashion references, in the air of the times, that people want to see, with a type of narration usually seen in Hollywood films. Postproduction effects, a bit WOW, symbolic narratives with visual trips… It’s part of my identity.
But I’m no Gondry either.
Yoann Lemoine in Erotokritos FW 2011. Photo by René Habermacher.
until then, a teaser…