Coming this week, a special collaboration with Vogue Italia,
The Stimuleye is proud to announce another collaboration with Kiko Mizuhara for Vivienne Tam Fall/Winter 2012/13.
Shot in temples in Kyoto, here is Shangri-La.
a film by Antoine Asseraf
for Vivienne Tam Fall Winter 2012/13
starring Kiko Mizuhara
music Ça Va Chéri
creative direction Hatsumi Yamada
production Hiromi Otsuka
Just before leaving for some much needed holidays, The Stimuleye is happy to announce a new interview series in collaboration with Un Nouveau Ideal’s Filep Motwary.
A-referential, Unisex, Anti-Trend, Feature Film… wunderkind designer Rad Hourani is first to go FACE2FACE.
Creative Direction: The Stimuleye
Assistant: Jean-David Alimi
Sound Design: SOSSOON
Thanks: Robin Meason / Creative Door.
the stimuleye is happy to report that, after winning the Best Fashion Award at last year’s La Jolla Fashion Film Festival for La Main Dans Le Sac, we are in the selection again this year.
My Garden, for Vivienne Tam, starring Kiko Mizuhara is one of the 60 films selected from over 6000 in consideration…
La Jolla Fashion Film Festival opens today at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art,
in La Jolla, California.
230 000 euros for a young designers… who says the French don’t support talent ?
For 23 years now, the ANDAM prize, created by Nathalie Dufour and presided by no less than Pierre Bergé, has rewarded promising Paris-based fashion designers, regardless of nationality.
The first winner : Martin Margiela in 1989.
Since then, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Gareth Pugh and last year Anthony Vaccarello have received the prize which includes not only a huge amount of money, but industry connections whose worth money cannot measure…
The Stimuleye presents : ANDAM 2012.
Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode
2012 FASHION AWARDS
GRAND PRIZE: 230 000 EURO
Nominees: Cédric Charlier, Julien David, Thomas Tait, Calla Haynes, Vika Gazinskaya, Andrea Nicholas Taralis
Winner: Julien David
FIRST COLLECTION PRIZE: 60 000 EURO
Nominees: Calla Haynes, Pièce d’Anarchive, Céline Méteil, Jacquemus
Winner: Pièce d’Anarchive
more info: http://www.andam.fr
“the last thing which stimulated me:
the gaze of my cat upon me this morning”
When we say “Hyères” we often mean “the fashion and photography festival” organized by the Villa Noailles.
But we shouldn’t.
Because for the last 7 years, there’s been another “Hyères” in Hyères :
10 young design-ers, eye-popping exhibitions dedicated to furniture and industrial design, a special focus on the art brought back by the Noailles’ African expeditions in the 30’s, and already a spin-off event, Tapis Parade (Carpet Parade).
Design Parade 7.
Planet Earth is at the center of an observable universe with a 13.7 billion light year radius. Just so you get an idea of what that means, the Moon is only 0.0000000406 light years away (about 357,000km, if that makes it any easier). Paul Klauninger is an astrophotographer who captures some of the beauties of our galaxy, and has been doing so for over 20 years.
Astrophotography remains one of the most complicated forms of photography, but with today’s technology we get images not even Galileo or Newton would have even dreamt of. The Stimuleye catches up with Paul to get a better understanding on this ancient fascination for the Cosmos.
M45 - Pleiades Star Cluster. Photography by Paul Klauninger.
Miguel Batel: You must be happy winter is over. Last time we went out to the field must have been one of the coldest experiences I’ve ever had.
Paul Klauninger: I have mixed feelings about the winter really. While it can be very challenging to operate your equipment (and your fingers, for that matter) when it is –20o C, there are also a number of benefits. In the winter, the nights are much longer than the summer, so you can do much longer observing and imaging sessions. Also, the air tends to be cleaner, containing less dust and water vapour. That makes it better for imaging. And in the winter, you see a different part of the sky than in the summer, so you can see a completely different collection of celestial wonders. Finally, there are no mosquitoes or black flies in the winter, and that’s always a good thing.
MB: Being mostly subjects you can’t appreciate with your naked eye, or directly interact with, I’m curious to know what kind of emotional attachments you develop with your photographs?
PK: I guess my images are like a photo album of travel pictures, in that they remind me of places that I have visited. While it is true that most of the imaging subjects cannot be seen with the naked eye, my telescopes do in fact, allow me to see these without a camera.
When I look through a telescope at a nebula or galaxy that is thousands or millions of light-years away, I can’t help but wonder about other Earth-like planets in those places, and the potential for other advanced civilizations like our own. And when I see the images I’ve taken of those same places, they remind me of just how much more is out there that our limited vision cannot detect directly.
MB: Which have been some of your most significant or revealing photographs?
PK: One of my most favorite “revealing” images is one I took of the Pleiades star cluster. This is an object that you actually can see with the naked eye. It appears as a small dipper-like formation of seven very bright stars, just to the right of Orion. Not only does the image show these seven stars as brilliant blue beacons in the night, it shows hundreds of surrounding, lesser stars that are also part of that cluster. And the entire collection is wrapped in an ethereal, misty blue nebula. Photographically, it’s just a strikingly beautiful object.
Another favorite is actually a series of images that I took over a span of a few months of a very odd object in our solar system named Comet Holmes. Back in 2007, this dim, obscure little comet suddenly and explosively erupted. In a matter of 24 hours, its brightness increased by a million-fold and it easily became a naked-eye object. Before that, you would have needed a large telescope and sensitive camera to even capture it as dim speck of light. In the weeks after its eruption, it continued to expand and grow until it appeared larger than the full Moon, although nowhere near as bright. However, you could easily see this object as large round fuzzy patch in the sky. It wandered around the sky like that for months, until it gradually faded. I captured a series of images over that time period that nicely shows its growth and evolution. To this day, no one knows what caused this comet to erupt as it did.
Horsehead and Flame Nebulae. Photography by Paul Klauninger.
“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.
In Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio” it is the wooden puppet that possesses sentience prior to its transformation; it is the puppet and not its creator, the woodcarver who triggers the miracle of the doll coming alive.
With François one never knows who pulls the strings. It is him who invokes the sentiment for a story to become alive. Yet he hands himself over unconditionally to his collaborators, like an “instrument to be played”, as he likes to call it.
Film director Christopher Honoré once expressed that François Sagat “redefines the notion of masculinity”. François, the humble boy from Cognac has moulded himself to unattainable iconic status. Gilded with his blue inked crane, he is to conquer his righteous spot in the pantheon of pop culture…
"François Sagat with Apple" Exhibition SPECTRE, Hyères 2010. Photography by René Habermacher
René Habermacher : you recently played alongside Chiara Mastroianni in HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, and as well the lead in Bruce LaBruce L.A. ZOMBIE – how were your experiences?
François Sagat: L.A ZOMBIE was an experience which had very little to do with HOMME AU BAIN… The shoot for LA ZOMBIE was like a real porno shoot, scene by scene, it was mostly fucking, except that of course the porno version was censored for festivals…Beyond the sex scenes, LA ZOMBIE was a chaotic shoot, without a script, hasardous… but I’m still to this day satisfied with this participation and collaboration with Bruce LaBruce, from whom I still have much to learn, and who possesses a huge cinema and litterary culture… Despite what his critics say, I think Bruce has a real style.
During the shoot I really tested my capacity to resist “obstacles”, it was at times very difficult, I didn’t know where I was going, no direction, it was like being thrown in the lion’s den.
There was no script, the storytelling was weak and the whole plan was turned on its head by last minute changes and many cancelations, but that can be said about a lot of “cinema” projects.
L'HOMME AU BAIN by Christophe Honoré, starring Chiara Mastroianni and François Sagat.
Regarding HOMME AU BAIN, the shooting was a lot more structured, but energetic nevertheless. It’s on this project that I realized that my abilities as an actor were limited, weak even, and felt like I was a big challenge for Christophe Honoré because of my “heavy” image, of the luggage I was carrying.
There were moments when I thought I terrified him, being everything except malleable. The project was constantly evolving due to the fact that we had planned it as a short, and that a lot of questions arose towards the end of shooting. It was finally released as a full feature film, and I have the feeling it wasn’t the right place for the film.
It was an intimate project which to me, with hindsight, would have had a strong impact as a short. But I am neither director nor the creator of my own character. Rather than control the situation, I felt the blowback. But surely the imperfection of the final result makes it a real film, that can be remarked and criticized. I chose to shoot it and live the collaboration for the moment rather than think of the finished product.
What is the difference to you between acting in a porn movie or a feature film?
The difference ? Of course there are differences.
When you’re a porno actor, you’re in constant control of your carnal envelope and your physical aspect, whether you learn it or you have it from the start.
I didn’t know it as first but I am someone who has that ability. Porn is often an activity for people who are shy orally.
As a performer, you never really have to carry the more or less artistic responsabilities of a porn film, because there is no artistic issue to start with. You just have to be a good soldier fitting what the consumer desires to watch and what the production has decided, and that’s it.
I think also that I am someone who’s very sexual and exhibitiionist, but that’s not really giving you a scoop. Porn is like military service, it’s “my way or the highway”, and in my case, I’ve been and continue to be a good soldier.
The main difference is that you need a capacity to adapt and to lose who you really are, physically as well as morally. I created for myself a character in porn as in life, it’s difficult to let it go.
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
The Stimuleye presents Télé-Hyères…
A The Stimuleye Production
Directed by Antoine Asseraf
Filmed by Thibault Della Gaspera & Jason Last
Postproduction by Clément Roncier
Interviews by Filep Motwary
Music by Ça Va Chéri
-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 !
Meet Steven Tai, our final Hyères designer.
Steven. Photo by Filep Motwary
How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?
I feel incredibly honored to be selected for this year’s Hyeres. I vividly remember that when I first discover the festival I did not even begin my education at Central Saint Martins. But at that point I already felt a strong connection to the competition and I knew I would try to be apart of the festival one day. Therefore, being selected as a finalist really means a great deal to me because it means that an audience I truly respect understands my work.
How would you describe Hyeres in three words?
Natural, familiar, friendly..
What has been your favorite part of the process so far?
The entire process has been incredible. It really is difficult to pick just one favorite part. Having the name Hyeres backing you means you are granted opportunities that I could not normally even dream of. A selection of those moments include: – having countless fabric companies at Premiere Vision sponsoring my work – working with the prestigious Givaudan Fragrances to create a personal perfume – having the opportunity to create a look for the house of Chloé – coming to Hyeres and meeting all the wonderful designers and the team at Villa Noailles
In three words , what is your collection about?
Geeky, Awkward, confident
Steven Tai / CANADA / Central St-Martin's London. Photo: Rene Habermacher.
Elina Laitinen, Siiri Raasakka and Tiia Sirén come from Finland and design menswear together. They have been selected for Hyeres 2012.How does it feel for you being selected for this year’s edition of Hyeres?We feel really honored to be selected regardless of the fact that this is the first collection we have ever put together. We want to break every boundary there is, and it’s exciting that other people can understand our world as well.How would you describe Hyeres in three words?Coolest thing EVER!What has been your favorite part of the process so far?We have totally enjoyed the whole process of making the collection since we like to get our hands dirty and here in Hyères its really amazing to be able to work with a professional team.In three words , what is your collection about?Boys! Youth! Revolution!