For latest fashion film, we headed to… a Belgian butcher shop.
“LE SAVOIR-FAIRE” by The Stimuleye, a film for Jean-Paul Lespagnard’s #1/2015 collection,
with music by TEPR.
OK people, fashion time’s over. It’s Art time.
Appetite for contemporary art is always growing. The public, the collectors…everyone wants a piece of the cake.
So The Stimuleye is proud to present, for the second year in a row in association with SayWho, the official film of the 40th Paris Contemporary Art Fair a.k.a. FIAC 2013.
WhatTheFIAC, written & directed by Antoine Asseraf.
FIAC, Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain, 2013 trailer, directed by Antoine Asseraf.
For its 40th edition, and in order to accommodate the ever-growing interest in the art scene, the FIAC is expanding and taking different forms throughout Paris.
Beyond the glass dome of the Grand Palais and the hundreds of galleries showing there, the FIAC is installing artwork accessible for free to the public in its “Hors-les-murs” (‘outside the walls’) program. Prestigious locations such as the Jardin des Tuileries, Place Vendôme, and Jardin des Plantes are joined this year by the brand new Berges de Seine left bank pedestrian embankments, running from Musée d’Orsay to Quai Branly.
FIAC 2013. Photo by René Habermacher.
& Hors-les-Murs: Petit Palais / Berges de Seine / Jardin des Tuileries / Auditorium du Louvre / Place Vendôme / Jardin des Tuileries
produced by SayWho
creative direction The Stimuleye
directed by Antoine Asseraf
photography by René Habermacher
art direction by Mathilde Nivet
hands by Aurélie Nguyen
voice by Lynsey Peisinger
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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
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.
Caroline Daily: what is the first film which made an impression on you ?
Antoine Asseraf: The most striking memory for me is David Lynch’s Lost Highway.
It was my first Lynch, and the mix of glamour and goth, the changes in personality, the concept of looping, free intepretation, all left me without voice.
With David Lynch, there is always a staggering artistic direction, a mix of architecture, music, design and casting which create entirely novel worlds.
In a different register, there is also Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, which left a mark because it’s such a violent film, but with an “english” type of violence – very different from the hollywood violence to which i had grown accustomed.