Viewer Becomes Voyeur in the Love-Struck Parisian Outfit’s Latest Video
A series of windows invites the viewer into the private lives of imagined city dwellers in this poignant video premiere from Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family. Co-directed by French filmmaker Arnaud Delord and photographer Vincent Ferrané, the piece takes the intriguing, moonlit skyline as the backdrop to “The Park”, a single from the Parisian act’s new Fireman EP and the first release from the seven-strong troupe since their 2008 debut album, Good Children Go To Heaven. “We wanted to plunge the spectator into an ambiance that was at once nocturnal, urban and melancholic,” explain Delord and Ferrané, who chose a palette of muted blues and pinks for the sets. The framed vignettes exposing the characters' hidden lives were shot in the studio and spliced with composite photographs of urban scenes and building facades—influenced by the atmospheric cityscapes of 1980s Brian de Palma films—using 3D software. As Tahiti Boy frontman David Sztanke’s romantic vocals form a warming melody with oscillating synths, heartfelt strings and shuffling drums, the camera floats from apartment to apartment to reveal a series of subtly unexpected characters. “The protagonists are alone in their homes, somewhere between a dream state and a habitual one, occupied by the ‘little nothings’ that make up everyday life,” say the directors. As the song enters its final chorus, a fireworks display explodes outside, bringing residents together for the spectacle.
NOWNESS' Fashion Week Correspondent Stops Traffic to Recruit the Style Elite
Today’s film follows Facehunter creator Yvan Rodic as he roams the streets of New York, bumps into Terry Richardson, and reveals the secret to catching his eye (play hard-to-get). The Swiss-born, London-based Rodic got his start five years ago snapping attendees at art openings in Paris. “I realized I had a collection of portraits and decided to post them online, as I thought there might be interest in real people," says Rodic. His trumpeting of authentic individuality quickly caught on with fashion enthusiasts across the globe, and his site helped to pioneer the street style genre as a blogging business. These days, Facehunter is a regular fixture at fashion week but Rodic also "hunts" in less expected locales such as São Paulo, Oslo and Reykjavik, photographing compelling strangers for his site and his weekly column in UK newspaper the Observer. "With street style you are a flâneur. You meet someone, create a connection, get a special shot and you are the only one," he says, adding, "Fashion week is like speed dating." For the fall 2011 RTW shows, Rodic will be shooting events for NOWNESS in each of the four fashion capitals. First up is New York, and tonight’s launch of Johan Lindeberg’s BLK DNM collection in SoHo; NOWNESS premieres the new brand’s film tomorrow. To see photos from the event, check back here tomorrow and visit our gallery on Facebook.
China’s Leading Fashion Photographer Selects Favorite Images From Her Own Archives
From influential singer Faye Wong horse-riding through a neon-pink field for Harper’s Bazaar to Dolce & Gabbana playing mahjong with actor Gao Yixiang for Men's Uno, celebrated photographer Chen Man curates a selection of personal picks from her archives. A 2005 graduate of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, Man was introduced to the fashion industry by make-up artist Li Dong Tian and quickly made a name for herself through vibrant imagery and a self-confessed excessive use of post-production. She went on to create a groundbreaking series of covers for avant-garde Chinese lifestyle magazine Vision, and her portfolio now includes editorials for Vogue China, Elle and i-D, as well as portraits of celebrities like actress Shu Qi and internationally renowned model Du Juan. Inspired by and passionate about her homeland, Man's work often features the nation’s modern citycapes and historical buildings as a backdrop to references from street culture, animation, sci-fi and pop sources. “My work is always a hybrid mix,“ she explains. “It is East and West; mainstream and alternative; of the present and the future; tacky meets elegant. It features ancient Chinese culture as its software, and Western contemporary culture as its hardware.” Man has exhibited in international institutions including the V&A Museum in London, MOCA Shanghai and Today Art Museum in Beijing. Here the illustrious camerawoman discusses her revolutionary approach.
What were your early inspirations?
Everything in the universe has an impact. If I had to choose one person, it would be Michael Jackson.
How would you describe your work now?
It’s an adventure to define the expression of contemporary Chinese fashion. It has led to a brand new style, starting with the series where model Lü Yan was shot on the top of the Great Wall of China, as well as the “Long Live Motherland China“ series. I am now focusing on the visualization of traditional Chinese culture. ‘Chinese essence, Western method’ is my working motto.
What do you look for in a subject?
Everyone is a muse. I like fat females. Chinese values are my essence, while I fully embrace the western methodology. My soul is influenced by the East, my body by the West. Chinese women are very powerful, yet subtle. So is China.
What do you enjoy most about photography?
Photography demands human contact. I like interacting with real-life beauty. Photography can be used to document reality, but is also able to express super-reality.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
For some time, I was repulsed by the term ‘artist’. It was when art started to become a phenomenon and a lot of young people resorted to performance art, which was bizarre and embarrassing for the public. When I first started shooting for Vision, artists didn't take me seriously as my work was published in fashion magazines. Having been invited to show at Today Gallery in Beijing and MOCA Shanghai, now I am considered an ‘artist’.
What has been the most exciting development in Chinese fashion?
People are starting to face up to the truthful representation of themselves, as well as the surreal ones.
Where do you see the future of fashion photography?
It's all about androgyny.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be doing now?
A doctor who practices Chinese medicine.