This is the moodboard I made for an editorial I've recently created for Collaboration Mastered.
CollaborationMastered is a contest for I-D magazine which I happened to know about on Instagram.
The contest is about creating a fashion story inspired by the brief uploaded below (by Collaboration Mastered), and forming a team to produce the editorial.
When I read through the brief I was very excited. Someway I'm a bit of an outsider myself, and the theme deeply resonated whithin me. Most of all I felt hugely inspired, since the contest is tutored by some of the most incredibly revolutionary carachters of the fashion world. I didn't have an idea of what to do yet, but I already knew part of the crew I wanted to work with.
Me, Antonella Buono, graduated as a fashion designer, now working as an art director, stylist, illustrator and professor. I enjoy every interdisciplinary project, expecially the ones which connect fashion, science, new expression tools and architecture. I also have a deep interest in medias, perception, perception distortion, human brain and mind, connections whithin ancient philosophies and new technologies.
Arturo Tedeschi is an architect and computational designer whom I know from 4 years now, his contribute was crucial when I was working on my project NU:S Fashion clothes Architecture (http://www.antonellabuono.com/5285/744329/costume-designstyling/nus-la-moda-veste-larchitettura). Since that project we did set the deepest friendship and an incredible harmony in terms of creative processes which sometimes borders on magic. (4am emails sending same images to eachother and other incredible syncronicities).
Francesco Berardinelli is a photographer whom I met one year ago, and we've been doing a few projects together for clients, but expecially our own creative stuff, because we really connect in terms of inspiration, and we like to invent visions of our own (aka: have loads of fun).
I did call them both, we shared views about what we were currently researching about, and we did set up a meeting were we would share and brainstorm new ideas in regards to the brief.
Stefano Russo is a designer and artist and bases his work on the human being, the human body and in particular on the processes of perception. His research begins from the eye, principal sense organ. As a versatile artist and designer, Stefano adopts diverse languages spacing from photography to sculptures and installations. I never met him before a few weeks ago this june during fashion week in Rome. I saw his works exhibited and I fell in love immediately: it was just like seeing the missing puzzle piece within me, Francesco and Arturo. We did extensively talk about our views and by the end of the conversation I think Stefano felt kidnapped in his own exhibition because I coudn't just get enough of his explanations about his art.
Even not knowing my concept yet (not even I knew it by then!), despite being kidnapped, Stefano decided to participate to the project too. We did set a skype call later on to share updates about the conceptual development of the work.
Andrea Lambiase has recently graduated as a fashion designer and has been one of my students, but I'll talk about him later, because he was involved after the concept was defined
In the following days I did some researches, and I thought that a concept which really fascinates me at the moment is “age” and the growing absence of boundaries in regards to how humans in the present days are able interact in spite of big gaps in eachother birth dates’.
I still didn’t have any idea about a definitive concept, or about how this could relate to the brief, or how this could eventually relate to fashion, but I always trust my creative processes and I know somehow everything falls into place.
At some point in my night time internet wanders I happened to stumble on a webpage about Marvin Minsky.
Marvin Minsky has been one of the pioneers in studying Artificial Intelligence, and we owe to him the fact that this discipline is now an independent research field and has attracted so many scholars.
His studies about how the brain functions revolutionized what was thought befor him.
I have always been interested in the studies about artificial intelligence in general, but I did never read one of his books, and I didn’t know he also collected ideas about how the mind and thinking work on a pure conceptual level.
Then I started reading “The society of mind” the very night I stumbled on his page.
The more I did read, the more I could see connections whithin some of his findings and my ideas about age.
"This book tries to explain how minds work. How can intelligence emerge from nonintelligence? To answer that, we'll show that you can build a mind from many little parts, each mindless by itself.
I'll call Society of Mind this scheme in which each mind is made of many smaller processes. These we'll call agents. Each mental agent by itself can only do some simple thing that needs no mind or thought at all. Yet when we join these agents in societies — in certain very special ways — this leads to true intelligence."
Basically if the mind is not the monad we think it is, but it is instead a bunch of processes which can be named and individually examined, wouldn’t this be the reason that explains both how and why this age-blending phenomenon is happening? And isn’t it technology the factor which makes this possible?
I will explain myself better: technology exposes us to an ocean of informations and inputs, and everyone of us can expand and delve into a specific concept becoming completely briefed about it's process. Twenty years ago you would have needed to go to the public library, subscribe to printed publications and so on, and this would have been a very long and time consuming practice, and not nearly as effective as today, where instead you can order a thousand e-books online, download softwares, view a million video tutorials, hear interviews, and get the same amount of knowledge in a fraction of the time. That's how now all of a sudden a kid can evenly talk with an adult , if of course they both happen to connect on a process they have been researching on. Same time adults are exposed to youth coulture for a much longer time and in a more deeper way than before, and this, other than putting them in condition to communicate with younger generations seamlessly, leads them to create streams of thoughts and products which are in a sense younger than before, and in turn influence youth culture again, producing a spiral of permanenent contamination that spins faster and faster towards a complete horizontal flow whitin ages, genders, entire cultures.
Now everything is happening on the cognitive level, but I can't even imagine what will happen when the virtual reality will expand, and we will all be exposed not only to data, but to experiencing processes in an agumented way.
This is certainly a view which is only inspired by Minsky, but I’m sort of imagining him blinking at me while I write.
Me Arturo and Francesco converged to Rome from different parts of Italy (Arturo is now based in Milan, Francesco was shooting in Florence), to make sure we could touch base about the concept and do some brainstorming. I told them about the idea of age and age-blending and they immediately could relate to what I was thinking bringing examples of their own.
We started building the definitive idea, not without some difficulties: how we could make the concept understandable in a fashion editorial? Francesco came up with the idea of shooting an old women, and I thought it was a great idea, if we would just place by her side a little girl.
We started storyboarding the frames we wanted to capture in our moleskines, and Arturo started adding ideas about how he could integrate his computational graphic to help the concept come through.
We came up with the idea of a tryptic to make the concept clear for the viewer. We would have had three moments: disconnection, connection established, vision of a new reality common for both of our characters.
As I've mentioned before during Fashion week in Rome I had the chance to visit Stefano Russo exhibit and willing to collaborate to my (still unknown) project, he gave me his website so I could see his entire work.
When I saw the picture above I was completely fascinated by this artwork which reads in the description:
Beauty comes from the quality of vibrations
Inner vision due to the enhancement and the interaction between visible and invisible. It’s the exteriorization of our perceptive antenna which functions as an elliptical ray, amplifying sensorial communication and capturing vibrations with frequencies on subtler levels. It transforms into an instrument for looking, not just and not only towards the outside."
I thought Inner Vision, even having a slightly different concept, could be adapted to represent the metaphor of us being connected to the essence of reality through technology, and eventually being connected whitin eachother because of that.
That's why I imagined the woman and the kid of our shooting both wearing the glasses provided with their own antenna, and yet having another longer antenna to connect them both.
I did talk with Stefano and he liked the concept, and he asked me some time to develop his own view of it.
In a few days this is what arrived on my desk:
Stefano also provided the material to build the connection on set. When I saw them I was amazed: it was real, we were doing it!!!
Our casting has been very very difficult.
Originally we wanted to shoot with a woman in her 60, and a girl in her 6, but apparently both were unattainable.
We tried to hear from any friend we had, published casting calls on facebook, but the only models we did like were out of town for vacation.
At some point we were desperate! Everything was getting ready, all the crew was confirmed, the studio was available, we bought the fabrics, the glasses arrived with a dhl, Arturo was working on some computational graphics.....but what to shoot if you don't have models??
We had to adjust our original idea: we needed to shoot with a younger model, and an older girl.
Thinking about it right now, we have been lucky...I guess if we had what we wanted we would have been ending up with a more obvious result.
Yet It wasn't easy anyway: our model face couldn't be just a pretty face. Even if her face would be covered by the glasses, we still wanted a timeless beauty feel. That's how we ended up with Cristin: she has such a special energy, and as soon as I told her about the project she was on board!
Martina came instead from a dance school I remembered about last minute, she is so beautiful and as a young dancer even being only eleven years old, she really has a sense of her body.
At first we were concerned she was too tall and less "baby looking", but eventually even this unplanned factor turned up to be really good: connecting the glasses between both was much easier, and aesthetically right in terms of layout composition!
Now it was time for me to pick the garments for the shoot. Andrea Lambiase is one of my students who graduated last year and I could still remember his beautiful final work.
To me his garments perfectly represented the aesthetic I wanted to have in the shoot: minimal but not simple, elegant but not classic, forward but not futuristic. When I did call him to explain to him the project he was enthusiast about participating. A big challenge was awaiting for us though: we had to make our kid garment from scratch. Andrea wasn't worried at all: he can manage a project from the very first sketch to the realization.
And here we are, excited to shoot!
Everything went very smoothly, it took a while to dye Cristin hair (so long!!) in white, but we made it!
I personally bought white liquid paint and a silver spray, because I didn't wan to have a wig effect, but instead a ton sur ton. Micol, our make up artist and hair stylist, arranged the hair to match the dresses waves, with a very cool effect. We went for a very minimal look, adding highlights to let their skins shine in the white environment.
To make sure the concept of disconnection/connection would come through, I asked for the collaboration of Arturo.
We evaluated different ideas, our main challenge was our short time and the necessity to create something powerful as well as "light" in it's output.
Arturo used Grasshopper to create shapes that I've then added in photoshop to the definitive pictures, post-produced by Francesco.
This is part of his work flow!
So the project was done! head to:
to see the final result!