By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
Space in consumers’ hearts and minds. Space in editorial. Space online. Space in retail stores. Space in closets. Space is actually fashion’s quintessential goal and carving out a space in a highly competitive and over-satuarted market is the true role of designers and creative directors.
The design duo Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, aka Rag & Bone, understand that creating space requires thinking beyond borders. So rather than take the traditional approach of showing their Fall 2015 Men’s collection via runway, the duo partnered with creative director Georgie Greville of Legs Media to create a boarderless film.
Set in a vastness of space, the film entitled ‘Kinetic Conceptual’ stars dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov & Lil Buck, one a formally trained ballet dancer and the other a jookin street style dancer. The juxtaposition of the two couldn’t be more original in terms of casting and The Impression sat with director and creative director Georgie Greville to hear about how she and Rag & Bone went about filling the void.
Tell us about ‘Kinetic Conceptual’.
Rag and Bone have featured a lot of stunning, classic portraiture in their past shows and ad campaigns. With this film, I was looking for ways to explode super-composed, art-directed portraiture into film with the glue being subtle, gestural movements, both in long choreographed tracking shots and small repeated outtake-y moments, linking the shots together. The thought was that the edit provided the choreography, the dance.
There is a lot of swagger and style in this piece. Mikhail Baryshnikov just moved up top again on our idol list. How did the talent come about?
I have to say, Rag and Bone’s creative team absolutely nailed the casting. When I heard that Lil Buck and Baryshnikov were signed on, I freaked out, knowing the power of performance that was possible. I instantly knew that I would ask that they both do anything but dance in the traditional sense, especially Buck. I wanted to keep the movements abstract and decidedly masculine. I told Buck to try to stay away from any “signature” moves of his – again, I was looking for the internal moments, the outtakes, subconscious actions. I am so thankful to have been able to work with those two – their performances were better than I could have ever imagined.
Impressive, reigning in that powerful talent in more ways than one. Have to ask you, with so many fashion videos these days being odes to stills, you have managed to do more original film making. What is your view on fashion films?
I love the challenge of making an interesting fashion film – it ain’t easy as the clothes usually take up the focus of the piece, leaving you feeling a bit vapid and existential as a filmmaker. My approach is to connect past the clothes, use unusual characters and set ups – too pretty is often too boring – and create a visceral build.
Makes sense, plus their clothes speak for themselves here. Ok trick question: those speakers, Baryshnikov, and Lil’ Buck. Pick one!
The antique industrial speakers came from Marcus from Rag and Bone. I like to think that they have had a long life of supplying the sound system for 24-hour raves in east Berlin.
Everyone warned me about working with Misha (Baryshnikov), but I have to say it was an absolute pleasure. I would set up a scene and show him my references, he would grunt and take the piss a bit, but as soon as I called action, a majestic miracle of a performance would happen. He and Buck both gave 110% every single take. It was really interesting to watch how they pushed each other with their respective approach to abstract physicality – Buck learning from Misha’s modern dance interpretations and Misha reacting to Buck’s lyrical and explosive body control.
Understand, why choose one when you don’t have to. Congrats Georgie and looking forward to seeing more goodness from you and Legs.
Well, thank you very much! We have some really exciting projects in the works for 2015.
Director | Georgie Greville / Legs Media
Photography | Andreas Laszlo Konrath
Starring | Mikhail Baryshnikov & Lil Buck
Supporting Cast | Jon Boogz, Race Imboden, Randy Carroll, Yuri Pleskun
Stylist | Clare Richardson
Hair | Cim Mahony
Makeup | Gucci Westman
Set Designer | Andrea Huelse
Cinematography | Santiago Gonzales
Executive Producer | Prodject
Video Producer | Sophia Rothbart/ Legs Media
Music | “Ongyilkos Vasarnap” by Venetian Snares