Pool Party! Photo Shoot, 2013
This photo shoot was to showcase my graduate capsule collection "Corruption". I didn't want it to look too staged or editorial. I wanted the photos to look like snap shots of something spontaneous and fun but without looking cheesy. Less like a fashion campaign and more in the style of an album cover or something reminiscent to the images in Nylon magazine rather than Vogue or Dazed and Confused.
With the bold designs, I could quite easily make a fantasy photo shoot but it would limit my audience. My brand is more than fantasy, in fact it's the opposite. My brand takes interesting, somewhat avant garde designs and puts them on the street so everyone can feel like rockstars wearing X Claim Nation. Transforming the wannabe into the be wanted. So to contrast the flamboyancy of the garments, I styled the outfits as street wear. I didn't want anyone saying the word "costume".
I was influenced by the "Adidas advert "House Party" . It has so much energy and life with an urban, cool feeling. The party felt authentic and had a sense of freedom with a mishmash of cool people including dancers, models and celebrities such as David Beckham, Estelle, Katy Perry and Missy Elliott, making the viewer wanting to be included; be at that party, be with those people, wear what they're wearing etc.
I also looked at works like David LaChapelle's Rolling Stones shoot with Britney Spears in 1999, where the "teen queen" posed seductively in her underwear, clutching a Teletubbie in one of the pictures and in her bra and heels, surrounded by her doll collection in her bedroom in another. Although Britney was 17 at the time, she is styled as a lolita (a taboo and a fetish used a lot in sexual role play) or a barely legal porn star, yet she was allegedly a virgin on and one of the biggest role models on the planet, adding to the controversy and the fantasy.
Keeping on the with the theme of my collection "Corruption", I took these contracting elements of innocence and seduction.
Using young looking models and styling, it was easy to achieve the image of youth. I used a long time friend, Rebecca Metcalf as my female model. I used her as a model on previous projects and she's great. She has this really sexy look she gives to everything so I thought she'd be perfect. I used myself as a male counterpart. I tried to find a boy with a fresh face, cute with the ability to convey a cheeky sex appeal without looking over the top......but for free. I couldn't pay on a student budget. (still looking now, I'm sick of playing model). However, I wanted this authentic, close relationship between the models, so it worked on this shoot. I think it created a relaxed, laid back mood. I wanted it to look real; like the camera could be there or not, it's just us chilling and having fun.
The setting was an inflatable pool in my back garden with inflatable toys which brought bright colours and a playful mood. The styling, the props and set had to be as vibrant and bold as the clothing to complainant to create the exciting energy of the X Claim Nation brand. Using lollypops and sherbet sticks as a subtle euphemism for dick and cocaine, posing in provocative positions in a childlike setting brings the innocent youth and the tainted together. It was the way I wanted to convey "corruption" in this concept but still look appealing, fun and cute.