Born in Spain, Central Saint Martins alumni Emilio De La Morena is ‘an intellectual designer, whose passion lies in exploring new processes and ways of putting clothes together,’ and this is clearly evident in his SS 13 collection which is rooted in texture, clean lines and feminine silhouettes. Known for his ‘sculptural chic,’ interpretation of womenswear, fellow Central Saint Martins graduate, director Abbie Stephens has played on this element to Morena’s work for her first foray into fashion film, Traces.
The film, commissioned by high street British retailer River Island as part of the Fash/On Film Festival for London Fashion Week sees Stephens play light against dark to accentuate Morena’s luscious, textural details and silhouettes for SS 13. Developing his brand of the ‘sensual urban woman,’ Morena told the British Fashion Council that he is “making further explorations into Spanish artisanal techniques, dusting them off and making them fresh and relevant for this woman.”
Inspired by Rachel Whiteread and the idea of memory, Morena’s initial concept was to create “strange traces of human life, the ghosts of our common existence,” and this was the basis for Stephens’ film. She explained to Portable, “I started thinking about the negative spaces within Emilio’s prints. The stark black and white prints that are the inverse of each other. I started playing with the idea of light and shadow. Shadows being the traces that we leave behind on the world. A combination of looking at inversions and shadows led to the shot where the dress’ shadow is inverse prints of itself. The light looks to shine through the print of the dress affecting the models silhouetted shadow with a textured print. I felt there should be a real industrial feel to the space that we shoot in, but with elements of the familiar and comfort. A space within a space, which is also reminiscent of a memory. The huge expanse of our memory, and these isolated condensed moments of recollection.”
Stephens also told Portable about her dedication to the evolution of fashion film and its place in the industry stating, “I have always favored film over photography as a medium for my ideas, and in particular think it is really important that brands start to invest more money in fashion films. Clothes are designed to be moved in, so it is only natural that film will show them off the best.”