The video is directed by Takashi Ito, a Japanese director whose 1981 debut – a 9-minute film of a high school gymnasium entitled ‘Spacy’ – is still hailed as a benchmark of experimental cinema. Music, meanwhile, is provided by the mysterious Rezzett whose futuristic beats have made considerable waves over the past 12 months, even releasing a record through Will Bankhead’s The Trilogy Tapes a few weeks back.
The video itself uses elements of Ito’s style combined with slow-shutter photography and unorthodox lighting to bring life to an empty room. Classic C.E symbolism is rife from projected images of eyes to jagged bolts of light, helping to create a familiar environment of hyper-reality and simulation. The best bit for me has to be the projected footage of a model walking through a door, projected over the image of a door.
Ito’s disjointed style and manipulative cinematography blends seamlessly into the C.E aesthetic and embodies his pursuit of ‘unrealistic worlds [presented] as a vivid reality’ – something that itself is inherently connected to the post-internet landscapes of C.E.
The same devices seen in ‘Spacy’ are put to excellent use in the video, the camera’s geometric movements translating into panoramic style shots; each sudden departure jolting us through the environment; the projection and visual trickery giving life to an otherwise benign warehouse setting.
The physicality of the scene lies not in the parameters of each room but in the expansion, contraction and fluctuation of the director’s lens. Models vanish, morph and blankly reappear like anonymous stock images on a screen whilst intangible beams of light and data shoot around them.
In terms of styling, the collection continues C.E’s contemporary sportswear aesthetic, presenting casual looks with a necessary post-structural edge. Pieces are paired appropriately together whilst the appearance of wildcard garments – paneled jackets, quilted parkas and what looks like a Sheepskin Bomber – ensures that the C.E identity remains unpredictable as the ground beneath it begins to firm.
Highlights also include the F/W14 ‘Security’ motif which uses layers of captcha-esque graphics to create a pattern somewhere between stripes and camo. Likewise, the brand has continued to experiment with basic garment forms and paneling – something that C.E does very well – as well as manipulating and colliding classic silhouettes to create brand new designs. Seriously though, that Sheepskin Bomber is begging somebody to purchase just to let everybody know how utterly rich they are, and I don’t even mean that in a monetary sense. I mean like 90% Belgian Chocolate rich; homemade tiramisu rich; obscure Mediterranean liqueurs that you don’t even drink rich.
Overall, the video is a solid beginning for the season. The visual aesthetic of the film fits perfectly with C.E, and the deeper significance of Takashi Ito’s cinematography and the meanings that his films create makes this project all the more noteworthy.
Most interesting about this is the seemingly rudimentary technique of slow-shutter photography, a technique that every A-Level photography student has messed around with at some point, but that really succeeds in Ito’s aspiration towards the presentation of a tangible unreality. Put another way, using techniques not far removed from those that made his name in 1981, Ito has succeeded again in communicating a non-physical world – and in this particular instance one that has only begun to assume its full significance over 30 years later. But then, when the real is no longer what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its true meaning and all that – like, y’know, Baudrillard. All in all, it’s a pretty solid pairing and one that has paid off.
The first instalment of C.E’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection is now available from outlets worldwide including Goodhood (UK), Haven (CA) and the C.E Online Store (Global). Look out for more materials in the future and enjoy the video, and do check out more of Takashi Ito’s films if you get the chance, you really won’t regret it. Safe!