Consumers are paying closer attention to the ethics and business practices behind the products they buy, and animated documentarian Samantha Moore is shining a light on one company creating everyday essentials. Last year, the Shropshire-based creator released “Bloomers,” a short film that chronicles the history of the Manchester-based lingerie company Ella and Me, which began production in the United Kingdom before moving abroad and back again.
From flowing silk to lace-trimmed underwear strung up only to be snipped apart, the detailed project colors mostly the garments, swaths of fabric, and spindles of string. The workers and machines remain black-and-white line drawings throughout the film as it walks through the manufacturing cycle from design to consumer purchases.
Moore helps illuminate the impacts rising production costs had on Ella and Me since its beginning as a mom-and-pop business. She documents its inception and even the employees’s familial connections to the textile industry. The animation is set to a diverse soundtrack that includes interviews with the company’s team, in addition to noises commonly found on the production room floor, like scissors slicing through soft cotton and the repetitive tick of sewing machines.
Since its release, “Bloomers” was nominated for the Best Short Film at the British Animation Awards 2020, was the winner of the Best British Film at London International Animation Festival 2019, and took home the top prize as the Best Documentary at ReAnima International Film Festival 2019. Keep up with Moore’s animated documentaries on Vimeo and Instagram.
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Nicole McLaughlin (previously) ensures she always has a snack at her fingertips—or stashed in a puffy vest or lining the top of her sandals. The former Reebok graphic designer creates upcycled clothing, footwear, and household items from pouches of gummy candy, old fleece jackets, and even inflated bags of popcorn. Often prominently displaying logos, McLaughlin’s projects provide a humorous take on branding and fashion trends.
The playful pieces also are part of the designer’s years-long efforts toward creating environmentally aware fashion. “I would go to thrift stores and try to find something that I could make something new out of,” McLaughlin told WWD of her initial desire to create her converted, and now edible, apparel. “This inspired my philosophy to be more sustainable and I adopted being sustainable into my practices as a designer, because there’s so much to be done here.” To see what she thinks up next, follow McLaughlin on Instagram.
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An admirer of Pablo Picasso’s and Henri Matisse’s single-line drawings, Ayça Ozbank Taskan of Mara Paris has developed an elegant jewelry collection influenced by the two artists. The Paris-based designer portrays the personas dominating her work through simple profiles with few facial details. Although the noses and mouths differ throughout the series, each figurative piece features a prominent eye. The delicate collection includes earrings, rings, and necklaces, in addition to a more uncommon piece: Designed to sit at the front of the ear, the Dina Ear Cuff is billed as “a gentle ode to art that is always found in unexpected places.” You can purchase the minimalist adornments in Mara Paris’s shop. Head to Instagram to follow the brand’s latest designs and to keep up with Ozbank Taskan.
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Saint Petersburg-based paper artists Asya Kozina and Dmitriy Kozin situate miniature worlds atop their towering paper wigs. The detailed headdresses combine contemporary themes with historical elements, resembling the extravagant hair and head pieces of the Baroque period. A recent series crafted for Dolce & Gabanna features a whale and lobster with fins and claws woven through and sticking out from the tops of the elaborate pieces. Both have ships, as well, to add a human element. “We did this work and had (the) idea to do works with various marine monsters,” Kozina says. “In the old times, sailors believed in gigantic sea monsters… All characters are taken from folk myths.”
Since Kozina last spoke with Colossal, the scale and complexity of their monochromatic creations have changed, in addition to their public perception. “Our works fell into collections of museums, became symbols of some events related to the history and history of art and fashion,” she writes. “Our work is perceived not as photo props, but as artworks, sculptures, exhibition objects.” Head to Instagram or Behance to check out more of the artists’ sky-high creations.
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Captivated by the motor taxis occupying the streets of Nairobi, Dutch artist Jan Hoek collaborated with Ugandan-Kenyan fashion designer Bobbin Case to document how the drivers elaborately design their bikes to attract customers. The resulting series, titled Boda Boda Madness—the motorists are referred to as boda boda in the Kenyan city—captures this advertising strategy with a little bit of added flair: each driver dons an extravagant ensemble developed by the designer that matches their rides. The lavishly outfitted bike operators are photographed by Hoek against the Nairobi landscape in stances of their own choosing, resembling real-life action figures.
“Because of their new outfits their income went up, so they really kept on using their costumes. Maybe if you by chance visit Nairobi one of them will be your taxi guy,” Hoek says of the series. You can see the eccentric project throughout 2020 at the Circulation(s) festival in Paris and as part of a group exhibition at Now Look Here in Amsterdam. Keep up with both Hoek‘s and Case‘s latest work on Instagram. You might also want to check out these Japanese work trucks. (via designboom)
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Photographer Kristina Makeeva creates captivating scenes centered around Lake Baikal. The lake, located in Russia, is the largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, holding nearly a quarter of the world’s fresh surface water. Makeeva takes advantage of its vastness in forming otherworldly images that seem totally separate from the built environments most of us reside in. “The first time I visited Baikal, I had no expectations, and yet what I saw and felt kept me awake for the three days I was there, Makeeva tells Colossal. “I was exploding with inspiration. Now, having traveled to many countries around the world, I still think of Baikal as one of the most beautiful places.”
Makeeva uses Lake Baikal as both the stage and the star in her striking photographs. Often, a single figure centered in the image poses in a manner that draws attention to the surprisingly vibrant colors, shapes, and textures in the frozen landscape. The photographer frequently outfits her models in ruffled tulle dresses with impossibly long trains or minimalist white suits that call to mind astronauts or acrobats. Makeeva explains that depending on the shoot, she either brings models from Moscow or hires local models to work on location, or the models are integrated into the frigid landscape in post-production if their costumes are tricky to travel with.
The artist explains that after a childhood in Moscow’s “grey and boring suburbs”, she is eager to incorporate the magical energy of fairy tales and fantasy into her photographs. “As I travel and read more, I’ve been able to add an element of cultural understanding and context to some of my favorite fairy tales,” says Makeeva.
I always have a movie playing in my head. As a photographer, you still need to do your homework if you want to create something unique in that location. So I immerse myself into history, landscape, and pictures. It’s important to have a special inventory list. As weather conditions play a major role in shoots, we will often order special clothes and dresses that fit with the landscape. We envision and look at several dresses in advance of a shoot. And, of course, we also buy thermal clothes for the model so that she’s as comfortable as possible in the climate.
In reflecting on the end results of her meticulously researched work as an artist, Makeeva tells Colossal, “How I feel about my art and how others feel is often very different. This is natural because our experience of art depends on our life experiences. As a rule, I try not to title my photos, so that everyone is free to interpret my photography however they’d like.”
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It Was Better Tomorrow: Fashion Designer Benjamin Benmoyal Creates Powerful Silhouettes Using Recycled Materials
Hulking silhouettes are enlivened with vibrant multi-colored stripes in futuristic garments by fashion student Benjamin Benmoyal. The fabric for the collection, titled “It Was Better Tomorrow”, was woven on a loom using discarded video and cassette tapes intermingled with recycled yarns and Tencel (a wood pulp-derived fiber).
In an interview with Dezeen, the French-Israeli designer explained that he was feeling pessimistic about the world after his compulsory service as an 18 year old in the Israeli army. “After high school I was completely lost in my life, I failed many things and needed to prove to myself I could do something that would push me, physically and mentally, to the limits,” Benmoyal said.
In enrolling at the renowned art school Central Saint Martins and creating this collection, Benmoyal sought to channel optimistic energy and harken back to the utopian outlook of the 1960’s. He also drew color inspiration from international travels and artists he admires, such as James Turrell. The collection was included in the multi-art show Designing in Turbulent Times this autumn. See more from Benmoyal on Instagram. (via Dezeen)
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.