“Thom Browne ’s stunted male silhouette and his otherworldly creations for women have placed him at the vanguard of New York’s fashion scene. His aesthetic and theatrical presentations have garnered Browne worldwide recognition and has led to extremely successful collaborations with Brooks Brothers and Moncler Gamme Bleu.” [Business of Fashion] Thom Browne has become a star in the fashion world.
Jordan Blady is a director living between Paris and Los Angeles. His work has been featured on Dazed, Nowness and Vogue Italia. His first feature film, Softness of Bodies, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in September 2018 and his most recent short film, Comfort Zone, has won Best Unscripted Personal Work at Berlin Commercial and Best Cinematography and Script winner at A Shaded View on Fashion Film, with a nomination for Best Doc at London Fashion Film Festival, and selections at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Canadian International Fashion Film Festival and Fashion Film Festival Milano. Blady has become a star in the film world.
Thom Browne’s latest accessories collection is a group of animal bags – they resemble stuffed toys but they carry things. The brand chose Jordan Blady to create the film to launch the collection. Blady uses stop-frame animation, 16mm film and a lot of wit to turn the bags into quirky characters – which matches the brand’s personality perfectly and stands with its difference, even in the wild and sometimes woolly world of fashion advertising.
Fashion film consultant, Niccolò Montanari, interviewed Blady for The Stable. Here is a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the campaign.
Niccolò Montanari: Where did the idea come from?
Jordan Blady: Thom Browne was very keen on making the bags feel as alive as possible. So I did just that: I brought them to life by giving them a personality and a voice. The idea of placing them across Paris and setting up different scenarios was a natural progression. The bags themselves are very beautiful pieces of work so seeing them pose around Paris was going to look good no matter what.
NM: What was your aim for the commercial?
JB: I wanted to make something simple and fun. Something light-hearted and cute for people to enjoy. The bags had to stand out (which wasn’t hard). I just had to make sure that their strong personalities came across to show that they had minds of their own.
NM: How did you get a left-of-centre idea approved by the client?
JB: It was quite an easy collaboration. Both Thom Browne and I wanted the same things – running around Paris doing stop motion! Also, Thom Browne has a quirky sense of humour and that meant we could play around all day and try different scenes. For example, in true Parisian style we had the rabbit bag smoke a cigarette in a cafe, but that didn’t make the cut.
NM: What have you brought from the films you have made and your experience as a writer-director to this commercial?
JB: Everything. Every subsequent project is just the next step in your work. You bring all the experiences and choices you’ve ever made into the next one. For example, because I’ve been editing and doing sound design on my videos for so long, Animal Bags was a smooth production as I was able to better visualise everything in advance. Doing something like stop motion, knowing how the animals are going to sound in the edit, determined exactly how I wanted them to move.
NM: Tell me about your feature film, Softness of Bodies.
JB: I spent about two years in Berlin and Softness of Bodies is a highly fictionalised version of my experiences. Making this film felt like the culmination of my time spent in the city. It seems like I directed it a lifetime ago, but I’m still not fully over that film if I’m being honest. It does feel like a tumultuous relationship. I’m not sure if I’ll find closure, but I’m proud of it and it will always serve as a reflection for me.
[Softness Of Bodies will be available on Amazon Prime soon]
View Blady’s work here. https://jordanblady.com/
Director: Jordan Blady (@jordanblady)
DOP: Igor Smitka (@igorsmitka)
Production Company: Excuse My French (@excusemyfrench_ph)
Executive Producer: Constance Guillou (@constanceguillou)
Producer: Cyrille Panchot
Coordinator: Kenza Zerouali
Editor and Sound Design: Jordan Blady
Colour: Sylvain Canaux (@sylvain_canaux)