Glen Luchford and Tabitha Simmons experiment with seductive slow motion in their hypnotic new fashion film
Stripped back in Luchford's signature minimal and cinematic style, model Jacquelyn Jablonski leaps and twists in super-slow motion against a bare greyscale backdrop. “I wanted it to be about a girl that starts off conventional and then travels around the world in 80 days, adding to her outfit,” explains stylist Simmons. With such a clean aesthetic, there is a pure focus on the clothing, each movement creating graceful silhouettes and shapes.
We asked photographer and filmmaker Glen Luchford about his part in this captivating fashion story:
Did you base the story on anything?
I based it on an explosion scene from a film called Behind Enemy Lines. I don't like the film to be honest, but in one scene a man puts his foot on a land mine and the way the director caught the crumpling body was very unique. I just stole it.
How hard was it to capture the movement?
Not hard, very easy. Our model was excellent.
What kind of directions did you give Jacquelyn?
"Legs high, boobs out, chin up, take a deep breath!"
How did you go about achieving such an evocative and atmospheric film?
If you think it's evocative and atmospheric then I'm very happy about that. I suppose the music to image equation is imperative.
You spend a lot of time on your lighting – how important is it to your filmmaking?
Well I learnt lighting from cinematographers, then took it back to fashion, so it bounces back and forth very easily. It's always best if you can control your light in many ways as it gives you the freedom to change with the wind. That seems to be essential these days. Any photographer who lasted more than five years knew how to light: Penn, Avedon, Newton, Sims, Richardson, Sorrenti... They're all canny with their lights. Even if it doesn't look like it!
You shot this fashion story on both still and moving image cameras – how do they compare?
Film has sound which can add more emotion to such a small piece. But the still is a larger format and therefore has a slightly more monumental quality. It's the nature of the beast.
How would you describe the collaborative process with Tabitha Simmons – you've worked together before?
Yes many times. Always fun. I like.
What have you enjoyed most about the progression from photography into filmmaking?
It's another layer of tools to work with. But I think fashion works very well in a still format. I'm not sure I'm a fan of moving fashion to be honest. But I'll do it anyway as its the way we're going. At one point some clever person will create a new way of showing fashion in motion, and that may then become really interesting.
Have you found it challenging at all?
Only the time constraints.
What would be your dream fashion film to shoot?
One with a big budget and lots of time. Won't happen...
Text: Lucia Davies
Embroidered jacket by Dries Van Noten; Cropped jacket from NY Vintage; Lace Blouse and belted Fair Isle waistcoat by Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci; Chiffon harem trousers by Roberto Cavalli; Feather bracelet by Tem; Ankle boots by Tabitha Simmons