When Blommers & Schumm Shot Backstage at Sies Marjan S/S18

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Sies Marjan S/S18Photography by Blommers & Schumm, Casting by Anita Bitton

Who better to capture the bubblegum-hued S/S18 collection straight off the catwalk? Sander Lak tells the story behind the new portrait series

“And what glorious colours! A Pepto Bismol pink, a fluorescent orange, blue the shade of those sweets that leave your tongue an interesting hue,” wrote Jack Sunnucks in his review of the Sies Marjan A/W17 show earlier this year. “These are like nothing seen in nature; like pastels after the nuclear option was explored.” This “multi-coloured revolution”, lead by the brand’s founder Sander Lak, carried over into its endeavour for S/S18 with a wealth of candy store-worthy colours. The show itself was presented in Lak’s atelier, with rolls of the vibrant fabric used in his designs acting as a backdrop for the runway. 

Meanwhile, backstage at the show, each look was shot by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm, two of the best-loved names in contemporary fashion photography. The resulting series – which features Roberto Rossellini, who starred in Sies Marjan’s Autumn/Winter campaign, alongside his mother, Isabella – is a collaborative celebration of the tropes of both creatives. We exclusively speak with Lak about the project, which explores the casting direction of his new collection through vivid pastel hues. 

On the concept behind the series...
“For S/S18 we had this idea of showing the collection in the atelier, the very environment the clothing was created in. We thought it was really fascinating that it could be created and shown here, never leaving that space. The backstage portrait series with Blommers & Schumm was an extension of this concept, so we shot the clothes on location during the show.”

On the casting...
“We work with Anita Bitton, who is an amazing casting director and really understands the Sies Marjan brand. She has been a part of our team from day one. I trust her and she always knows exactly who to propose or what I’m looking for. This season was a reaction to the fall collection, which was more extravagant, and more about new supermodels. This summer season I wanted to go in the opposite direction and get sort of an anti-supermodel, more unusual girls and faces I hadn’t seen before. I found this one girl on Instagram that I became obsessed with named Olivia. When she came in, Marie Chaix (our stylist) and I were trying things on her, and we kept thinking of this young Bette Davis combined with Lolita. We also always work with some girls we just love. I think it is important to have some consistency.”

On working with Isabella and Roberto Rossellini...
“I first met Roberto when we were working on our fall campaign. As soon as we cast his mother, Isabella Rossellini, we knew that we wanted Roberto in the campaign too! The concept was about this idea of family, so they fit into the cast organically. When we were dressing him it was clear that everything looked amazing on him and he really can wear almost every colour. He is such a sweet guy and I like working with good people – I don’t like attitudes or drama.” 

On colour...
“Colour is the first thing people associate with Sies Marjan. We start each collection by developing the colour card, which then helps instruct the fabrics and silhouettes we use. We look at each colour and really think about what kind of garment would make it even more appealing. It’s such a powerful way to convey emotion, so for this collection we wanted to use colours that have a milky undertone. We kept thinking of milkshakes; they are bright, but because of the cream and milk, the vibrancy is watered down a bit and the tones are really beautiful.”

Sies Marjan’s S/S18 collection is available to buy now.