The Denim Story of M.i.h for Vogue Italia is a tale in which the human body finds an ideal, caring place into nature, from the sea waves to enchanting lakes and sunny landscapes, the model walks dressed either in denim or only in her own skin looking for balance, touching, feeling and immersing herself deeply into nature, while sentences like “The world is such a precious place” echo softly in the air. We had a chat with Luzian Schlatter, that directed this video deeply inspired by sustainability, to know more about the story and his personal idea of denim.
How is your relationship with denim and how do you think it translates into a visual story?
My relationship with denim is definitely ‘long-term’. I do not have many pieces, but I wear all the time the ones I own and I want to keep them as long as possible. I remember when I used to wear rather wide denim pants - about ten years ago - in the end they were full of patches and got literally eaten up by the street.
Denim can tell a lot about the person wearing it. It is able to tell a story, maybe like no other garment, as it can ‘memorize’ and carry the signs of time. I think it is crazy how denim is able to show the passing of time without ever aging! While other fabrics or clothes look outdated and used over time, denim always stays young and fresh and starts to look more and more like its wearer. That’s why we don’t want to ever let go of our favorite pieces. Denim is strong and timeless and thus very sustainable.
How did you come up with the storyboard?
Sustainability is certainly the key word for my interpretation, because it is so important today, for all of us! To take it a little further, I wanted to create a metaphoric and poetic journey, which plays with the concept of ‘balance’. We all need to think about it to create and achieve sustainability. So with that in mind, I started to create this rather minimal narrative, where a woman reflects on the idea of balance in a general way, trying to bring things in order. Basically she wants to free nature and beauty. In the beginning of the film the camera is often out of balance as well, to underline that idea also from a more formal point of view. During that long shot, where the horizon is going out of balance, we hear a statement by Donald Trump denying the fact of climate change. I’m exploring that concept on many different levels, using metaphors, formal analogies and the idea of contrast.
What kind of brand did you want to represent?
For the film we used two M.i.h pieces. We decided to shoot the film in the dry nature of Puglia, in the south of Italy, to create a strong contrast between the red earth and the blue denim. We all were instantly in love with the jumpsuit in the film. I did not want to change clothes, to keep our minimal narrative as linear as possible.
Do you have a favorite denim piece?
I have been wearing my favorite trousers every day for several years and I still keep in a special place, as I would never allow myself to give them away. When I think of my favorite denim piece, there is a red denim look from the Marques’ Almeida Fall15 RTW collection, which I absolutely love! It is a simple look with a see-through top and red denim trousers. I just love that look a lot and have used it many times for moods and inspiration for other projects. The work of Faustine Steinmetz is very inspiring as well.
What's the challenge of telling the story of an ingredient brand like ISKO denim?
I guess the challenge is to find one of its core values. If there is a visual story which suits that value, it will translate also into the final garment, which of course will give it personality and style through the design, but it would still carry the values of the ingredient. I did concentrate on a symbolical approach to discuss sustainability by circling around the concept of balance, as I believe that if we can bring balance, we will create sustainability.
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