THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S WORDS
The theme of this issue is Underground, so for the 15th fashion story I shot for Revver magazine, I decided to revisit the Underground concept. To start with, Underground is a very broad concept, so the first step was to narrow down a bit my inspirations by focusing only on my own Underground experiences.
In my opinion, in the first place Underground refers to “a starting point”. It’s a marker which means that you come from under the ground: you have started from the hidden or unseen ugly place to rise and go up to the stars where you are under the spotlight where everybody can see you… At that moment, you can reach the immortality because your creation will remain as a legacy of your inspirations and dedication. This fashion story is clearly a metaphor of such trajectory for an artist. It depicts such a person who starts from the scratch to struggle and find her own way to the light. The fashion story is exploring this process, which is an individual journey as well as a collective path. From my own experience, I have crafted my skills in the underground with other people facing the same challenges. Whatever how you call it: a crew, a band, a clique, a group, at the end of the day it’s a story of a group of people who believe in their art. Visually speaking, the group element is a key component because the whole purpose was to make a reference to the Dolce & Gabana campaigns that always place the group element as a key feature of the art direction. For this fashion story for Revver, I intended to position a main character as a leader paving the way for a movement, a momentum that brings change and somehow novelty. In the creativity process, I believe this what we all are looking for.
In terms of history reference, to be relevant and authentic about underground influence, I chose to pay a tribute to the late 70’s in England when the underground movements were very much related to social movements with some streets and music influences. I’m talking about the anti-conformist movements such as anarchists, punks, skinheads, etc. Back in the days, when I was young I saw them capturing all the anger and violence of the society and to turn it into a subculture. It was easy to recognize those groups because they had somehow some similar dress codes: most of them wore Fred Perry shirts with suspenders, jeans, Doc Martens shoes or bomber jacket with tattoos… Those extremist movements found their origins in the Ska movement in England in the 60’s: the working class youths in London… It was then natural for me to draw a parallel with the young generation in Taiwan, mostly hopeless and frustrated by what society and future can offer them. Collaborating with the Fred Perry brand was the only way to give back to those movements that shaped the social movements back then. Today, in the context of Taiwan, for a young talent who struggle in the underground, it’s the same hustle than what was shown in the movie BOYZ N THE HOOD. There are many different forms of violence that can also be comparable to that story of a young man trying to get out from the ghetto. I have seen in the eyes of Ariel our model, Schizyway, JayRoll and Rosa from Brain Zapp Record Label this aspiration to fight for their art in the underground…
It was a great life lesson that applies in any creative field: always fighting the fight!