For Fall 2011, Tess Giberson and Kim Gordon Get Woodsy
Published July 12, 2011
STILLS FROM THE FILM COURTESY OF ALIA RAZA/TESS GIBERSON
Three female artists, three different mediums, one artistic vision: Tess Giberson’s latest collaboration with filmmaker Alia Raza, starring musician and artist Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, features clothing from the designer’s Fall 2011 collection and will premiere at the W New York tomorrow evening.
The Fall 2011 video marks the designer-director duo’s second collaboration, after the pair discovered their creative kinship while creating Giberson’s Spring/Summer 2011 film. “There’s a sense of tension building up in the layers of Alia’s work I find intriguing to watch,” Giberson says. “Visually, her work is beautiful, yet there is an underlying strength I connect to.” Giberson launched her first collection in 2001; she’s designed at Calvin Klein and acted as Design Director at TSE for three years. This season, Giberson focused on collage as a general theme for her collection, as well as the intersection of power and grace. Raza and Giberson met throughout the collection’s design process to develop the film’s concept. “Tess was thinking about the idea of collage, so I thought it would be interesting to make a video that felt like watching a collage come to life,” Raza says.
The two agreed Kim Gordon—an artist who embodies both Raza’s and Giberson’s aesthetics—should star as the Fall 2011 film’s “woodsy dominatrix.” Gordon delivered: braving the bitter snows of Northampton, Massachusetts in the dead of winter, she improvised the performance given only a basic character sketch.
Raza considers this film more abstract than her previous fashion film projects—she’s directed films starring teen blogger Tavi Gevinson and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld—and manipulated small gestures, lighting, and mood to achieve the desired effect. Gordon’s role in the Fall 2011 film amounts to a sorceress who conjures light, interacts with the elements, and creates a collage of movements. Raza’s films often explore facets and rituals associated with female beauty. For the Fall 2011 film, Giberson’s clothing and Gordon’s acting combine to evoke a “strong female presence up against the natural world”: subtle beauty under extraordinary pressure.