032c VIDEO PREMIERE: DARKDRON

The post-apocalyptic streetwear brand Darkdron appeared out of thin air last month with a mysterious presentation in a bunker 65 meters beneath the outskirts of Moscow. Named after a fictional drone designed to “capture people’s drama,” the label (founded by Gio Forbice of Forfex shoes) merges 1980s Sci-Fi and slasher-film imagery with contemporary notions of transparency and occult secrecy.

032c spoke with the designer Gio Forbice, who shared graphics and poems from the upcoming SS-16 Darkdron collection, as well as a premiere of Darkdron’s new fashion film:

What is Darkdron? How did the brand emerge?

Open your Facebook feed. The last news that pop out is “The DJ exploded in Jaroslavl.” Hilarious or sad? I don’t want to be a hypocrite. What’s going on around is far from idealistic myths that the fashion industry has built around people. Darkdron is capturing it with no filter. It’s a military technology, a snitch that is always on you. Click, and you are a protagonist of the movie.

GLORY NIGHT: glories stream from heaven above heavenly, hosts sing hallelujah. radiant beams from the holy face. take me to the magic of the moment on a glory night.

GLORY NIGHT: glories stream from heaven above heavenly, hosts sing hallelujah. radiant beams from the holy face. take me to the magic of the moment on a glory night.

What was the inspiration for this first collection? 

I’ve been always inspired by classic Sci-Fi, 1980s and 1990s movies. The dystopic future they’ve translated seemed real to me. Darkness not as a dramatic goal, but as a reference to the existed issues.

BURNING FREEDOM: to be dead to this world and alive to another world. to be alive while you are dead. to think you are living in the flash so you do not live for the flash. to play dead to avoid physical fear. to find you religion to get rid of your monsters. to build a place that no one else can find.

BURNING FREEDOM: to be dead to this world and alive to another world. to be alive while you are dead. to think you are living in the flash so you do not live for the flash. to play dead to avoid physical fear. to find you religion to get rid of your monsters. to build a place that no one else can find.

The inaugural presentation took place in a tunnel 65 meters underground, free from cell reception and aerial surveillance. What place do privacy and surveillance have in the fashion world? Are there still dark corners?

I don’t remember the exact moment we lost the privacy. The fingers are screened, CCTV cameras are recording, private chats are watched by the person not invited. Fashion exaggerates this happening. The lights are on, you want to be here — answer the questions. Which fashion week are you showing? Who’s in the front row? Who’s the model opening the show? What’s the venue? Is it a prime time? We stepped out and turned our drone on to show what’s really happening apart from the beautiful fantasy created on the runways. Designers break down, disappear, lose their mind, but this is something always out of reception.

SICK HERO: what if you could go back in time and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better? like images or what? yeah like a sunset next to a sea of blood.

SICK HERO: what if you could go back in time and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better? like images or what? yeah like a sunset next to a sea of blood.

I’m interested in the Darkdron iconography, especially with the t-shirts. There’s so many graphic t-shirts in the world. How do you go about making that an expressive platform?

Graphics are the easiest way to get direct with your message. Our prints represent from different stories: “Burning Freedom,” “Sick Hero,” “Glory Night,” “Tears for Fear.” Read them all on the tag attached to the side of the tee, or “Burn it for Free.”

TEARS FOR FEAR: i'm often tormented by terrifying dreams, visions and sometimes auditory hallucinations.  for the last years i have been a prisoner of my own fear...i know the salvation is coming ! the sky's gonna open up and there will be no rule and there will be no law.

TEARS FOR FEAR: i’m often tormented by terrifying dreams, visions and sometimes auditory hallucinations. for the last years i have been a prisoner of my own fear…i know the salvation is coming! the sky’s gonna open up and there will be no rule and there will be no law.

The video is fragmented, but it has a definite horror movie atmosphere. Is it based on a larger story?

It’s one of the million stories Darkdron could capture. Trailer to the life. Crashed bike with the girl crying, psycho boy with an axe, missing girls and chained victims, a female couple kissing in the woods, a creepy man looking a them, a girl breathing hard hiding behind the wall. And the guardian angel — calm and beautiful, with white doves around her naked body. It’s a dystopic fantasy that seems so real to me.

 

Deeper

  • Life Exists: Theaster Gates’ Black Image Corporation

    Theaster Gates' “The Black Image Corporation” presents photographs from the holdings of Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Company, a sprawling archive that shaped “the aesthetic and cultural languages of contemporary African American identity.” Gates approached the project as a celebration and activation of the black image in Milan through photographs of women photographed by Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton – of black entrepreneurship and legacy-making. “Life exists” in the Johnson archive, he says, just as it exists and should be honored in other places of black creativity.More
  • FRIDA ESCOBEDO: The Era of the Starchitect is Over

    Rising Mexican architect Frida Escobedo is relentlessly inquisitive, eschewing stylistic constants in favour of an overriding preoccupation with shifting dynamics. Personal curiosity is the driving force behind her practice, which makes he an outlier in a profession dominated by extroverted personalities keen on making bold assertions. "I think it really is a generational shift," Escobedo says. "The idea of the starchitect making grand gestures with huge commissions is over."More
  • “I live a hope despite my knowing better”: James Baldwin in Conversation With Fritz J. Raddatz (1978)

    Born in Berlin in 1931, editor and writer Fritz J. Raddatz relied on food delivered by African American GIs after the death of his parents. To Baldwin he was an “anti-Nazi German who has the scars to prove it.” Debating his return to the USA after 25 years, Baldwin explores the political climate in America at the end of the 1970s in a conversation at home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.More
  • House as Archive: James Baldwin’s Provençal Home

    For her new book, Magdalena J. Zaborowska visited the house Baldwin occupied from 1971 to 1987 “to expand his biography and explore the politics and poetics of blackness, queerness, and domesticity”. Here, she narrates her early journeys to Baldwin’s home and proposes a salve for its recent loss: a virtual presentation of Baldwin’s home and effects.More
  • Where are the real investments? Theaster Gates on James Baldwin

    The Chicago-based artist talks to Victoria Camblin about materializing the past, the house as museum, and preserving black legacies. Social and artistic engagement, Gates suggests, may allow the contents and spirit of Baldwin’s home, and others like it, to settle in lived experience.More