Designer MARTIN NIKLAS WIESER has just released a new series of editorial shots for his Spring / Summer 2014 collection. Photographers Till Janz and Hendrik Schneider captured the collection in a medieval goes digital environment, which was styled by Paul Maximilian Schlosser. 032c sat down with Wieser to speak about the images.
What were your reference points for the series?
The inspiration came from the idea of time travel, but in a more abstract sense. I liked the idea of not being able to really put your finger on a specific time or inspiration, like constant time traveling. The Information Age has produced a kind of levelling of time and distances. All information is brought to us within a mouse click on the same plane, so there’s this potpourri of disparate information intermingling. The images have a medieval and antique inspiration, but there’s also a very futuristic element to them. So it’s all intertwined, both here and there, simultaneously in the past and future. We worked with the medieval concept but brought it into the future, but it’s a very polluted idea of the future.
What do you mean by polluted?
The images are overloaded with information, which reflects this indecisiveness in time. They don’t really allow for a strong direction. It’s just glimpses into different ideas of what we wanted to achieve. Aesthetically they form a story when seen together, but there are many stories going on in each image, and each is very different from one another.
There’s also a strong sense of the synthetic in the imagery.
It’s very over-stylized and dehumanized in a way. All of the CGI elements rebuild, in a modern way, a fantasy world. I’m really into the idea of freeing our minds or spirits from this physical world. They explore the idea of the virtual world and a sense of wandering through that. It’s like the dream of flying. We’re freed from all these limitations that belong to the physical world. It’s almost spiritual, close to religion.
Sounds like Avatar.
Yeah exactly. I liked Avatar! But let’s not get into that.
The photos are also very different from the aesthetic you’ve used in past look books or campaigns.
I normally work very roughly and am interested in capturing the humane when I’m working with a photographer. I want to keep it genuine, which is the direction I’m going to go in the next collection again.
I need a grounding experience, because I almost feel like I’m part of the pre-Internet generation, even though I was born in 1986. I grew up in a very small village in the Italian Alps, and the Internet arrived very late there, for Western standards at least. I didn’t have access to a computer until I was about 17, and even then it was limited. No one in my community where I grew up did either really. So it didn’t play much of a role in my puberty like it did for most other people who were born around this time. That’s what differentiates me. Generations are formed through how they experience the medium and the technology, and I didn’t participate in that.
I also trained to be a carpenter, and am still very interested in the craftsmanship of fashion. Carpentry is a beautiful trade, and fashion also has this aspect of working with your hands and creating physical objects, but I found it really interesting to explore this idea of the disconnect between the virtual world and the clothes themselves.