Sunday, July 30, 2017

James Jean and Daryl Feril for Prada

I'm over here living my life, going out and doing cool shit each and every week, enjoying what time I have left in Tokyo, and getting so far behind on this blog I keep that I'm still posting about Christmas (show of hands, though, who's surprised.. exactly), so I haven't posted anything about what used to be my favourite topic for I think a few years now: pop art and cultural references in haute couture fashion.

Actually, I've just scrolled back and looked: the last collections I posted about and commented on were all from 2014. Thom BrowneDolce & Gabbana, and Meadham-Kirchoff, respectively. There's also this post about Jeremy Scott dresses and the one I've still never finished about Manish Arora from the other site I used to post things on five years ago before copypasting them all and deleting my account there. Sigh. 

Now the only way I keep up with this stuff is through the pages and magazines I follow on social media, and that's how I found out that James Jean has been working with Prada since 2007 - the same year I finished high school, which was one decade ago, hello darkness my old friend - and his illustrations and their prints are now more than ever one in the same and it's so, so good.

Quick non-sequitur: he's also doing artwork for Guillermo del Toro's new film The Shape of Water, which I think looks like the Abe Sapien of Hellboy origin story mashed up with Amélie and The Lady in the Water, all of which I really enjoyed.

When I scrolled past this poster on Instagram I was like, hnnngggg.

Anyway, I've been a fan of James Jean since, well, since high school, actually. Since about the time I just mentioned, 2006 or 2007. My mom bought me a book of his postcards that I miss and for some reason remember very clearly, maybe because I'm constantly thinking about what to get rid of and what to keep. He's Taiwanese American and under 40, and a lot of what he does is whimsical in kind of a creepy and sexual way, often involving sea creatures:

("Noah", 2014)

But anyway, that's more than enough of a rambling introduction: let's get to what he's actually done for Prada. These murals are the first item on the agenda, for the Prada Epicenter stores in New York and L.A. I'm assuming they're the same, as I've also seen them described as "wallpaper".

I tracked down the original article about the murals/wallpaper/installation, but it's really just a blurb with no images. The third one directly above plus quite a lot of what follows was all taken directly from this Prada collaboration section of Jean's own website.

Immediately following that was the Spring/Summer '08 collection, which featured his illustrations printed on the garments as well as a backdrop he did for the runway show in Milan:

I really like that satellite there. Why do forest nymphs need one?

In addition to the prints and runway show backdrop, he wrote, storyboarded, and did visual development for this weird and in some ways low budget-looking but still lovely CG animation in the same vein as and promoting the collection. It's called "Trembled Blossoms", taken from Keats' "Ode to Psyche":

Here are some high-quality stills from it, 
also taken directly from the same page of his site.

Let's fast-forward a decade to the present, and the Prada Resort 2018 collection.

Dazed and Confused interviewed him and wrote about it, similarly introducing it by starting with the Trembled Blossoms '08 works and including the full video of the runway show from this year.