Thursday, 13 August 2009

Beyond the Valley: In The Blackout

By Charley Barker

Creative collective Beyond The Valley’s recent adventure into short film for their AW09 womenswear collection follows the unlikely love story between a Victorian Dress and a Mechanic Overall.

In the Blackout tracks the bizarre progression in the relationship between the two items of clothing, light-heartedly representing the loss of class division. The motto of the film is that love is complicated, yet possible. A metaphorical look emerges - how the label progresses design graduates to generate products suitable for large-scale and international distribution.

The concept of the director Ian Bonhôte and Fernando Del Reginato who worked with puppeteers to create a dance between the two characters, then painstakingly airbrushed them out, screen by screen." Says one third of Beyond The Valley, Kate Harwood. "The Victorian dress was something we created especially for the film - we had to create an interesting and workable shape.”

Co-owners Jo Jackson, Kate Harwood and Kristjana S. Williams graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 2003, and have worked hard under the moniker of Beyond The Valley to support and promote emerging new talent across the multi-disciplinary industry of fashion, art and design.

The treasure trove store houses a diverse range of original fashion, books, jewellery, illustration, furniture, wallpaper, design products and accessories. Ceramic Biscuit Boxes by Robert Archard, sit alongside Marissa’s gold rubber brogues and a hamburger bag, for the more obscure fashion addicts, by Hannah Havana. Beyond the Valley provides a space for designers to peddle eccentric, individual and quirky products – with no limitations.

The Beyond the Valley AW09 collection is based on the Victorian dress which featured in The Blackout. “The dress was one of our print show pieces for the season, and for that we had free reign." explains Kate, "It was a really interesting creative process; I worked as a costume designer before I set up BTV so it was nice to be back on set. To base a collection on a film character just came naturally. I design the clothes and Kristjana designs all the print work.”

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