THE MAKING OF TOTEM
Creating a fashion label is all about the image that you portray. I want to create clothing that embodies power, speaks to people emotionally and that tells my story.
To best convey my collections, I decided to do a fun and creative video shoot. Something that I could use for the home page of my website, something with motion and reality that would be more powerful than a still image.
I collaborated with John Laham, whom I have worked with previously and particularly over the past few months. John is a fantastic photographer with a real eye for raw beauty and the power of light, and together we decided to do a shoot on location at a beach I randomly stumbled upon… a whole different story that I will one day share. We decided to incorporate both still fashion shots of my designs and a video – now all we needed to do was find the right videographer.
James Lopes, a videographer friend of mine who coincidently came to visit me at my Parramatta boutique. We discussed creating a video and we agreed that now was the perfect time. Ideas and concepts flowed easily, and we both got extremely excited about the idea of creating something strong and with vision, to tell the story of my designs, but also my own story. And so the three of us trooped down to Sandringham Beach in the Sutherland Shire…
The beach itself is calm, perfect for creating a little bit of magic. No rough and tumbling waves, the bay is peaceful and a real spot of serenity. I asked two of the models I have worked with previously to come and join me on this project, I absolutely adore their looks and believe they are fantastic advocates for the brand.
All we needed for the video clip now, was a song…
My good friend Joseph Nevels who is a singer-songwriter from the USA , always sharing his new music and everything else fabulous. Sent me a link to his new recorded song Breath which I loved. Thanks to the power of Soundcloud, through his music I discovered Totem, another incredible artist and his song Shadows. The meaning is undeniable when I relate it to my personal story. I was so profoundly drawn to this song, the lyrics connected with me on a deeply magnetic level and I knew that this song was the perfect backing track for my clip.
I have often spoken about the Panther as being my totem, my symbol of strength and power. The video shows me both transforming into and lying beside my totem, the black panther. As the lyrics play ‘me myself and I…’ I know that through everything I went through, the struggles I have overcome, I walked that path alone. I refused to burden anyone with that knowledge, no one understood my pain – but my totem was always by my side.
The concept we developed for the video clip shows my totem walking along side me, with my two beautiful models posing as incredibly well dressed shadows walking this path with me. As I walk out of the water dry, the lyrics follow ‘my colours cannot be washed away by the rain’ – a powerful sentiment for all women and for anyone struggling in silence. No matter what my true identity is intact.
The video ultimately highlights strength and power, while showcasing the beautiful designs from my collection. But meaning is deeper than the texture of fabrics….. I am both proud and humbled to share some of my story with all of you.
No matter what circumstances I have experienced, it has never changed me. I am who I am regardless of what has and what will happen, and my strength of character will shatter all judgements and criticism. And as I look forward to the next chapter of my brand, my experiences and my life, I know that my totem will continue to walk with me and guide me, giving me strength and power to succeed.