meet the 20-year-old artist capturing the fashion world on vhs
Julian Klincewicz explains how a gift from his grandma's attic led him to document some of fashion's favourite faces.
Julian Klincewicz is fashion's most singular new filmmaking talent; eschewing the hi-tech digital world, Julian's captures his images straight onto VHS. The results are raw, honest, and they speak with urgent immediacy.
He first came to our attention with a beautiful film, shot on location in Moscow for Gosha Rubchinskiy's Vans Vault collaboration last season. Melding together Gosha's skate kids through a series of vignettes, interspersed with flashes of Muscovite landscape (onion dome churches, brutalist estates, and soviet iconography) Julian perfectly captured Gosha's world. He also shot backstage footage of Eckhaus Latta's spring/summer 16 presentation during New York Fashion Week. Turning his camcorder on the city's new downtown creative scene who make up the design duo's fashion world.
Julian's fashion films are tough and delicate and real and a world away from the glossy pretension fashion film can overflow into. These talents led him back to New York this season, where he was invited by Kanye to make a film of Yeezy Season 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Shortly after he finished filming his latest project with Eckhaus Latta, we sat down with the San Diego native to talk over his year in behind-the-scenes.
Tell me about your fashion week. And what do you plan to do now that it's over?
I came out to New York to help film some stuff for Kanye for his Season 3 and The Life of Pablo presentation, and then I shot another backstage video for Eckhaus Latta, which was super cool. Then my friend Mari Giudicelli is starting a really nice womenswear shoe company that we shot a little trailer for. I've also got a book of photos and VHS stills from when I went to Moscow to work with Gosha, and that's coming out through Vans Vault.
How do you choose the projects you work on?
I try and be really picky about the projects I choose because I don't want to do something that I don't feel like I contribute to. So, with Gosha, I felt like I understood what he was doing on some really base level, so I felt like I could do a good job. And with Eckhaus Latta, I was just really attracted to what they do and I felt like I could show it in an interesting way.
You've also shot some content for Yeezy Season 3. How did Kanye find you?
I think through Ian Connor. I did a music video for one of my friend's bands called Underpass and I think he saw that and started looking at my work.
I noticed you shooting at Madison Square Garden as well. How was that?
The scale on which Kanye works isn't comparable to anything I've done before — it's so huge. It was a totally new experience to get to work in that big of an arena, in that big of a context, especially a really multi-faceted one.
Do you shoot exclusively on VHS?
I've never shot anything digitally. Right now, I feel like I'm "VHS guy," which for me was never a specific thing. My aunt found a VHS camera in my grandma's attic and was like, "Oh, maybe Julian wants this," and sent it to me. So I've always just used that. Originally, it was a fun, kind of quirky thing. But then it also worked really well with Gosha's aesthetic, which is, I think, why we started working together. But moving forward, I don't want to shoot VHS stuff anymore. Also my VHS camera broke yesterday, so maybe it's a sign.
Is it stressful to work in a format like that?
Sometimes that perfect moment will get glitched out and it will just be fuzz or the sound gets messed up. But that's kind of what you get with VHS. There's something nice about having something shitty. You don't worry about it so much. It takes away a lot of the seriousness.
How do you figure out what your next project is going to be?
At the beginning of every year, I'll set a goal: this is all the stuff that would be tight to try and accomplish.
What's left on your list?
I've gone to a couple of castings for the Saint Laurent show, so I still want to walk in that. One of the items on the list this year was to work with Kanye West. And then on January 2, I got an email that was like, "Hey, Kanye West wants to work with you." I always set myself really high goals, and I guess I also get lucky.
Text Blair Cannon
Image via Instagram