exclusive: c.e shares its new spring/summer 16 campaign video
As the Tokyo-based streetwear brand share their new campaign video — featuring Bafic and RATKING's Sporting Life — we caught up with creative director Toby Feltwell to talk influence, change, and a steadily shifting sense of reality.
If you could count on one brand to offer a steadily shifting sense of reality embodied in a clothing collection, it would be C.E. Lead by a veritable holy trinity of Japanese streetwear — Toby Feltwell, SK8THING, and Hishi — the Tokyo-based brand has fast established itself as the go-to destination for those who enjoy their streetwear with a healthy dose of mind-fuck.
To celebrate their new collection — and accompanying video staring Bafic and RATKING's Sporting Life — we asked Toby Feltwell to share this season's reference points, from Georges Bataille's La Part Maudite to the question of whether our reality really is happening for the first time now. Let the buyer beware: C.E is a brand about the present. They just don't say which present that is.
1. "Eisenbahnzunge" by Tolouse Low Trax
"The magic that happens when music works with images like this is something we really enjoy," says Feltwell. "The video is such a simple idea — but the way that this kind of simple repurposing can create something totally surprising is magical, too. It's a standard way of working for us. It's good to see someone else achieving so much with it and it's a reminder to us of what's possible."
2. Georges Bataille's La Part Maudite
"Bataille writes here, 'I insist on the fact that there is generally no growth but only a luxurious squandering of energy in every form! The history of life on earth is mainly the effect of a wild exuberance; the dominant event is the development of luxury, the production of increasingly burdensome forms of life.' We got quite excited thinking about the economy as a wild sacrificial bonfire instead of a dependable, rational system," says Feltwell.
3. Frigidaire magazine
"Not just this one in particular — but as many as we could get hold of inspired us," says Feltwell. "Maybe it's the ultimate magazine. It all looks so good, too. Although I don't think he did anything in Frigidaire itself, finding these copies of Frigidaire also kind of reminded us about Roberto Baldazzini — who did a great illustration for us in this collection."
4. Adolfo Bioy Casares's La invención de Morel
"Is our reality really happening for the first time now or is it a recurring projection of events that occurred 20 years ago?" says Feltwell. "It's really hard to believe this book came out in 1940. This and the 70s Italian film of it were our biggest influence this season. We were originally talking to a friend of ours about an event based on the theme of The Invention of Morel that didn't end up happening (maybe it will one day) and that ended up giving us a direction for the clothes."
5. Fase by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & Michele Anne de Mey
"I'm not sure that this was directly inspirational, to be honest," says Feltwell. "We watched it quite a lot during the process. We're alway to trying to find images — particularly films — that capture something we recognize as C.E-ish. That definitely applies here. It's part of the process of working out what C.E is and is supposed to be."
6. Twilight City (1989)
"Similarly, I'm not sure that this is a direct influence, although we were looking at Black Audio Film Collective stuff a lot during that time It is another great example of the magic of music working with film. Trevor Mathison made amazing music for the BAFC," explains Feltwell. "The first work was kind of a slideshow with soundtrack.... Purely sound and images. The BAFC managed to make films that are really powerful social commentary but also exist in their own parallel world. Maybe more of an inspiration than an influence, but we're happy to be able to share it with anyone who hasn't seen it. (Thanks to Gunnar for this tip!)"
Directed: Georgia (US) Ben Drury (UK)
Starring: Bafic & Sporting Life
Edit & FX: Georgia
US Shoot: Georgia
US Drone Footage: Alon Sicherman & Micah Dickbauer
UK DP / 1st Drone: Daniel Joyce
2nd Drone: Robin Holland
Assistants: Trav Wardle & Axel Drury
Thanks CD & JF