<p>Holding hands, fashion, and advertising lend a sinister touch to the Brazilian designer’s new collection.</p>
For Alexandre Herchcovitch, in fashion, technology is invisible because the consumer has no idea how it was used to create a certain fabric or pattern. Its role is to harness creative potential in favor of comfort and wearability, which seems a challenge when one decides to take volcanic rocks, magma and earthquakes as inspiration for a collection. The textures in Herchcovitch’s new line are the opposite of warm—all nylon, Teflon and silver with hard-edged, straight cuts—and their cold, industrial feel may make you want to run in the opposite direction. This is more or less the scenario acted out in the two short films Herchcovitch launched to promote his new collection—after putting on his pieces, the models go crazy.
“Insania” (below), made for the women’s collection and “Toxic” (above), made for the male collection were filmed by Christiano Metri, an advertising director, but have the artistic flourish of a true cinematic work. That’s because Metri drew his inspiration from surreal cinema, which is evident in the smeared makeup, apparitions of faces wrapped in plastic and the pervading oppressive atmosphere. But the end result, complete with split screen, chase sequences and a soundtrack full of synthetic reverbs and effects looks more like a trailer for the Bourne Trilogy than the Un Chien Andalou.
In the videos, the black and white high-contrast, coarse knitwear, prints and stained Teflon fabric textures that typify the collection, reminiscent of rock formations and volcanic smoke, aren’t particularly evident. The costumes highlight the collection’s tailoring, the high waists and geometric lines. The narrative chronicles the models' loss of control and subsequent hallucinations experienced upon entering into the universe of Herchcovitch. The finished product, though hauntingly beautiful, still has a faint touch of an ad campaign, unlike the colorful, fun and low-tech short films Herchcovitch used to make in his youth, in which the designer embodies a superhero in high heels.