Written By Justin Howard, Black Chalk Magazine
Editorial by Peter Nyland, Darkside Studious LA
Fashion by Jennifer Terry, Black and Greige
“Strange Medicine on the Desert” draws inspiration from the Mad Max film, as well as from the writings of Hunter S. Thompson. We partnered up with local designers Black and Greige, due to their minimal and dark esthetic.
The outdoor scenes shot in the desert are mixed with studio scenes to visually emphasize the rift between the inner and outer worlds of the models, playfully straddling the line between dream and reality, vision and sense.”
~J. Peter Nylund
Strange Medicine on the Desert
Justin Howard : You created the vision of ‘Strange Medicine’- what’s the story behind it?
Peter Nylund : Myself and Tatiana had wanted to shoot a story in the desert for quite a long time and we had an idea for the esthetic feel that we wanted it to have. Our influences were quite varied, from the old Mad Max movies to Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The idea was to show a journey of two people straddling the line between dream and reality, sense and madness. We got in contact with local Los Angeles brand Black and Greige through social media and saw a match between their design esthetic and our vision. We reached out to them to talk about collaborating for this project, and we started to plan the shoot after that.
Justin Howard : What’s your philosophy about the ART of fashion?
Peter Nylund : It starts from being critical of the idea that each human is born with special characteristics that make us unique, that we have something deep inside us that is a true self that needs to be found and nurtured in order for us to live a good life. Skeptical of this, we choose to view life and identity as art, as something that is not given but must be created. And to create a style for yourself that is yours is a step toward that goal, so fashion and style are closely linked with our view of what it is to be living in the rich part of the world at this particular time, and how it can help us in creating a unique life with the possibilities and restrictions that we have in front of us. Further, fashion can be a very powerful way of resisting dominance and the normalizing ways of our society, as punk showed us at a very young age. It gives us a small window to be who we want and choose to be, to make a statement without having to say a word.
Justin Howard : How do you prepare for an editorial shoot?
Peter Nylund : To realize an editorial shoot from initial idea to post production can take a long time. The email threads are sometimes months long between us and the rest of the team before we even get to shoot. If we’re going on location, it needs to be scouted out beforehand, a complete shot list with wardrobe and make up/hair notes need to be made, if we need to travel those details need to be figured out, the equipment we need to achieve the idea needs to be there. And so on. But no matter how well you plan everything, on the day of the shoot, you still have to be open to the little moments of pure chance comes in that can make a huge difference. Almost always something will happen that will force us to change direction, or to solve problems as they come.
Justin Howard : Do you consider yourself an artist?
Peter Nylund : As mentioned earlier, if identity can be created rather than just given, then forming one’s life is like “sculpting,” and so life is art and all of us are -or at least can be artists. That is unless we are happy with being passive consumers. But the term “artist” also carries with it some pretension the way it is used today, so maybe one has to be a bit careful in using it. Having always had a sense of suspicion against what is given to us, and being very dissatisfied with having no choice but to live in someone else’s world, creating stories and little worlds through our photography projects became the only way to keep it together, to stay sane. If that is what an artist is supposed to say or not, we are note really interested in knowing. We try to resist categorization as much as we can.
Justin Howard : What’s your favorite part about conceptualizing a shoot?
Peter Nylund : As DarksideStudios LA is a husband-and-wife team, the favorite part of conceptualizing our shoots are without doubt the brainstorming sessions me and Tatiana do before a shoot, almost always very late at night. We ball ideas back and forth, write them down, and look for inspiration online or in magazines. We make both physical and digital moodboards to help us develop our ideas more. It’s a constant hashing out and tweaking of ideas to get from initial idea to the telling of a story. Sometimes the debate gets heated, and that’s always a good thing.
Justin Howard : Where do you get your inspiration?
Peter Nylund : Inspiration is very fleeting. It comes in spurts and can disappear just as fast. We always try to stay tuned to the fashion and photography world, but sometimes inspiration can’t be found that way. There are moments when nothing we find there is inspiring. Sometimes it’s about breaking old habits and doing or experiencing something completely different from the usual. To get inspired from reading, from movies, or from music. It can take long, and sometimes, you just have to wait it out.
The beautiful and also the horrible part of living as a creative is just this, that inspiration comes and goes, and it’s completely random. It is a horrible place when it’s gone. You just have to be ready for it when it comes back around.
Justin Howard : How would you define the style your line?
Jennifer Terry : Black and Greige believes that minimalism is a form of rebellion; therefore the collections focus on seasonless pieces with a dark edge – we make essential items for people who don’t care about trends. Our pieces tend to have a play on proportion or volume and ALWAYS come in black. We also strive to integrate high concept aesthetics with an attainable price point.
Justin Howard : What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
Jennifer Terry : I made a “collection” for my senior year of high school and it’s pretty embarrassing in retrospect. I took inspiration from different decades in historical costume and mixed it with contemporary fabrications… also I had one outfit in every color of the rainbow. I think the most insane piece was a magenta Marie Antoinette dress – I ask myself “why did I do that” on a daily basis.
Justin Howard : What’s your favorite part about conceptualizing a design?
Jennifer Terry : I love the engineering/technical side of design – I work in a totally backwards way when designing- I typically skip the initial sketch and dive straight into drafting a pattern. I prefer to work out all the details in 100% scale.
Justin Howard : Anything we should keep our eyes open for in the future?
Peter Nylund : We are about to launch a new project called Espresso & Cigarettes, which will feature interviews with some of LA’s up-and-coming creatives; we have some interesting artist promo-shoots scheduled, and we are working on our first gallery exhibition this fall. On top of that, we are trying to schedule in shooting a beauty editorial with a really talented group of local make up- and hair stylists. So we have quite a few things coming up in the coming two months. Maybe there is no rest for the wicked as they say.
Jennifer Terry : We will be dropping small capsules of product as well as the new collection!
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