A conversation between Jerry Stafford and BARNABY ROPER, the director of THE DRESS, which was exclusively presented this week in London and premieres on NOWNESS.COM today. 

 

J.S : What first drew your attention to the work of Iris Van herpen and how did you conceptualise this film with her ?
B.R : I have been drawn to Iris work ever since I first saw it. Her work crosses boundaries of fashion, technology and art. Her style is so unique and so signature to her.
When I first came up with the idea for the dress i wanted to show a dress of the future. I wanted to explore the idea of a virtual dress that could morph into other shapes. I wanted to explore the possibilities of 3-D printing which Iris  also explores in her own designs. I needed to work with a designer who understood this way of thinking, Iris was the obvious choice.

 

 

J.S : How would you describe the way the film evolves ? How did you approach this idea of  the relationship between a dress and its environment ?
B.R : After meeting Iris I quickly understood that her designers were very organic and their structure are taken from nature. This formed the basis of the film.  Although  we were creating  a post production driven film it was important that the texture of the dresses were  very organic and fluid. St. Louis, the Paris  postproduction house with whom I worked  had the task of making the texture of the dress feel  as if it was from nature which is an outstanding accomplishment. I wanted to feel like the dress literally grew out of then ground. I wanted to feel a sense of evolution from beginning to end.


J.S : Iris’ work forms an important part of the NY Metropolitan museum’s exhibition 'Manus ex Machina'. In your own work  how do you see the relationship between craft and technology ?
B.R : In my work I look for new ways of seeing things and I seek to present films that flow in unique fashion. I twist film to try and create a visual experience. I want the viewer to feel they have been taken on a journey. All my films start with the basics, the traditional ways of doing film. The subject, the environment the way of shooting are all very clean or traditional. But then I like to start adding technology to create layers. Each film I do I try and explore new ways of seeing it by using a mixture of new and tradition values and crafts. Lighting is a  craft, editing is a craft, acting is a craft. Then I add on other layers to create my own vision.


J.S : Is fashion and design  for you a constant source of inspiration for your work?
B.R : I find inspiration in everything.  It is normally a combination of things that inspire me and then  build an idea. But fashion and design definitely play into that a lot.

J.R : What would be your fantasy dress ?
B.R :
A kilt