TETTMANN & DOUST
|January 22, 2012 | ART||Posted by Emma Forster||
Tettmann and Doust collaborated with the celebrated projectionist, Yandell Walton, for their first ever solo runway show at 1000 Pound Bend, as part of the 2012 Loreal Fashion Festival. The evening took on the theme of Aves Insecta, which focuses on the designer’s interest with the scientific study of birds and insects. Models walked alongside large-scale projections of creatures skillfully created by Toby Edwards. The synthesis of animation, light, music took your average runway surrounds to whole new level.
People without seats stood on tippie toes, peering over the endless sea of shoulders to watch the eerie images of birds taking flight across the warehouse walls.
After having been able to witness such a phenomenal interpretation of a fashion show, T-Squat decided to meet with the three talented young women to further discuss the processes involved with such an event. All three of them work in the same group of studios, which are also the workspaces of many other local artists and the home of Yandell’s adoring cat Diamond.
As we walked through the expanse of studios taken up by their fellow creatives, the girls of Tettmann and Doust opened up about the hardships associated with being fledgling fashion designers and their dreams of, one day soon, being able to focus solely on their own label.
Words: Laura Main
Runway Photography: Beck Leslie & Sophia Jenny
How is everything falling together after the fashion launch?
TD: We’ve just finished getting our production line out and now we are working on samples for the next line, then things will start slowing down and we will be able to start designing a new line. From the morning after the show things have quite crazy.
What was it like in the immediate lead up to the show, considering that this was your first ever show.
YW: I think the girls were in production for their second range while organising the show, doing shoots and everything for that as well, it’s a massive thing.
None of us had done anything remotely like this, I’ve done lots of projects, but nothing at this this scale, and something we’ve never done before. Staging and the lighting and the design of the runway, it was a first for all of us.
TD: Yandall did all of the stage design because it worked into what she was doing projection wise.
Y: I’ve done a lot of projection work before because my main medium are projection works, large scale things, over buildings but I suppose the thing with this, which was why it was such a great collaboration, was responding to the themes and concepts that the girls were working with. Also because we were on such a tight budget, there were a lot of people who contributed. Working with another animator, Toby, whose flare came out a lot in the work.
TD: Even the process of getting sponsorship was something we hadn’t done before, which was just such a massive learning curve for all of us.
There were some massive names supporting your event like Chambord and London Management, how did you get on board with people like that?
TD: Eva, a friend of ours who helped us out from the onset, has had a lot of experience with bigger events like the World Cup Sailing ‘thing’. Chambord was one of their sponsors and they were happy to do something with us.
Did you find it was that easy to get people to help you out?
TD: Oh no, we had plenty of knock backs,
Y: Yeah I think though that because we are a new label, it was a little difficult but next time, I think it will be a whole lot easier, especially after how well it went.
The event was absolutely packed out, were you expecting it to be that big?
TD: No! We were hoping it was going to be. I went down stairs at ten past eight just to have a talk to the girls at the front desk and it took me half an hour just to get through the crowd and I thought to myself “what on earth is going on here?!”.
I (Naomi) on the other hand decided I wouldn’t go down because I didn’t want to freak out and lose my focus.
Y: I think that is one of the beautiful things about working with a bunch of people who have such large networks and bringing all of that together.
Had you done any other types of collaborative works like this before Yandall?
Y: Not really, I’ve done a few sorts of collaborative works before. I have worked with Naomi before in the past, and I always work with Toby the animator on my own stuff. But I’ve never done productive work. It’s usually always art based. I have done a lot of work with the Gertrude festival but they always get someone else to do all the logistical work, but for the fashion show I was running all of that sort of thing including including lighting and what not.
Although we were lucky enough to get CLS to sponsor us for the event and they were amazing at helping us figure out all the stuff we had to get done and I did have a design intern, Jade, who was unreal. She built the whole stage herself. She made scale drawings and scale models of the set so that we could figure out how everything was going to work.
TD: Because we hadn’t done it before, it was a really hard thing to visualize and stand there in the space and wonder, will it work there?
Y: Yeah, working with a choreographer as well, we’ve never really done anything like that before and that was a really positive experience.
At the beginning of the project did you know exactly what you wanted for the launch or was it an idea that evolved?
TD: It was very organic. We had an idea but it was lose and it all depended on the budget as to what the final product was going to look like, and who we could rope in to doing what.
We looked at a lot of venues. We had a few that we were interested in. Obviously all the work including things like how we were going to set up the runway couldn’t be decided on until we knew which space we had.
Even for things like invites and submissions, we couldn’t finalise those until we had the venue so for a while that was a bit stressful.
Any last minute dramas?
TD: Yes! Oh goodness yes, the shoes, broken shoes! There was a lot of yelling and chucking things. So many last minute alterations, sending people to the supermarket to buy things to stuff the shoes with.
Do you make everything yourself, here in the studio?
TD: Yeah we have been, we have another machinist, so some of the work is outsourced to her and between the two of us we’ve done the last collection.
For the last show, Elke worked with everything on the show and I was doing production.
We are hoping that with this show we will get a bit more interest in our label so that we can stock in Melbourne. We’ve just started sampling the second collection that is a summer collection for 1213. And that will start to be sold in a bout a week.
We are looking forward to nabbing some Melbourne stockists soon.
Yandall, so what are you up to post fashion show? You’ve just finished a residency at NGV?
Y: Yeah just finished up there and the last three months has been working on the Tettmann and Doust show and Shift, which was the No Home fashion film that I did with the girls that showed last week. I’d never done short film before, responding to the themes of the girls fashion work.
I’m also working on a collaborative interactive public art project for the City of Yarra and the City of Melbourne. That will be exhibited at the Gertrude St Projection Festival in July. I’ve never done anything interactive before so there are a lot of new things going on for me happening at the moment.
TD: How does interactive show work?
Y: It’s called human affect, and there will be projected plant life and as the viewer comes closer to the work the plant life shrivels up and dies. If it works. Laughs. I never usually like to work on interactive projects because they never usually work so…
TD: Were just all about learning new stuff this year!
Y: I am really trying to push my practice. I’ve felt quite safe with my projections and its always a challenge to push new things!
Are you looking forward to the day when you can do Tettmann and Doust as your sole job?
TD: Definitely. We are pretty financially dependent on our part time jobs at the moment and its really running things for us and if we didn’t have that then we would be a bit stuffed.
It will be really nice when we don’t have to do this. It would be nice to have a couple of days off.
Is there any place that you dream of doing your projections Yandell?
Y: I just want to do more site specific work or conceptual types of things. I really wanted to go to Berlin and do projections on the abandoned buildings that commented on the history of the places.
There are so many possibilities.