A. A. Spectrum 光谱 AW21 Explores a Cinematic Identity of A Perfect Citizen
Showcasing their latest collection through a short film co-created with Agency Eleven, the Beijing-based brand adds another chapter to their binary-breaking story of garments that go beyond their definition.
What makes a perfect citizen? What even is perfection? And what the hell should we be wearing now that it’s time to get out of those old trackies? These are the burning questions most of us are dealing with at the moment, as the idea of freedom begins to feed back into our lives. The answer of the season comes in the form of a short film, produced by Agency Eleven and starring the AW21 outing by A. A. Spectrum 光谱. Telling the tale of an unknown identity existing in a dystopian universe, the video captures a day of gritty reality while showcasing the sleek and functional designs the brand is known for. “As a city dweller, I felt the need to portray the reality of a working-class citizen, ultimately illustrating a somewhat harsh truth to the viewer of what city life can actually entail,” says director of the film Samuel Pearson of Hydra Design.
The collection itself unravels strong silhouettes in eye-catching colours that feel unexpected for its textiles. Oversized, yet exposed. Loose, but sensual. It’s this play of contrasts that reflects in the sound of the film, as voiced by a dominant narrator which simultaneously carries the energy of David Attenborough and Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting. “The AW21 collection storyline of conflicting yet highly inspiring elements is reflected in the film’s contradiction between words and image. The collection contains different design languages on individual pieces, while the film contains visuals that are mismatched from the narrator’s voiceover,” explains Ying Zeng, the A. A. Spectrum 光谱 Brand Director.
As always, it’s the scene that shapes the atmosphere of the film. As Samuel puts it, “a forsaken warehouse deep within East London’s docklands” is both utilitarian and decorative, just like the garments that are on show. In Ying’s own words, “the locations used for each scene were especially important, as this provided the realness which was needed to set the mood. […] The location was quintessential for the project, as it provided dynamic scene placement within a single building.”
Beyond the elements that summarise the story, there are also plenty of individual emotions that build upon the final outcome. On one hand, it’s Samuel’s passion for lighting which helped create the complexity and depth to the picture. On another, it’s the styling of the looks, as brought together by Melo and their personal connection to this project. “When working with the clothes two things stood out to me, AA and spectrum. My real name is Al’manni Alli (AA) So I then looked into myself visualising my own life spectrum, this allowed me to connect with each look not only on an artistic level but on a spiritual one too. For me, the process gave me a chance to look into ‘me’ exploring my life’s spectrum which resulted in a connection being built between the clothes and myself.”
Production: Agency Eleven @agencyeleven
Film & Lighting Direction: @hydradesign__
Camera Operator/DP: @cordeauxfilm
First AC: @wilkidywak
Voiceover: Simon Mattacks
Make Up: @keiatamsin