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Alyx debuts a 360-degree fashion film shot in Times Square

NY-based label Alyx makes a late night trip to the iconic landmark for a new video – designer Matthew Williams tells us more

Late one night a few months ago, back when New York was still freezing, Alyx designer Matthew Williams and some friends packed up a bag full of GoPros and headed to Times Square. Their objective? To shoot a 360-degree fashion film in the middle of New York’s most iconic landmark. Open the film below on the YouTube app on your phone, and you can manipulate the video just by moving the handset, following the characters as they stalk the famous pavement, bemusing passersby while dressed in the label’s AW16 collection, styled by Felix Leblhuber. 

For Williams, a creative director with a wealth of fashion and music experience who launched the label back for AW15 to great acclaim (they were named as a finalist for this year’s LVMH prize), it was his first occasion working with 360 video. It had been a long time coming, though. “I'd been wanting to make a film like this for a while,” he shares over the phone from NYC, where the brand is based. “There was actually this inflatable dress for Alexander McQueen that was one of the Gaga costumes. He and I had discussed having a 360-degree video projected inside of it, and that was when I first looked into it. It’s something that we didn't do because he passed away, but he was the person that actually put that idea in my head first.”

Developments in technology over the last few years meant that all Williams and his collaborators – the film was co-directed by ODOD x UZi and filmed and edited by Dave Hung, Gabe Rousseau and Tyler Ross – needed for this project was a series of GoPro cameras and a rig, which they set up on a tripod in the Square. For him, a sense of the immersive was important – that the video could transport fans of the brand who have never even been to New York into feeling as if they were there. “Obviously, I do want everybody to see the clothes, but it is definitely more about the experience and being at that location,” he explains of the project. “I want people to watch the video a few times, each time you see something new or you follow a different girl.” The soundtrack for the film was created by NOLIFE, a New York-based musician and past Alyx collaborator. 

The location also acts as a time capsule, with Williams referring to artists Wolfgang Tillmans and Joseph Beuys and the way their work has captured ephemera that was once overlooked but now retains historical and aesthetic significance. Of course, there’s also something quite punk about a still-young brand rocking up to the world’s most audacious hub of corporate advertising to make a movie, using other companies’ campaigns as a backdrop to its own vision. “I just like the idea that we went there, we shot it, we left,” sums up the designer. “There's something that reminds me of when I first started making work – you're with friends, and there’s no purpose other than what you get that day, and then it’s done. You make it for yourself. I like when things feel intimate like that.”

For the best viewing experience, the film below should be watched on the YouTube app – click the link here to open.