The New Face Of Fashion

Super Chic Mini-Films Carving Out A New Direction For Fashion

What if the fashion industry had a philosophical conscience as well as distinctive aesthetics? Combine speculative thought-bubbles and thematic musings with sharp, stylistic film making, and you’ve got a taste of the The12Project. “I left cinema school with an idea,” says founder, photographer and film maker, Hadi Moussally. “The idea was the show fashion in a different light, we wanted to use collections to voice our collective thoughts on particular themes.”

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Based in Paris, the ambitious project is 12 months, 12 fashion films, 12 editorials, 12 fashion designers, 12 models and 12 themes. “Each month of the year, we produce an art-house film that lasts for around one minute… with strong, important messages that are coherent throughout.”

December – CHERISH:

The interpretations given to each chosen theme are its lifeblood. Creative ideas propel each video towards an admonition or an exposition, tailing the art-direction with some, at times chilling, often humorous, and always thought-provoking, tales. Intentionally rammed with hyper-stylised awareness, ‘December’ is their most recent video before the anticipated ‘January’. With the theme as ‘Family’, it plays with an all too familiar Christmas setting that deliberately sets out to thwart expectations.

“I was inspired by American TV shows from the 1950s which always portrayed the family as this idyllic entity,” explains Hadi. “This is why I wanted to create a film that revisited this ‘cereal packet’ imagery but with a modern revelation of the lie.”

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Eager to find out more, we caught up with Hadi for a chat:

The Plus: Can you tell us about how The12Project began?
Hadi Moussally:
With a couple of Master degrees in film under my belt and having always held an avid interest in fashion, I decided to start a project that would involve my friends whose occupations span from hairstyling and make-up to graphic design, sound engineering to poetry. We all came together to create a project where we could all do what we loved and that was how the The12Project was born.

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TP: Who are your creative team and collaborators?
HM:
H7O7Films, a video and photo production company created with Olivier Pagny, is the producer of The12Project. We started with a little team of friends and gradually got bigger and bigger. Today we count 10 members of the team: Olivier Pagny (Photographer, DOP & Post-Production) Max Romain (Original Music) Marie Scirocco (Stylist) Wallace Woo (Make Up Artist) Alexandre Jeanson (Hair Stylist) RJ Arkhipov (Communication Director) Fabien Ghernati (Graphic Designer) Jean Assem Privé (Commercial Designer) Manuel Billi (Financial & Business) and me Hadi Moussally (Director & Photographer).

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TP: Can you tell us a bit more about the themes and your reasons for choosing them?
HM:
We did a calendar of themes related to our lives. The 8th of march, for example, is International Women’s Day, that’s why the month of March concerns women. In December, the holidays and Christmas are prominent themes, this is why we chose to explore the theme of “family”, but with a twist.

TP: This concept is conveyed cleverly tongue-in-cheek. Why did you decide to create this kind of tone for ‘December’?
HM:
For me, the perfect family does not exist. That’s why I wanted to show the cliché of an image of a family and conclude with an unveiling of one of the most sinister aspects of the family: domestic abuse. You’ll have to wait until January to see the conclusion to that saga!

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TP: What creative process did you go through to arrive at this particular idea?
HM:
What was interesting is when I chose Nala [Luna Diagouraga] to be our model for the month of December, I had to find the accompanying male model to play the perfect couple. I have always wanted to work with Zelig and I thought they would make the perfect combination. Sergio’s collection alongside all of the other designers and the film location culminated into a melting pot of perfection to depict a show with a 1950s feel – a decade that much inspired this instalment.

TP: Nala Luna Diagouraga is great in this video. How was it to work with her?
HM:
When we first met to discuss the project, we instantly bonded! It was most certainly one of the best experiences I have had with models or actresses we’ve worked with. On set, she was spontaneous, professional and always listened to our direction and she wasn’t shy in giving feedback, that’s important for me too. As a creative team, we love working with people who have ideas and she suggested a couple of interesting things.

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TP: Can you tell us about the fashion that the video features?
HM:
We had the perfect combination of clothing and home-ware: Sergio Daricello’s collection combined with Maison Ernest Shoes, and jewellery by Saskia Diez gave our female protagonist a fierce sexiness that was only amplified by the L’Apiéceur tailoring worn by Zelig Wilson. Designer furniture by Vitra and art homeware by Ligne Blanche Paris only added to the artistic setting of La Confiserie.

TP: Which month/theme was your favourite?
HM:
The one that touches me the most is July (FALL), because the theme of time passing by and getting old is fascinating to me. For the editorial, my favourite is May – LIVE.

TP: Have you had any surprising responses from audiences so far?
HM:
Our aim is that we have a large audience from all kind of fields. We want everyone to interpret and feel the film or photos in an individual way. When The12Project was exhibited in Paris, I asked the young daughter of the model Adina (June – KULESHOV) what she thinks of her mother in the fashion film. She answered: “It’s scary!”

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TP: Any entertaining stories you can share from the past year?
HM:
The12Project has had many ups and downs. It’s a project that is made to share our point of view and to show fashion differently and with meaning. We have faced some larger problems due to being a young project: being taken seriously in our attempt to show a different side to fashion.

TP: What does February have in store?
HM:
The12Project’s maiden voyage will come to an end in February, where the theme is Fantasy. You’ll have to wait and see just how we will interpret this theme!

TP: What happens next when the project is over?
HM:
1st of March 2016, we will do an exhibition in Paris to show the film in its whole 12-minute running time. It will mark the one-year anniversary of The12Project and the 1st day of Paris Fashion Week. After that, the film will be screened in fashion film festivals and experimental festivals worldwide and we are looking to make the experience both a film and exhibition. We are happy to announce that The12Project will have a second season beginning in September 2016!

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