FILM & FASHION

Notions of Power

 

 

dayday is a queer black multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York, and director of the film, Notions of Power, featuring our Pre-Fall 22 collection. We chatted with them about the film, their creative process, and what femininity means to them, in all its complexity.

 

MH: Could tell us a little bit about your work, your art, and how you got started?

 

dayday: It's weird that I'm making moving images again. When I was younger it was something that I was interested in. I wanted to be a fashion photographer and I had a camera, saw a bunch of clips on YouTube, and was doing weird photo shoots. I also would make weird short films and then I kind of lost that. I went to school, still to do something creative, but nothing to do with film or image-making, and then kind of found myself looping back around to moving images.

 

What did you go to school for?

 

I went to school to do motion graphics design and animation. That's very commercial, like broadcast design, title sequences, stuff like that.

 

What drew you back to the fashion world?

 

I think in the context of design school, or art school in general, especially if you're studying something commercial like motion design, you can only learn so much. By the time I got to my third year I already had a pretty decent portfolio, and I was getting work while in school, so I was like, “What am I going to do?”

 

My school had this Blackmagic camera that we had access to. I decided to get some friends together and made this artsy, Godardian short which ended up doing really well on the internet. I moved to New York shortly after university and two years after graduating someone found the film and they were like, “This is cool, would you like to do more?” That's how I got back in. It was not intentional at all.

 

What's your creative process and how does creating in multiple mediums inform the way that you work?

 

When I was 18, 19 years old I was taking photos and making short films just because it was something that I was interested in. Then I went to design school and got that design knowledge and now have returned to making films again. I just recently felt comfortable calling myself a director because for a while I felt like I designed film. I approach a lot of my film work that way. It's very symmetrical, very graphic, and minimalist. It’s very composed. It almost feels like a painting.

“Directing is the newest medium for me and I really like it because I feel like everyone's goal is to make the best thing possible.”

What does collaboration mean to you and what role does collaboration play for you in your work?

 

Design is almost like a forced collaboration. If you work in a design studio, you have to collaborate. You're just a small part of this larger machine. I think directing is collaboration by choice. I get more say in the people that I want to work with. Someone else might see something that I might not see. The collaboration is nice that way, they'll bring something to it that I might not expect.

 

What was your vision for this film?

 

I had an initial idea that I came in with, but that kind of transformed on set. I wanted to make something but also wanted to speak to Mara and her brand. I feel sometimes you get fashion films where it just feels like behind-the-scenes footage and that’s not what I wanted for this. I'm trying to figure out what the narrative is so that it also tells a story I feel that people can connect with. When I first started directing, I was really obsessed with the visual. There was just this fear of vulnerability and wanting only to focus on things that are aesthetically pleasing. But the more I do it, I'm more interested in the story and bridging those gaps.

 

For this shoot, the clothes are already amazing, this place that we were shooting in is so interesting, but what elevates it beyond just being a very aesthetically pleasing fashion film? We were shooting in this house with a lot of super machismo decor, but there were these images of all of these different cats, lions, and panthers which I think of as animals that embody this idea of very powerful, feminine energy. I think that just got me thinking about this narrative, just seeing that. We got into the idea of this conversation around femininity and what does that mean? I started just chatting with the models and asking them real questions about their experiences and the people who've impacted them to help build the story.

 

What does femininity mean to you?

 

For this film, I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but asked the models, what did they think? They gave their own personal experiences, like their mother raising them or someone feels feminine when they're meditating in nature. They gave their own unique answers and experiences.

 

For me, I was raised by all women, so my only point of reference for existing is through this lens of femininity. But I think it's very nuanced because when you think of feminine, you think of soft, and that's why I really like the idea of the feline—the lion. It's a cat, but it's also a hunter, the king of the jungle. I think that being a Black person and raised by Black women, Black women can be very loving, but they can also be very stern and very hard, but also very powerful. Ultimately, I wanted to have a nuanced conversation about femininity.

 

Where do you go for creative nourishment and inspiration?

 

A lot of stuff is very subconscious. I don't actively watch a lot of films, I don't do a lot of reading, it's just very subconscious. I take in a lot of things and then it sits there until it's useful. Most of the time, I'm just chilling watching trash TV. I'll watch the occasional slow film, which I really like. Mainly, I just YouTube spiral on random singing videos.

 

People look at my work and have this assumption that I might be a very pretentious person. Also, because of how I dress, I think my clothing is very put together, but I'm not that exciting. I just absorb so much walking through life, and when I need to be creative, something from two years ago that I saw at Walmart will appear. I don't try to force things. I just let it come, I feel like the universe knows what you need.



This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity

 

 

MARA HOFFMAN - NOTIONS OF POWER

Director: dayday

Starring: Stephanie Quezada & Sheena Sood

Production by: BYT.NYC 

Executive Producer: Chelsea Greenwood

Line Producer: Lucas Carpenter

Post Producer: Riley Carithers

Director of Photography: Mayer Chalom

1st AC: Chris Cruz

Gaffer: Mimi d’Autremont

Production Assistant: James Berkeley

Editor: Christian Oreste

Composer: Robert Ouyang Rusli

Colorist: Samuel Gursky

Creative Director / Photographer: Mara Hoffman

Creative Director / Stylist: Rachael Wang

Brand & PR Coordinator: Rachael Noll

Producer: Chelsea Zalopany

Photo Assistant: Dana De Coursey

Stylist Assistant: Alicia Liu

MUA: Bo

FILM & FASHION

Notions of Power

 

dayday is a queer black multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York, and director of the film, Notions of Power, featuring our Pre-Fall 22 collection. We chatted with them about the film, their creative process, and what femininity means to them, in all its complexity.

 

MH: Could tell us a little bit about your work, your art, and how you got started?

 

dayday: It's weird that I'm making moving images again. When I was younger it was something that I was interested in. I wanted to be a fashion photographer and I had a camera, saw a bunch of clips on YouTube, and was doing weird photo shoots. I also would make weird short films and then I kind of lost that. I went to school, still to do something creative, but nothing to do with film or image-making, and then kind of found myself looping back around to moving images.

 

What did you go to school for?

 

I went to school to do motion graphics design and animation. That's very commercial, like broadcast design, title sequences, stuff like that.

 

What drew you back to the fashion world?

 

I think in the context of design school, or art school in general, especially if you're studying something commercial like motion design, you can only learn so much. By the time I got to my third year I already had a pretty decent portfolio, and I was getting work while in school, so I was like, “What am I going to do?”

 

My school had this Blackmagic camera that we had access to. I decided to get some friends together and made this artsy, Godardian short which ended up doing really well on the internet. I moved to New York shortly after university and two years after graduating someone found the film and they were like, “This is cool, would you like to do more?” That's how I got back in. It was not intentional at all.

 

What's your creative process and how does creating in multiple mediums inform the way that you work?

 

When I was 18, 19 years old I was taking photos and making short films just because it was something that I was interested in. Then I went to design school and got that design knowledge and now have returned to making films again. I just recently felt comfortable calling myself a director because for a while I felt like I designed film. I approach a lot of my film work that way. It's very symmetrical, very graphic, and minimalist. It’s very composed. It almost feels like a painting.

“Directing is the newest medium for me and I really like it because I feel like everyone's goal is to make the best thing possible.”

What does collaboration mean to you and what role does collaboration play for you in your work?

 

Design is almost like a forced collaboration. If you work in a design studio, you have to collaborate. You're just a small part of this larger machine. I think directing is collaboration by choice. I get more say in the people that I want to work with. Someone else might see something that I might not see. The collaboration is nice that way, they'll bring something to it that I might not expect.

 

What was your vision for this film?

 

I had an initial idea that I came in with, but that kind of transformed on set. I wanted to make something but also wanted to speak to Mara and her brand. I feel sometimes you get fashion films where it just feels like behind-the-scenes footage and that’s not what I wanted for this. I'm trying to figure out what the narrative is so that it also tells a story I feel that people can connect with. When I first started directing, I was really obsessed with the visual. There was just this fear of vulnerability and wanting only to focus on things that are aesthetically pleasing. But the more I do it, I'm more interested in the story and bridging those gaps.

 

For this shoot, the clothes are already amazing, this place that we were shooting in is so interesting, but what elevates it beyond just being a very aesthetically pleasing fashion film? We were shooting in this house with a lot of super machismo decor, but there were these images of all of these different cats, lions, and panthers which I think of as animals that embody this idea of very powerful, feminine energy. I think that just got me thinking about this narrative, just seeing that. We got into the idea of this conversation around femininity and what does that mean? I started just chatting with the models and asking them real questions about their experiences and the people who've impacted them to help build the story.

 

What does femininity mean to you?

 

For this film, I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but asked the models, what did they think? They gave their own personal experiences, like their mother raising them or someone feels feminine when they're meditating in nature. They gave their own unique answers and experiences.

 

For me, I was raised by all women, so my only point of reference for existing is through this lens of femininity. But I think it's very nuanced because when you think of feminine, you think of soft, and that's why I really like the idea of the feline—the lion. It's a cat, but it's also a hunter, the king of the jungle. I think that being a Black person and raised by Black women, Black women can be very loving, but they can also be very stern and very hard, but also very powerful. Ultimately, I wanted to have a nuanced conversation about femininity.

 

Where do you go for creative nourishment and inspiration?

 

A lot of stuff is very subconscious. I don't actively watch a lot of films, I don't do a lot of reading, it's just very subconscious. I take in a lot of things and then it sits there until it's useful. Most of the time, I'm just chilling watching trash TV. I'll watch the occasional slow film, which I really like. Mainly, I just YouTube spiral on random singing videos.

 

People look at my work and have this assumption that I might be a very pretentious person. Also, because of how I dress, I think my clothing is very put together, but I'm not that exciting. I just absorb so much walking through life, and when I need to be creative, something from two years ago that I saw at Walmart will appear. I don't try to force things. I just let it come, I feel like the universe knows what you need.



This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity

 

 

MARA HOFFMAN - NOTIONS OF POWER

 

Director: dayday

Starring: Stephanie Quezada & Sheena Sood

Production by: BYT.NYC 

Executive Producer: Chelsea Greenwood

Line Producer: Lucas Carpenter

Post Producer: Riley Carithers

Director of Photography: Mayer Chalom

1st AC: Chris Cruz

Gaffer: Mimi d’Autremont

Production Assistant: James Berkeley

Editor: Christian Oreste

Composer: Robert Ouyang Rusli

Colorist: Samuel Gursky

Creative Director / Photographer: Mara Hoffman

Creative Director / Stylist: Rachael Wang

Brand & PR Coordinator: Rachael Noll

Producer: Chelsea Zalopany

Photo Assistant: Dana De Coursey

Stylist Assistant: Alicia Liu

MUA: Bo

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