Electric Signature
Neon Rainbows Evoke the Iconic Geometry of Tod’s Signature Collection

A pulsing grid of fluorescent lighting replaces imprinted leather in fashion filmmaker Bart Hess’s new short for Italian luxury leather label Tod’s. Taking the brand’s iconic circles-and-diamonds pattern as inspiration, the maverick Dutch director created a futuristic neon cityscape to explore the interplay of light on material. “I wanted to see the pattern reflected in all kinds of materials, because it can tell you a lot about surface and quality,” explains Hess. Shooting in Eindhoven’s cutting-edge Temporary Arts Centre, Hess crafted an installation of 81 light tubes to illuminate the exclusive next-season pieces by the cult leather maker. “In the film we show the light cycle of a day, from sunrise to sunset. At the moment when the girl decides to go to the pool a blackout takes place,” he elaborates. “When the lights turn back on there has been an upgrade and now everything is in multicolor. The city comes alive.” Best known for the otherworldly slime outfits he created for Lady Gaga, Hess has made sculptural costumes for the likes of American Vogue and AnOther Magazine, Parisian art center Palais de Tokyo, and photographer Nick Knight, as well as collaborating on textiles with fashion designers such as Walter Van Beirendonck, Iris van Herpen, and Ann-Sofie Back.

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