Episode 01: Things have been dark for too long
In this latest work by FLATMIND, SCATAFASHION director Roberto Gianstefani interprets fashion in today’s China as the pinnacle expression of freedom. Limitations and rules get challenged and tradition morphs or falls by the wayside.
Labels start meaning less in thriving super-cities like Shanghai, where one might don their striped pajamas at a luxury center such as Xintiandi. One might sport 12-inch high-heels paired with active-wear as they shop in the supermarket just because they feel like it.
This new generation of China is fighting to find their own individuality in a place that traditionally sways toward conformity. It was only a few decades ago when fashion was literally uniform, where just about everyone dressing in drab suits was the norm. Those same people, now much older, can be seen in colorful patterns, short skirts, and in a new pair of shoes every week.
Shanghai-based Italian production-house, FLATMIND, collaborated with Yanie Yangsen Durocher, a fashion/lifestyle influencer and millennial (also known as THE MARGINALIST), in creating this emotionally charged short-film, with an eye on targeting social media audiences and brands.
Yanie did the casting and styling with the help of director Roberto Gianstefani, who was inspired by unconventional Tumblresque imagery that’s glitchy with a taste of cyberpunk. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat or Instagram Stories, or their Asian counter-parts Snow and FaceU, were another inspiration for the project.
Translating and transforming these visual formats to the point of emotional shock and psychological detachment reflects the current wave of the fashion industry. This project ties strong personality contrasts, female empowerment, and a blurred sense of fashion—mixing highs, lows, and subtle elements of post-Soviet grunge aesthetics.
SCATAFASHION came to being within just ONE WEEK, from inception to creation, starting with the first meeting between FLATMIND and Yanie. Mood boarding, casting, storyboarding, pre-production, shooting, editing, color correction, and the original music composition by ‘Dinosaurs and I’ was done in the ultra-accelerated pace of the social media space, where everything moves in the momentum of NOW.
FLATMIND’s vision was to deliver a strong and provocative message that is aligned with the reflection of China’s modern society, that’s succumbed with the need to “succeed” in a fast and growing digital environment. Pressure and emotional imbalance is more apparent then ever in peace-time China, where societal programming abides by tradition and pragmatism, stimulating the need to break the mold for the new generation.
Far too often in China, a client will go to an agency with a creative reference and it’s expected to follow it without originality or creative additions. FLATMIND wanted to have the freedom to inject its own style in this project, breaking this very tradition that plagues creativity in China. The colors, the makeup, and the angles of shots were all very personal in their inception—working without interferences or authoritative directives. “This is our vision for advertising,” says director Roberto, who also founded FLATMIND Productions.
FLATMIND in its name is meant to challenge and provoke, and to us, it means “no-limits.” FLAT rejects excessiveness in exchange for simplicity and clean content design and creation, but it does not reflect that we don’t expect creativity to come from “non-creative” people that come to us.
So once again no limits, no rules, no preconceptions.
Just be #SCATAFASHION