22 October 2014

Nike Women x Pedro Laurenço

A film I choreographed for Nike Women & Nowness in the Atlas Mountains.
Directed by Abteen Bagheri, featuring Hajiba Fahmy and produced by Scott O'Donnell at Somesuch & Co. Music by Jessy Lanza.  Watch here

Nike Women x Pedro Lourenço

A gravity-defying collaboration in the Atlas Mountains

Advances in fabric technology have been redefining catwalk looks over the past decade, with shoes weighing less than a sheet of printed paper and 3D dresses melding art and science. Step forward Nike, who invited ‘technical couture’ fashion designer Pedro Lourenço into the fold to create the athletic powerhouse’s first women’s performance collaboration. After earning praise for his futuristic vision of form and fit since his Paris Fashion Week debut at 19, Lourenço has peeled back the layers of dress with an elemental collection of women’s training apparel.

The eight-piece collection is a celebration of sensuality that creates a gleaming second skin: finely knit mesh, woven satin and even an embossed crocodile motif in couture-inspired silhouettes. “I started sketching in the same way I do my collections: I had a crocodile Haute Couture coat from the 1960s as a reference, and I was thinking about how I could bring that into performance. There are lots of references to the way I create vertical lines on the construction of the garments,” says the Brazilian designer, whose back-and-forth creative conversations with Jamie Lee—Design Director at Nike Women’s—distilled a collision between high-fashion and tech.
“I think it’s very modern to be clean and simple”
“I think it’s very modern to be clean and simple,” adds the Sao Paulo designer, who looked to contemporary art for his SS15 ready-to-wear collection presented last month in Paris. “I still love everything about Haute Couture and I think there’s always something about Oscar Niemeyer in my work; the mixture between organic and graphic.”

Channelling Lourenço’s spirit, NOWNESS headed to Morocco's Atlas Mountains with filmmaker Abteen Bagheri, whose kinetic music videos for A$AP Rocky and Blood Orange preceded this world premiere of the collection. In an experimental athletic triumvirate, French dancer Hajiba Fahmy’s hyper physical movements glide throughout choreographer Aaron Sillis’s day to night routine, scored by Jessy Lanza. Known for her blazing show performances with Beyonce, in this rare instance Fahmy moves to Lanza’s ethereal electronics.

“I didn’t want it to feel like an exercise video but I also didn’t want it to feel like a full on abstract contemporary dance,” says Sillis, about working with Nike master trainer Joslyn Thompson Rule to incorporate the six core moves central to all exercise. “These are core functional movements used in everyday life,” explains Thompson Rule of the bend, lunge, squat, push, pull and rotation expressed in the dance. “There’s a naturalistic movement to it,” adds Sillis, whose previous productions include collaborators Matthew Bourne, Rihanna and FKA twigs. “From the walking to the workout to the running and elevating. We’re using dance to heighten the feeling of a release.”

Check out the interactive credits to see the full Nike Women x Pedro Lourenço collection, watch Joslyn Thompson Rule and Aaron Sillis explain core moves and go behind the scenes in the Atlas Mountains.

Nike Women x Pedro Lourenço launches October 22 in NikeLab in NYC, London, Paris, Milan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, Rio and onNike.com/NikeLab in North America, Western Europe, Japan and China.


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