Masha Vasyukova is one of my favorite artists and creators of short film. She has a preternatural ability to distill the very essence of a story into just a few moments of reel. This ability has led her to collaborate with Alexander McQueen, T Magazine for The New York Times, W Magazine, and Another. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her latest behind the scenes film for Alexander McQueen A/W 2016
You may view more of her work at www.mashavasyukova.com
This is not your first collaboration with Alexander McQueen. Can you tell me a bit about your visual approach to these behind the scenes films?
I treat these films as mood pieces, and the mood is always very important for me. It derives from the brand’s DNA, and each collection specifically. When I film and edit in my mind I constantly think of characters and stories. They can be very abstract but they make sense to me.
What is the experience of working with the McQueen brand? How can you put your personal stamp on it while maintaining the brand?
It all comes naturally as I was immensely inspired by McQueen’s work, long before I even knew I’d find myself working in fashion. Last spring I specifically travelled to London to see his retrospective at the V&A and it was a very emotional experience, I could relate to many stories he told on a personal level.
Are there any pieces or visual elements that really moved you about A/W 2016?
Yes, very much so. I love all the surreal symbolism and referral to the dream world, the lingerie dresses and forties shoulders as well as all the jewelery charms. When I got a brief and then saw the actual collection I was absolutely thrilled. Whilst it is so feminine and delicate, it also transmits a feeling of mysticism – something dark yet magical like a night. I think Sarah did such a beautiful job…
Tell me, where did you grow up, and how did you begin making visual art?
I grew up in a city called Kaliningrad on the Baltic sea, and when I just turned 15 I lived in Texas. This is when I first got a video camera and started filming anything and everything: my friends, nature, even my own teenage insomnias, and then experimental films and documentaries.
Your first film a documentary project? About Woody Allen?
It’s a short documentary: Woody Allen’s real name is Konigsberg, and my hometown also used to be called Konigsberg until it got renamed to Kaliningrad… To commemorate an inexistent connection between the two Konigsbergs together with a friend of mine we’ve decided to put up a sculpture of Woody Allen in Kaliningrad. It started off as a private joke but after the first attempt to reach Woody, not only did he respond the very next day and agree to choose the design for the sculpture, but also proposed we meet.. and so the story goes…
What is your next huge project?
Hmmm… I don’t like speaking about projects as work in progress. But there is something I’m really excited about. A few things actually!