DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX
OF MEN AND GODS

 

American filmmaker Jordan Hemingway collaborates with British-Jamaican designer Wales Bonner in this meditative new film, which introduces three emerging faces from Jamaica’s Saint Models agency—Tevin Steele, Jordanne Wellington and Jermaine Downer—as they reflect on faith, beauty and their experience of travelling from home to participate in Des Hommes et de Dieux, the brand's Autumn/Winter runway show during London Fashion Week. 

Partly shot by the models themselves in both London and Kingston, Jamaica, the film explores each man's relationship to his homeland, its landscape and the water that surrounds it—ideas that further extend the themes of the collection. Produced and creatively directed by Bureau Future, the film also includes sound by composer and producer James William Blades.

Distance is always reduced at night
The drive from Kingston to Montego Bay is not so far
Nor the distance between ourselves and the stars And at night there is almost nothing between
The things we say, and the things we mean.

Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries To Map a Way to Zion

A reprise of a black sailor returning to land, Des Hommes et des Dieux reconnects man and water. The wind, salt and waves form a space to consider a relationship with one’s own faith and homeland. The shape of the island comes in to view in cinema, through the heat of the horizon, revealing the beauty of the landscape, the movement of people, its flexibility.

Wet skin dries in the sun.

The collection explores an expression of creole aesthetics, informed by French Caribbean philosophy and the notion of créolité - an active process of forming identity. The port as a site of exchange and transgression becomes a central and vibrant location, expressed in clothing inflected with nautical, sport and military influences. There is a vulnerability in the masculinity revealed through cropped peacoats, and floating shirting, the slits in wool trousers. Collective identity and collective effort are expressed through prints and hand painted reproductions of works from Jacob Lawrence’s migration series, the celebrated Afro-American painter served in the United States Coast Guard in the 1940s.

We are found in a Caribbean winter, an evening procession subtly influenced by forties french couture; waisted tailoring with exaggerated curved pockets in bat- tered ivory silk. An installation by Harlem based artist Eric N. Mack finds harmony with the grand European 18th century interior, enacting métissage, the weaving of new identities.

REFERENCES


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Lawrence, J., 1993. Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. The Museum of Modern Art, The Phillips Collection. Mercer, K., 2016. Travel & See. Duke.
Miller, K., 2014. The Cartographer Tries To Map a Way to Zion. Carcanet Press Ltd.
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Walcott, D., 1970. Dream on Monkey Mountain: and Other Plays. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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Aime Cesaire: A Voice For History (1994) Directed by Euzhan Palcy [Documentary].
Des Hommes et des Dieux (2002) Directed by Anne Lescot and Laurence Magloire [Documentary].
Ashes (2002–15). Directed by Steve McQueen [Video Installation].

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