Gif To The Face: Tumblr Gets Interactive

Black-and-white portraits of young models pulsate on a TV screen, the contours of their faces outlined in red and blue. Slip on a pair of 3-D glasses and their wide eyes and puckered lips pop — literally. Mr Gif has done it again!

Mr. Gif’s masterpiece is the result of a Tumblr Fashion Week collaboration that’s taken on a new dynamic this season by pairing bloggers with fashion designers such as Donna Karen, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta. The Tumblr crew snaps shots during the prep weeks leading up to Fashion Week Spring 2014 — photos that now line the walls of Milk Studios.

“I really love offline experiences with things that are meant to be online,” says Valentine Uhovski, who handles all things fashion for Tumblr. “When something goes beyond Tumblr, beyond the Internet.”

That’s exactly what Mr. Gif’s piece does. When Mark Portillo and Jimmy McCain, the guys behind Mr. Gif, were paired with IMG Models they knew their format of choice would be perfect for capturing some weird energy.

“They’ve been incredible in shooting faces and capturing young talent. So I wanted to give them the opportunity to shoot all of the new models at IMG,” Uhovski explains. “They had exclusive access to IMGs Fashion Week training program they have for the young models”

“We wanted to do something more interactive, where people could get involved by picking up the glasses and seeing it differently. Instead of just looking at a static image,” Portillo says.

Portillo and McCain’s background is in illustration but they transitioned to photography with surprising ease. But taking gifs out of the internet — now that was a challenge.

“It’s good to get out of the Internet and have it be more participatory,” says McCain of the collaboration. “Not only are the bloggers directly interacting with the designers, but you actually meet and talk to the people behind these Tumblrs.”

The Tumblr collaboration includes 26 bloggers, 20 of whom are all-stars from the previous five seasons (including Mr. Gif) and six new bloods. Matching the blogger to the designer was based on the blogger’s vision and style, whether they focus on womenswear,menswear or accessories.

“This season, we chose to focus on breathtaking photographers,” Uhovski says. “So I’m excited to see what will come out of this week, especially the six who are focusing on Made Fashion Week.”

Photos by Maxime La

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