Behind the Magic of Lexus Design Disrupted

One of the highlights of New York Fashion Week was watching the already impressive Coco Rocha transform into a lightning-throwing whirlwind at the [Lexus Design Disrupted]((

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From the start, director duo Radical Friend set out to create a new kind of fashion show. “Beyond models walking on a catwalk, our aim was to use holograms, music and dance together in a way that gives you an immersive experience,” they said. Naturally, supermodel Coco Rocha (who was discovered at a dance competition) was the perfect leading lady.

With designer Giles Deacon’s collection as inspiration, choreographer Ryan Heffington was brought on to showcase live dancers who would perform alongside 3D projection mapping visual effects that were used to put a holographic TuPac on stage at Coachella so the real deal could stay hidden in Cuba.

“These technologies can have stunning effects on their own,” said Radical Friend, “but when we combined Musion’s hologram screens, 3D projected environments and live dancers it began to feel very new, like we had found the palette and tools we needed.” The only question that remained was figuring out how to bring everything together into a cohesive, ass-kicking package.

The original treatment came from LEGS director Andrew Thomas Huang and centered on a female character who struggles to battle the dark forces living inside her. The final story crystallized around one woman’s fight to control the “cosmic energy” that lives within herself as well as all beings and matter. Radical Friend says it wasn’t easy to find the right music to pair with the epic story, but they had an epiphany when they were hiking one day and ran into Jake Duzsik of rock band HEALTH.

“HEALTH’s music is this insane and beautiful collision of angelic voices and industrial ear bleed,” they said. “Their music drifts in and out of being almost melodic with hip hop bounce beats and then just completely decays into lush feedback soundscapes. This fit the world we wanted to create.”

By now you’ve already watched the video of Coco dancing and fighting her way past her inner demons. Now get this: The entire project had to be produced in only 6 weeks. No wonder that LEGS Executive Producer and Co-Founder Adam Joseph called the production a “magic act,” where everything had to blend seamlessly before it could go on stage for a live performance where anything could happen.

“For a live event like this, you can’t tweak anything as you can with so much that lives online today,” Joseph said. “However, these unknown elements are what make it really exciting. It’s like conducting a symphony – you must leave a certain magic to what happens onstage. You are choreographing a mood, an environment, an experience.”

Because of the time constraints, the presentation was being created and choreographed at the same time that Lexus was approving the different elements. All of which makes it even more amazing that the video that you’ve now likely watched two or three times features no extra visual effects added after the performance.

“Everything that you see in the film was shot in camera and what the audience there saw at the event – there are absolutely no visual effects created on top of the video,” Joseph said. “It’s amazing and inspirational what technology can help accomplish when paired with the right artists and vision.”

Watch the full 15-minute performance here.

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