Behind the scenes of the When our eyes met Raya 2015 campaign

ELLE's fashion editor gives us a glimpse behind the first Raya collection from local designer Yasmin Ramli

By Shahrezzan Ezani | Published: 27 May 2015

WOEM Raya 2015
Photo: When our eyes met

I’ve worked with Yasmin Ramli, the creative director of local label When our eyes met, for years. We started by dabbling in planning awesome parties many moons ago, and we’ve had a working relationship ever since. There’s this synergy between us; we’re usually always on the same wavelength – and being on the same wavelength with another person isn’t easy to come by.

Since the inception of When our eyes met in 2012, I’ve been involved in building the brand’s visuals with Yasmin. For the first campaign we did, I photographed the model – who was fashioned after Rachel (played by Sean Young) in Blade Runner – in an Indian barber shop. Each campaign we do is different, conceptually, and emotionally. Yasmin is influenced by many things, and in turn she influences me and opens my eyes to many new things, from finding beauty in the darkest, most morbid depths to taking the most straight up tongue-in-cheek approach to fashion. We’ve been influenced by everything from witches to graffiti art, aliens, the pyramids… you name it, Yasmin is open to it.

(Photo: When our eyes met)

For her brand’s first Raya collection, it was a little tricky. How do you make something festive for a brand that delights in darkness? Deduct the festive, and stick to the brand’s image of course. Yasmin introduced me to the bruleé process – developing photographs by first burning the negatives to create distorted imagery. Unfortunately I don’t photograph on film, but we’re in the 21st century and this bruleé process can of course be achieved digitally.

Sure, it may seem the easy way, but when it comes to bruleé-ing on Photoshop, it’s very much like painting. There’s more flexibility and you test your imagination and creativity much more (not that I’ve tried the original bruleé process, but I imagine so). And it's a very deliberate kind of distortion, to become what I view as aesthetically pleasing (and it took a few hours and more than a few tries).

For the viewer, there may need to be some thought before accepting the images of these campaigns. And that’s what Yasmin intends under her creative diection. For me, creating these images with Yasmin brings me somewhere else – it’s not the usual gorgeous shot. There’s a story behind it, and for Yasmin it delves deeper. All I do is translate that for her.

Select pieces from When our eyes met's 2015 Raya collection are available at Catalogued multi-label store from today (27 May), while the full collection will be available at ShoesShoesShoes at the end of the month. 

Related: When Our Eyes Met KLFW14


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