Reflecting the pagan influences seen in the Spring/Summer 2015 collections, Nick Knight and Charlotte Stockdale set out to create a strange, mystical fashion story set in sacred woodlands near Stockdale's home in Basingstoke and depicting fictional satanist rituals. Playing with the believability of the still versus film, Knight shot series of photographs and put them together to create choppy, unnerving short films.
Named Aquelarre, after the place where witches held their meetings with the devil, the editorial features in the special 'artificial reality' S/S 15 issue of Garage Magazine, in which the covers and much of the content is brought to life by viewing the print magazine through the Garage Mag app. Seen through the virtual reality of a phone screen, Knight's desolate, scene-of-the-crime style photographs become nightmarish, horror movie vignettes.
'I liked the idea that we go to the cinema to be scared, that human beings need to be, or enjoy feeling anxiety or fear, and they'll actually pay for that. Isn't it strange that photography never really does that? It's fairly bad at delivering any emotional punch, where-as the poorest film or TV can easily reduce you to tears. I wanted this series to create fear and discomfort rather than the usual objective of a fashion editorial, which is to make you say 'Oh how beautiful,'' Knight stated.
To further emphasise the anxiety producing viewing experience and furnish the horror with a particularly contemporary slant, SHOWstudio's digital art director Jon Emmony added fake 'malware' to two of the films. Finally artist and frequent SHOWstudio collaborator Rei Nadal matched up each film to Wikipedia links featuring urban legends and shocking true stories, blurring even more the lines between fiction and reality. This final touch cites the mass panic caused by H.G Wells' 1968 War of the Worlds broadcast, as Knight points out, 'in those days people believed the radio, now they believe Wikipedia'.
Explore Aquelarre to experience Knight's unsettling stories, and be sure to grab your copy of Garage Magazine, available in the SHOWstudio Shop.