Q&A: 'The Shadowed Home' Director Isabelle Lucente

by SHOWstudio on 20 August 2021

Lucente talks horror films, returning to her childhood home during lockdown, and how she managed to translate her feelings of paranoia into a collection that makes the wearer feel as uneasy as the viewers of her short film, The Shadowed Home.

Lucente talks horror films, returning to her childhood home during lockdown, and how she managed to translate her feelings of paranoia into a collection that makes the wearer feel as uneasy as the viewers of her short film, The Shadowed Home.

While filmmaker and designer Isabelle Lucente was studying for her final year at Parsons School of design, the world shut down and went into lockdown, leaving Lucente with no choice but to hunker down in her childhood home. This is where the inspiration began for her film The Shadowed Home, which explores her feelings of paranoia and showcases her final collection. SHOWstudio spoke with Lucente about the meaning behind the clothing featured in the film and her interest in the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

'The Shadowed Home' Isabelle Lucente

Christina Donoghue: What was your first introduction filmmaking?

Isabelle Lucente: This project was created for my senior fashion design thesis at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. Due to completing the year virtually due to the pandemic, we had many digital requirements, one of which was to create a film for our collection. Therefore, this film was born from necessity, since it was required to graduate. In doing this film, I realised I really enjoy working on a set and and styling too.

CD: How did you come up with the idea for this film? 

IL: The idea for the film was developed around December 2020 and was then shot in April 2021. The clothing from the collection was based on the paranoia I felt in my childhood home when I returned home due to COVID. Therefore it only made sense to shoot it within the same location that inspired the collection. From the start, I knew that I wanted the model to appear in random locations throughout the house and then disappear as if a figment of my imagination. The film was shot from my perspective, as if I were returning home for the night in a paranoid state that led me to believe I was seeing ghosts.

CD: Can you tell me a bit about the clothes used on the model in the film and how you think they 'add' to the general mood of your short film?

IL: The clothes in the film were handmade by me over the span of my final year in university. The Shadowed Home collection focuses on six specific fears that stemmed from the paranoia I felt during the pandemic. The fears encompassed sound, sight, and touch and are translated into event-wear/costume pieces. The garments feature non-traditional materials to evoke a sense of unease in the wearer as well as anyone perceiving them. Therefore, the garments and the video are connected since they are both inspired by the feeling of being uncomfortable, or paranoid, in a place of comfort; one's home.

CD: Are you inspired by thrillers in general? If so, which ones particularly inspire you?

IL: Yes! I drew inspiration for this project from many things including movies and shows. I was heavily inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's films like Psycho, Rear Window, and Vertigo. I also watched American Horror Story, A Quiet Place, The Adams Family and many others as research for this project.

'The Shadowed Home' Isabelle Lucente
Interviewer:
Interviewee:
Isabelle Lucente

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