'WE MAKE IT RAIN'
ISAAC SILVA LOOKER AND ROSE THOMAS ARE THE CREATORS OF FASHION LABEL NYMPHETS. GRANT FELL LEARNS OF I NSPO FROM NABOKOV TO LYNCH, CLOTHING AVALANCHES AND MAKING IT RAIN. PHOTO: FRANCES CARTER
Grant Fell: Who are the Nymphets, and why are you called Nymphets? Rose Thomas and Isaac Silva Looker are the creators of Nymphets, but we have many inspiring friends that are involved with our projects and wear our clothes Rose: The name Nymphets comes from the novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I’ve been obsessed with this novel ever since I first read it as a teenager. I feel like it’s best to read the book yourself and take what you will, than for me to try and explain a definition. But what I’ve taken from it is the idea of eternal youth that is bratty and extravagant, infatuating and above all free. Rose, you had a previous label which you created when you were sixteen, tell us about it… Rose: I don’t like to talk too much about my past projects, but I’ve been making clothes since I was a preteen and I have boxes and boxes of clothes I’ve made, some unwearable, some half-finished. I have a fear that one day an avalanche of my clothing will come and suffocate me in glitter and neon and fake fur. Am I right in thinking that you are big time classic science fiction fans? Rose: I’m obsessed with film and love David Lynch and David Cronenberg’s movies. I like beauty that appears confusing and nonsensical to an outside observer. And Sexuality and innocence play a big roll in my aesthetic, I want my clothes to give the impression that the wearer is from a mysterious, surreal place. Isaac: I’ve been inspired by Science fiction and Science in general since I was very young, apparently as young as 5-years-old my life goal was to be a scientist by day, rockstar by night, so I am infatuated with the magic and mystery that surrounds our very existence as well as the infinite beauty of the human imagination. The movie we totally agree on as being inspirational for us both is Lost Highway by David Lynch. Tell us about Cult Hero… Cult Hero, like most of the other collections, is influenced by pop culture and the environment in which we choose to surround ourselves. The idea of an organisation that reaches beyond the physical limits in which it is confined, to change the perception and ultimately the reality of the wearer was a big influence. We’ve used a lot of visual references to the most desirable commodities we could think of. And taken inspiration from some of the most richly extravagant personalities to create new cult leaders. Your prints, textiles and sometimes materials are definitely a feature – how do you create, say that print with the faces or dollar notes? Rose: We digitally designed all of our prints and got them printed at a specialist facility in America, which allowed us to have even more creative control over every step of the process. I’m also particulary interested in fabric with stimulating and tactile textures, I love touching clothes and being surprised by how they feel. What's up with your tag line Nymphets Gets You Wet?? We make it rain. Nymphets is a sweet mix of fashion, art, film, events and community – did you start out with a multi-disciplinary approach in mind or has that kinda happened organically? Isaac: We are interested in lots of different artistic practices, and never feel the need to be limited by one particular medium. And because we are surrounded by such incredible creative people we are constantly being inspired and supported which gives us the freedom to try new things. Rose: I’ve always thought making things involves being accessible to a range of different people, by making music videos or doing installations Nymphets can reach people who would not normally care about fashion. Who is the ultimate Nymphets model? Rose: Isaac Silva Looker, Babe! Isaac: Mykki Blanco is super amazing and talks about gender and beauty standards and sexuality and we both find it very inspiring. You guys have quite a creative posse around you – who else beside you two are Nymphets? Isaac: Any and everybody who has helped us with our projects or wears our clothes or follows our work. There are a few people we can always rely on giving up their time to help us out, like Tawahinga Butt, a musician and film maker, Frances Carter, the amazing photographer who took this picture has been helping us from the start, Beverly Lim who hypes us and makes sure our shows run smoothly, Lisandru Grigorut who has helped with many projects and at the moment we have an amazing intern from AUT, Bella Irving, helping us out. That’s just naming a few, we have amazing supporters. You have events like Bye Buy Nymphets and pop-up stores to make Nymphets available for your followers, where else can you buy it? We have pop-up stores every so often at Nymphets HQ on Cross Street, you can find out about them by following our Facebook page, also we have an online store you can check out at www.nymphets.co.nz and you can organise a private viewing by emailing us at email@example.com. What does the next 6 months hold for Nymphets?? We are doing an exhibition on Friday the 13th June 2014 at the new art gallery on K Road Fuzzy Vibes. The show is called Nymphets Gets You Wet, and it will have clothing on sale, an installation and a performance throughout the night. We are super excited for it, and will be working with some super talented people, it’s our last show before we leave the country and is a public event. After that we are going to America and London, to get some inspiration for our next move and meet more amazing people. www.facebook.com/nymphets www.nymphets.co.nz
Styling: Sebastian Mcgirr-hunt & Dylan James Richards H&M: Sharlene Cassidy using M.A.C Cosmetics Isaac wears: Jacket & shorts by Nymphets, turtleneck by Zambesi, slides, stylis's own. Rosie wears: Top by Nymphets, pants by Zambesi, shoes stylist's own