Big Smoke – Credits

Creative Director: Talia Jade Lewis
Model: Vera from Boss Models Management
Make-up Artist: Rachel Vickers
Assistants: Beth Jordan

Talia Jade Lewis graduated with a first class BA (hons) in Fashion Promotion with Styling from the University of Central Lancashire in 2013. You can contact Talia by e-mail at or via twitter @taliajadelewis. You can follow her on Pinterest, Tumblr or via her website.


Talia what is the background of your video Big Smoke?
This film was one of the last projects I did for my degree. It was also my first fashion film.
Fashion film is fast becoming the main medium for fashion communication and I was determined to excel.

The project brief was completely open. A review of the ‘Light Show’ at the London Haywood Gallery in Aesthetica magazine entitled Enlightened Spaces made me want to investigate the use of light and space. I visited the exhibition; there the artist Anthony McCall explained “Using a video projector of a strong white light in a huge room that can be walked around, into and through.” Artists such as Ann Veronica Jansens and Olafur Eliasson experimented with light, colour and perception, in order to surprise or height perceptual awareness. A flashing stroboscopic light for example, may give the impression of reversing or stopping movement.


My visit at the Hayward gallery was followed by one to ‘Glam! The Performance of Style‘ at Liverpool’s Tate. The show offered a refreshing perspective on 1970’s art and visual culture and its emergent erotic style celebrated through the use of materials such as feathers, fur, vinyl and glitter. A couple of pieces by French photographer Guy Bourdin evoked filmic glamour and made me think of Hollywood and film noir.

An installation by Marc Camille Chaimowicz called ‘Celebration? Real Life’ (1972) was a sparkling, glitter-covered piece, complete with mirrors, mirror balls, stage lighting, projection and music of David Bowie. This piece in particular led me to want to create a fashion film combining light, smoke and glamour.

I researched the depiction of glamour in film, looking further at Guy Bourdin but also David Lynch’s ‘Blue Velvet’ and the work of stylist Caroline Baker and photographer David Bailey. Erwin Blumenfeld did some film experiments using smoke, light and mirrors. The unfinished 1960s French film by Henri-Georges Clouzot ‘L’enfer’ shows actress Romy Schneider play around with light, smoke, glitter, water and mirrors. All this fed into my research and idea really well.


Talia Lewis

Talia Lewis

What was the objective of your video, what did you try to achieve with it?
I wanted to create a mood and feel of empowerment and a sense of seduction. My film purpose is not definite; it could be used for an ad campaign or as an inspirational piece.
What do you feel is the role of the fashion film?

Still images can create a mood and a feel but with film you get drawn in; it demands time and attention. A still image is more about an initial reaction. Right now fashion film is moving so fast! Everyone wants to see clothes moving; there is a huge market for it. Look at the perfume ads, they are so much more experimental now, I love it!

Can you tell us how you chose the model and the music?
Casting the model was hard because I knew exactly the look I wanted. The model had to be a confident high fashion model with a face that would look great on film. Eventually I found, Vera from Boss models management in Manchester; she is perfect and completely makes this film.

I found the music only after I had edited the film. It is entrancing and helps to focus attention on the model’s eyes and this is exactly what I was aiming for. The music adds sparkle and mystery to my film.

If you were to change anything what would it be?
If I could change anything I would edit my film down as I feel some parts can feel a little repetitive and too long.

How was your video a collaborative project?
My role was creative director; I filmed and edited the video, styled it and sourced the location, model and crew. I mostly worked independently; the team came together on the day of the shoot. On set we had one make-up artist and two assistants.


The make-up artist had done a number of trials prior but apart from that it was all on the day. I had created mood boards and story boards for the team. I enjoy working in a team and on the day everything ran really smoothly.

What kind of fashion films do you like?
In general I like dark colour palettes and reflective effects; I also love the fast forward effect. As you have probably gathered by know I love the films by Guy Bourdin. Henri-Georges Clouzot ‘L’enfer’ with actress Romy Schneider is an absolute classic. But these are not fashion films.

I like KTZ AW13 – shown below – Gareth Pugh by Ruth Hogben, “Heart to Mouth” by Bart Hess, Tribute to Alexander McQueen by Nick Knight, music by Björk and in a complete different genre, Ryan Mcginley’s Beautiful Rebels for Edun SS12 …
What changes would you like to see within the fashion industry?

Big Smoke 03

My one area of the fashion industry I would like to see change is work experience and internships: I think this is a key area that gets missed by many within fashion education. I was lucky to have an amazing tutor that pointed out a competition that led to me securing an internship at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. I feel there needs to be more internship available; more paid internships!

How do you imagine your future?
After graduating I have had a number of interviews and I am happy that my portfolio is well received. I have heard from Net-A-Porter about a work placement and I am going back to Harper’s Bazaar this September for another internship. I have also offered to assist a few of the stylists I have worked with in the past. I want to build my experience and portfolio.

To be honest … I probably should not say this … I could spend years working in a fashion cupboard at a magazine. I loved working at Harper’s Bazaar and as long as I’m in fashion I know I will be happy! I love to collect ideas, research and analyse creating story and mood boards. I could sit for ours going through collections…

My dream job would be as a creative director or freelance stylist. I am a hardworking and I always push myself to excel.



Written by Modeconnect

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