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Reed plus Rader

Published by Judith Brachem on 29-Mar-2013 Fashion
Tags: , reed + rader

Somehow, the fashion industry managed to be lagging behind. While every other branch of the economy leverages every new advantage, the clothing industry seems to need some avant-gardists to herald a new age. Reed + Rader is a good example of that. After decades of fashion illustration followed by years of fashion photography, everyone expects fashion film to be the next big thing. Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader don’t. Their very own future of fashion editorials is GIFs.

Inspired by cats and video games they create worlds where high fashion and craziness go hand in hand. Their clients include V Magazine, Dazed & Confused and Victoria’s Secret. They bridge the gap between digitalisation of fashion and embracing the established. For the couple from New York, still photography makes no sense in a world where so much more is possible.

They met at university, studied photography and ended up working and living together for now about ten years. With projects called “Dubstep Dinosaurs” or “I hate Kitties” they definitely build their own universe. Why is it they seem so fashion-forward though using something so retro like GIFs? We all know GIFs from the late Nineties, and we know awesome fashion photography. But they created something new, something unexpected by mixing it up. Reed + Rader just seem wild in a rather conservative fashion world.

The British retailer Topshop joined forces with Google to show an interactive fashion show, the new label & Other Stories got thousands of fans via Facebook before selling one piece of clothing. Bit by bit, fashion is conquering the digital world. But still the most prevalent medium in fashion is the magazine. Why do we put something so dynamic like garments into stills?

Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader dropped out. Using the whole potential of the digital channel, they get more and more clients for their GIFs and short films. And the best part of it: they’re not going pseudo-futuristic neither past negating. Many of their props are handmade, their aesthetics are inspired by the old Nintendo look and retro style. For them, it’s no conflict to use the big rivals. It’s not nostalgia versus digitisation. It is about celebrating both.

Though many professionals prognosticate the downfall of the print sector, there will always be the little girl stealing her mother’s magazines and the fanciers craving for haptic experience of words and images on paper. But why not using today’s possibilities? Why not utilise the potential of reaching fashion lovers all over the world? And by that, Reed + Rader are even going one step ahead.

Their next big plans include interaction. One day the web is going to make us all the art directors, the photographers, the participants of fashion. And until then, why not use the Internet to look at some 19th century fashion illustrations? Because it’s no conflict, it’s not comparing the new with traditions. It is about embracing both.

Judith studied Fashion Journalism at the AMD Academy for Fashion and Design in Hamburg and is, currently, interning at Teaser Magazine.

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