During Fashion Week the 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target collection was previewed at a private pop-up shopping event in New York City where "Stylescape," a larger-than-life interactive cinemagraph conceived by Mother NY to showcase the limited-edition collection as worn and blogged about by tastemakers across the US and Canada. WorldStage provided AV support for "Stylescape," for which the media and interaction systems and software were designed and implemented by Audio, Video and Controls (AV&C).
The event was held at Spring Studio on Varrick Street where shoppers clamored for Lim's clothing, shoes, bags and accessories for men and women while mingling with Jessica Alba, Solange Knowles, Nate Berkus, Maria Sharapova and Perez Hilton. Billed as a "North American fashion panorama," "Stylescape" served as a striking backdrop in the space, displaying notables photographed on the same day in various North American cities wearing Lim's collection. The panoramic, interactive video installation played out on a high-resolution 3.9 mm LED wall measuring 10 x 120 feet.
AV&C is a New York-based media and interactive systems and software firm, led by David Bianciardi, that bridges the gap between technology and design in the built environment. The company specializes in creating digital icons and interactive experiences in public spaces, so it was uniquely qualified to bring "Stylescape" to life.
For the pop-up shopping event, the team at Mother wanted to create something ambitious, engaging AV&C early in the process to design something aesthetically beautiful and technically sophisticated. The team finally settled on creating "the world's largest cinemagraph and make it interactive and responsive," says AV&C's Bianciardi. "We had a huge canvas of visuals shot in 6 locations by Peter Funch, acquired simultaneously in 6x 4K video and digital stills. The resulting composited canvas was beautiful in itself, then we introduced the cinemagraph's repetitive motion," which guests triggered by manipulating physical props, using social media services, or simply moving and posing in front of the interactive wall.
The idea was to play with blurring the boundaries of physical, social and digital media, he explains. "A famous blogger would stand next to a bus station in Dallas on the screen; viewers could Tweet her, she'd respond and it would show upon the poster at the bus stop. Or viewers could dance with a salsa dancer, take a photo with the designer, blow on pinwheels, etc. There were 40 opportunities for interaction. The way we combined techniques was unprecedented and the scale and resolution of this type of screen was unprecedented."
"David and the folks at AV&C are great at finding the sweet spot where technological sophistication and user enjoyment meet." says WorldStage president Josh Weisberg. "It's our job to mirror that philosophy in the implementation of the audio, video and lighting systems and in this project all of those elements came together successfully. You could see it in the faces of the guests interacting with Stylescape."
AV&C called WorldStage Integration VP & tech designer John Ackerman as soon as they were awarded the project. "John immediately got it," say Bianciardi, "and so did the superstars up and down the WorldStage ranks - that's what makes WorldStage the right partner for us. We made several visits to their shop and set up a series of technology tests with client and creative stakeholders. WorldStage provided the platforms for all the work we did on the interactive technology, and we wrote custom software that put everything together into a cohesive whole."
"By implementing (Derivative's) TouchDesigner platform and Pandora we enabled the client to put a really big tableau on a long videowall," says Weisberg. WorldStage also furnished 16-channel sound for "Stylescape" and a lighting package for the event. Michael Kohler was the Pandora programmer and Kate Brown was the audio engineer. AV&C's Vincent Houze led the visualization and interaction software development.
"We partner with WorldStage for their technical sophistication," say Bianciardi. "They understand what our requests mean and make suggestions as an active partner. They truly work in the service of design."
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.