Prada Parallel Universes, a series of illustrated animated gifs, is an exercise that grows out of the drive to experiment with new communications media. We talked with illustrator Vahram Muratyan, that recently published his book "Paris vs. New York", about the project and how it works to collaborate with a luxury label.
How did the project Parallel Universes get born? Can you explain the idea behind it and how it all started?
Everything started with desire and crossovers. The idea behind the project is close to what I felt when doing my personal project Paris versus New York, a tally of two cities: being playful and falling deep for positivity, working hard until keeping the essential shape and color, try giving a new sense of hope for the future by looking at good memories from the past: Speedy cars, sunshine and sunsets, hobbies like golf, swimming or even surfing, all light and fun. In a way, Italian Riviera meets California.
In what is different to work for a fashion label, and especially such as Prada?
Prada has one extraordinary DNA, and there's something you feel: creative freedom. This allowed me to express my own point of view and vision on this collection. I've learned over the past years as a graphic artist to let my mind go to create surprising outturns, even when it's a commissioned project like this one. In the end it's all about how you tell a story. You deconstruct the well-known and you think about new ways to rebuild something outstanding.
The graphic line of Parallel Universes is really faithful to your personal style, and give the feeling of old and playful advertisings. How did you manage to translate Prada 50's inspired collection to your own language?
I've looked at this collection of accessories, how the ladies and the gentlemen would feel wearing them, where they would go with them, day-dreaming. It's a very simple feeling: Endless roads and landscapes, seeing new possibilities. A very post-WWII feeling… a bit like today perhaps. A perfected vision of holidays, a place mixing sexy and harmony, where everyone would like to escape.
For this particular project, can you tell us a little more about your process of creation? Are you drawing everything by hand or directly on computer ?
After getting the principal informations, sketches and words on paper are the first step I guess. Then when I feel the composition is right, I work the definitive image on my Mac.
You presented a serie of animated gifs for Prada. Is it a new direction in your work? Are you working on more animated or video projects or are you planing on new series?
Even if at first they were considered only as still graphic art, I really enjoyed having those drawings animated. It's definitely something I consider doing in the future. If the project justifies the creative process and is fun enough. Yes, summer's here, let's have fun until the next series.
You can see the animated gifs at our Tumblr