2021 Woolmark Prize Finalists Collaborate with Saint Heron to Create Short Film Showcase ‘Passage’

2021 Woolmark Prize Finalists Collaborate with Saint Heron to Create Short Film Showcase ‘Passage’

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2021 Woolmark Prize Finalists Collaborate with Saint Heron to Create Short Film Showcase ‘Passage’

The film Passage honors the work of the 2021 Woolmark Prize finalists.

The film Passage honors the work of the 2021 Woolmark Prize finalists.

Text: Samantha Vogel

The Woolmark Prize is one of the most prestigious awards among the fashion community. It celebrates rising fashion designers worldwide whose work demonstrates the finery of Australian Merino Wool. Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani — these are just a few examples of designers who have won and gone on to become some of the most respected designers in the industry.

The finalists for the 2021 Woolmark Prize are Bethany Williams (UK), Casablanca (France), Kenneth Ize (Nigeria), LECAVALIER (Canada), Matty Bovan (UK), and Thebe Magugu (South Africa).

Models wearing garments by Bethany Williams. Photo Courtesy of International Woolmark Prize.
Model is wearing garments by Thebe Magugu. Photo Courtesy of International Woolmark Prize.

This year Saint Heron, the creative agency established by singer/songwriter Solange Knowles, collaborated with the six finalists for the Woolmark Prize to create ‘Passage' —  a film created by Knowles and directed by MacArthur winning director Wu Tsang. Passage is a six-minute visual tour of the various garments designed by each finalist. 

“Solange's creative direction for our campaign film Passage allows the work of our six finalists to be brought to life and truly shine,” Stuart McCullough, Chief Executive Officer of The Woolmark Company, said. “With this year's award going completely digital, aligning with Solange's creative studio Saint Heron is a natural fit as we communicate the future of fashion and uncover the design leaders of tomorrow.”

Models wearing LECAVALIER in 'Passage'. Photos Courtesy of International Woolmark Prize.

In line with this year’s theme focusing on sustainability, ‘Less is More’, Passage focuses on nature and the celebration of slow fashion. ‘Passage’ explores the stages of creation and sustainability in six separate acts with styling by Ib Kamra and an original score by Standing on The Corner. The film emphasizes the natural and surreal characteristics of each designer’s garments through choreography and varying sets, detailing the stages of contemplation, courage, optimism, vulnerability, discipline, and strength.

Model wears garments by designer Casablanca. Image courtesy of International Woolmark Prize.

“‘Passage’ further explores my interest in theatrical production through the translation of identity, spirit, philosophy and creation,” Knowles said. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Wu Tsang’s work and to be able to work alongside her, the Saint Heron team, and all of the incredible artists and designers in the film, really fortifies the ethos of collaboration and communal creative exchange that we wish to continue to embody.”

 The film features a cast of up-and-coming musicians and notable figures modeling the garments, including Dionne Warwick, Dominique Jackson, SahBabii, Joi and KeiyaA.

KeiyaA wearing Matty Bovan. Photos Courtesy of International Woolmark Prize.

“Saint Heron's 'Passage' sets an artful, visual stage to empower a meditative reflection on fashion's unique connection to the body, while uplifting the designers' stories and intentions for their collections," Jackson said. "It was exciting to play a role in that conveyance.”

Dominique Jackson wearing Kenneth Ize in 'Passage'. Photos Courtesy of International Woolmark Prize.

The winner of the 2021 Woolmark Prize will be announced on June 10, 2021.

‘Passage’ creative team:

Created by Solange Knowles

Directed by Wu Tsang

Creative and Art Director: Solange Knowles

Styling Director: Ib Kamara

Music Composer and Score: Gio Escobar of Standing On The Corner Art Ensemble

Executive Producer for Saint Heron Films and Beyond 8 Productions: Brittney Escovedo

Producer for Saint Heron Films: Carolyn (CC) Concepcion

Cinematographer: Ryan Marie Helfant

Movement Director: Tosh (Boychild) Basco

Lighting Designer: John Torres

Scenic Designer: Carlos Soto

Set Designer: Javier Irigoyen

Casting Director: Mischa Notcutt

Make-up Lead: Yuki Hayashi

Hair Lead: Evanie Frausto

Nails: Sunshine Outing

Still Photographer: Ibrahem Hasan

Behind The Scene Photographer: Cary Fagan

Editor: Anthony Valdez

Editor: Nicolas Sessler

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