Bella Hadid has teamed up with artistic director Casey Cadwallader to be turned into a virtual avatar for a new Mugler campaign
Bella Hadid has been turned into a virtual avatar for a new Mugler campaign.
The 24-year-old model teamed up with Mugler’s artistic director Casey Cadwallader to create a digital film for the high end brand’s spring 2021 collection, which features the beauty in avatar form.
Casey explained that he didn’t want the brand to “go quiet” during what should have been fashion show season after several shows were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and so came up with the idea of doing everything virtually.
He said: “I said, ‘Wait, what if we make her into an avatar?’ I knew that Florian Joahn, the director of the film, had worked with a lot of CGI artists before, so we could play with CGI in the movie.
“We found a studio in Brooklyn and then Haley Wollens, the [New York–based] stylist that I work with, went with Bella to the studio and prepped her hair and makeup. Then all of a sudden Bella was standing there, you know, pretty much naked!”
Whilst Bella filmed the project from New York, Casey and the rest of his team were based in Paris, France, and so he watched the process of creating “Digi-Bella” happen over a Zoom call.
He added: “We got her 3D form and then we had to really scratch our heads and say, ‘What are we going to do with it?’”
The finished result is a catwalk virtual Bella that opens the video wearing a white tank and seamed jeans, before she later transforms into a Pegasus-centaur hybrid leaping off the Palais Garnier.
Casey said of the CGI masterpiece: “I thought that that was a good fit for Bella because I know she rides horses and loves horses. I thought that she would get a kick out of it.”
Bella closes the film with the rest of the cast in a black bodysuit.
Speaking to Vogue magazine, Casey said of the film: “I didn’t want to mess it up. And that’s a lot of pressure because she’s a gorgeous human being and I take a lot of responsibility in taking her into the virtual world.
“I love my cast so much. We spend so much time thinking about every single person, because it’s not just about their external aesthetics. It’s about this amazing glow that comes from within these really confident and amazing modern people.
“Things have changed a lot in the last 10 years. In the past it was just the brand mowing over the person; you used to work with the model and transform her. Now you work with a model because of who they are. You don’t want to plaster over someone and take away their identity.”
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