Where others might see devastation, aridity, even danger, photographer Martin Tremblay sees the backdrop for his next fashion photoshoot—his last shoot, also featured in Schön, took place at 4,207 metres, at the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii.
Hardly surprising, then, that when he was deciding on his next location, he chose the most naturally unstable site in the world. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is a volcanic cone (what is it with volcanoes? you might ask) of the Kilauea in Hawaii has been in constant eruption since 1983. As of this writing it is under around-the-clock surveillance as a recent trend of deflation pours lava into the sea, forming some of the newest land on earth.
Not the most accessible of places, either. Tremblay and his crew reached, what he calls “the hot spot” after a hard 2-hour hike through a tropical forest in torrential rain. Once there he was stupefied and extremely excited to find that the rain had created an eerie steam that permeated everything. As they wandered around the site, Tremblay recalls, “The heat was so intense our shoes started to melt and I ended up having to throw out one of my cameras because it was irretrievably damaged by the extreme weather.”
His entourage included a professional volcano poker (something to consider when choosing your next career) who used a wooden spear to poke the volcano, with the same results you’d expect when poking a bear. Clearly her work inspired Tremblay who recreated her actions in some of these photos.
Big props go to stylist and fashion director Daniel-Bruno Fierreira, whose vision included 3-D wearables by designer LONG TRAN as well as designs by Moon Chang, the hot Korean designer, among others.
Of Russian model, Aliyah Galyautdinova, Tremblay says, “she has precisely the aesthetic I wanted: petite with a unique facial structure—wide-set eyes and plump lips. I just love that look!”
The resulting photos speak for themselves, worth, not only all that effort, but several thousand words. Each.
As for Tremblay, he’s already looking forward to his next project, his next discovery, his next canvas. Expect him to seek ever further for the most epic vistas to serve as backdrop to the most fashion-forward designs.
Martin Tremblay’s work has been published in several international magazines including ZINK, NOI.SE Aus. and Schön! Uk. and has won him several prestigious awards.
SOLAR STORM / NOI.SE MAG
SOLAR STORM_STYLE AND THE APOCALYPSE
Will style matter in a post-apocalyptic world? And if it does, what will it look like? Forget the functional, dishevelled looks featured on the Walking Dead, fashion photographer Martin Tremblay’s vision is spectacularly haute couture—if somewhat less practical. After all, if the end of days were near, wouldn’t we all want to go down wearing Channel?
Tremblay’s inspiration came from the huzler.com story/hoax claiming NASA had predicted that a massive solar storm would plunge the world in darkness for six days in December 2014. “I didn’t care if it was true or not,” he says. “I just looked for the sickest place in the world to shoot.”
He found it at 4,207 metres, at the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii, and home to the most powerful telescopes in the world. Nothing or little ever grows among the cinder cones and lava rocks, but the broad volcanic landscape provided Tremblay with the perfect setting.
Captured through the telescopes of the University of California and shot with Tremblay’s exceptional eye for the unexpected, the photos of Solar Storm actually make us gasp. The models themselves seem to be straining to breathe. Is there a correlation, or a message, here, about the rarefied air of the high-fashion world? Or are we just looking for meaning where there is (and what’s wrong with that?) just pure, unadulterated beauty. After all, at the end of the day—or days as it were—it’s all any of us can hope to leave behind. Tremblay certainly will.
Solar Storm is featured in Australian magazine NOI.SE. Actually more of a high-end coffee-table book, NOI.SE showcases the best in fashion, design, culture and art from around the world.
Designers include: 5 Min Wu, Laruelle, Jacquemus, Travis Taddeo, Kris Vanassche, Maison Matthew Gallagher, Marie Saint-Pierre, Viktor & Rolf and Chanel.
FORTUNE COOKIE / SCHÖN! MAG
Montréal photographer Martin Tremblay’s recent shoot commissioned by the prestigious fashion/art magazine SCHÖN! is garnering some richly deserved praise.
Entitled “Fortune Cookie”, the shoot reveals Tremblay’s unique vision by juxtaposing a deep appreciation, and a healthy irreverence, for fashion images. On the one hand, the photographs indisputably raise the bar of aesthetic standards—the project took two years to research and required 160 hours of retouching—as the photographs are stunning in their beauty and timelessness, perfectly executed down to the slightest detail and nuance. On the other, Tremblay pushes the boundaries of traditional fashion photography by (literally) turning it on its head, forcing us to do a double take, to take a moment to think critically about how we tend to freely let images into our eyes but not our minds.
Make of that what you will, the artist himself makes no claims to a subliminal message here (no it’s not a social commentary about the weight of models). “I simply wanted to do something different by creating a link between two opposite worlds. As one woman has one experience in the world we see, something else is happening to someone else in exactly that same moment at exactly the opposite end of the globe”, says Tremblay.
At the end of the day, Fortune Cookie is the vision of a brilliant mind through a very clear lens.
Tremblay chose pieces by Givenchy, Marie Saint Pierre and Dolce & Gabbana for models Bayan and Cat who were styled by Pascal & Jérémie. The images were retouched in collaboration with Visual Box.