Unfurled: Watch The Big Reveal here…
Words Nick Compton
Catapult Jake Sutton
A Film By Jacob Sutton
Father and son team Jake and Jacob Sutton collaborate on an exclusive film to dramatically unfurl a new season of menswear…Jacob Sutton is a fashion photographer and expert in ‘kinetic, explody things’. More specifically, he captures explosive, kinetic movement on film – the science and magic of it, the physical force and the occasional strange grace. Sutton’s work has often featured strange devices and functional (of sorts), sculptural elements. They make, or frame, movement. He calls in people to help with these. When he needs to make his ideas for moving image a reality, he often turns to the safest pair of hands he knows: his father’s.
Jake Sutton was – and still is – a professional painter as well as a member of the fantastically named Society of Model and Experimental Makers. ‘I had always been around dad’s model engineering things,’ Jacob explains. ‘And then, when I was studying photography at college we started with little projects. Dad was always good at problem-solving, so I would say, “Dad, I want to hang someone upside down!”
The father and son team have collaborated on every imaginable project over the years. The first was a film that would generate four million hits online and establish Sutton Jr’s reputation as the man for elegantly shot man-in-motion imagery. Jacob had decided he would shoot a pro snowboarder in action, at night, lit up like a council house at Christmas. And he called in Dad to help. Jake set to work, wiring thousands of LEDs into a white boiler suit which braved the freezing nights in the French Alps. ‘We tried it in the freezer at minus 15 and thought, ‘Well that’s ok’. But when we got out there to shoot, it was minus 25 at night. All the wiring was cracking and the suit was falling apart as we were using it. After every run, we had to repair it.’
There is one particular sort of mesmerising movement, though, that Jacob Sutton returns to again and again: dance. And perhaps the Suttons’ most powerful and effecting collaborations have been around dancers. This has been where Jake’s engineering and sculptural smarts have met Jacob’s mission to somehow decode the dancer’s art and celebrate the dance’s’ form, the extraordinary sinew and muscle and the memory and movement drilled into it. Among others, Jake created a rotating wooden box, moveable on multiple axes, and Jacob filmed Lil Buck, the prince of jookin’, apparently defying gravity inside. Less kinetic but just as startling in their own way was a series of sculptural forms Jake created for a Numéro Homme shoot with the Ukranian dancer Sergei Polunin.
For Issue 06 of Hole & Corner, the Sutton’s came together for an exclusive project – adopting a novel approach to the ‘big reveal’ of fashion shows for this film. Jake constructed a giant catapult-like contraption which unveils a fashion model once a candle has burnt through a piece of string holding the structure at tensile point. Captured in slow motion, the moment of violent velocity becomes a graceful transition…