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MAN OF MYSTERY: Jonathan Saunders has collaborated with filmmaker Justin Anderson on a four-minute silent movie called “Jumper,” about a traditional European family that encounters a mysterious visitor. Set in a modernist villa, “Jumper” was inspired by David Hockney’s swimming pool series of paintings and by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s mystery movie “Teorema.”
The film begins with a man dressed in a brightly hued Jonathan Saunders ensemble. He undresses and jumps into a backyard swimming pool. A woman steps into the backyard and sees the naked man climb out of the pool. While she stands silent, he remains in the backyard and stands by a window looking into the dining area.
The scene changes and a family of four are gathered at the dinner table — all of them dressed in Saunders’ designs — as the naked man watches them from outside. The next few moments in the film reveal that this man has a certain tie to each family member. While this is clearly not a traditional fashion film, Saunders said he was very keen about the concept.
“I’m obsessed with the composition of color, and to me that is one of the strongest and most inspiring concepts of the film,” he said in an exclusive interview with WWD. “Justin approached me with a concept. I loved what he has done in the past, and so was really excited to work with a medium I hadn’t worked with before. I often use film as a reference for design or creating a character to portray for the runway and many of Justin’s references were akin to what I love.
“Justin and Rob [Godbold, the executive producer] were brilliant and communicated the story they had with me in mind, and we worked together on the direction for the movie, the cast and what they wore. It was refreshing to work in such a collaborative way, as I am so used to having quite a solitary approach to the design process. Justin mentioned that he did not have the desire to make a traditional ‘fashion film,’ and that the film had a realism to the portrayal of the character, no fantasy clothes. In this way, it’s very different from design. The characters and what they would do was more important than what they would wear.”