It's a fashion emergency
And so to a new video directed by Sydney-based filmmaker Alex Goddard.
Called ‘Model Subjects’, it was originally published on Spanish site Fucking Young on October 2, with accompanying still images by Chris Fatseas.
Normally Frockwriter prefers first-run material (memo to PRs) but we’re making an exception in this case to give the video/photos a wider run.
The storyline sees six Australian models undergoing a mysterious medical examination by a doctor – according to the credits a real doctor, Dr Christof Slawomirski.
The plastic drop sheet backdrop suggests the story unfolds within some kind of field hospital. Given that a/ the actors are professional models and b/ they are kitted out in latest season P.A.M., one might conclude that everyone is on location for a fashion shoot. And that the client might have either been a little OCD on the OHS factor – or on the contrary, that some major accident may have occurred on set. Just last month, Andrej Pejic had to be rushed to hospital after falling from his horse during location filming for the Turkish period drama Fatih.
Slawomirski hails from Polish extraction, but, curiously, delivers his dialogue in Russian - with the film’s Vimeo title also written in Cyrillic script that will presumably be indecipherable to non-Russian speakers.
English sub-titles clue the latter in to what’s going down in front of the camera.
Slawomirski administers eye drops, shines a torch in his patients’ eyes, gets them to breathe in and breathe out, asks if they can feel his hands touching their faces and gets them to repeat the number “seventy eight”. Amusingly, they’re all somehow able to understand his questions in Russian, but respond in English.
Although this point appears to have escaped the attention/interest of Fucking Young, on closer inspection Slawomirski – who bills himself on LinkedIn as a “visionary entrepreneur and investor” - is a real-life emergency specialist, who has worked in training as an Intensive Care Registrar at Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital for the past two years. And it's not the first time he has moonlighted as a fashion model. Back in 2009, he modelled some in-house merch for the Royal Perth Hospital.
The hospital/fashion shoot idea is not new.
For the July 2005 edition of Vogue Italia, Seven Meisel famously shot an epic 80-page cover story called 'Makeover Madness' that featured models Linda Evangelista, Elise Crombez, Euguenia Volodina, Missy Rayder, Julia Stegner, Inguna Butane, Hana Soukupova and Jessica Stam purportedly undergoing/recuperating from various cosmetic surgery procedures. It was shot in a medical equipment rental facility and a suite at New York's St Regis hotel. Tom Ford ran with a similar idea with Crystal Renn in the December 2010 edition of Vogue Paris - adding post-operative sexual therapy to the equation.
However as far as Frockwriter can ascertain, neither story featured any real medical staff in the roles of the doctors and nurses, merely actors.
Slawomirski was unreachable at press time, but according to Goddard, he demonstrates two real medical examinations in the video: a Cranial Nerve Examination and a Respiratory Examination.
Goddard denied claims on Fucking Young that the video was meant as a statement on the “objectification, examination and the process of being judged” that “are all too familiar for these model subjects”, telling Frockwriter that the medical examination idea is one that he’s been tossing around for some time and he "just wanted to make a hypnotising sort of video that you just kind of become immersed in”.
Why the Russian dialogue?
“To make it more unique and make it that little bit more random” said Goddard, who originally hails from Perth, where he reports he first befriended Slawomirski about seven years ago.
“He’s a crazy guy” said Goddard, adding that the video was shot two months ago in Sydney. Goddard claims that the original plan was in fact to shoot inside St Vincents, but plans fell through at the last minute, necessitating a last-minute booking at a photographic studio in Chinatown and the purchase of a $100 medical chair via Gumtree on the night before the shoot.
Although St Vincents’ public affairs and communications manager David Faktor confirmed Slawomirski's bona fides at the hospital, he told Frockwriter that he was not familiar with any request to shoot on site. Faktor added that Slawomirski’s thespian activities were not in any breach of any hospital guidelines, provided nothing in the video identified him as an employee of St Vincents.
ALL HIGHRES SUPPLIED DIRECTLY TO FROCKWRITER BY ALEX GODDARD
DIRECTOR/CREATIVE DIRECTOR: ALEX GODDARD PHOTOGRAPHER: CHRIS FATSEAS MAKEUP/HAIR: RENEE SAYED MUSIC: ERNST REIJSEGER AND FRANCO D'ANDREA
MODELS: CAITLIN LOMAX, SHANE GIBSON, NELSON GROOM, MIRO TEPLITZKY (IMG MODELS); GADIR RAJAB (CHIC); JAMES TSANG (D1)
CLOTHING: P.A.M., HARYONO SETIADI (#3)