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A Creative Meeting of Minds



Entitled ‘Masstige,’ shorthand for ‘prestige for the masses’ the next edition of Surface magazine (due out September 1st) promises to be crammed full of the new seasons fashion and style. The Shergill/Ghanem collaboration focuses on menswear, from top-end logoed-luxury from the likes of Chanel and Louis Vuitton to more directional pieces from designers such as Marjan Pejoski, Raf Simons and KTZ. Shot in a clean black and white portraiture style the results are stunning and peppered with plenty of references.



{mosimage}Not bad considering the bones of the shoot evolved from some experimental test ideas just a few months ago. “I didn’t want to do a show this season so I had an idea to do a shoot instead,” says Ghanem. “I wanted the shoot to have a luxurious campaign feel and yet retain a modern, urban element. Of course Ram Shergill was the perfect choice, so I approached him with my ideas.” The pair met through a mutual friend a few years ago and clicked immediately.



“Ram had a few new ideas of his own so we merged the two shoots together and came up with these renaissance style portraits,” Ghanem continues. “It was during this time that Surface magazine got in touch asking if they could feature some images from my Autumn/Winter collection. Of course I sent them an image from the Ram Shergill test shoot and the response was amazing.”



{mosimage}Surface offered Ghanem the chance to art direct his own shoot with Ram behind the lens and all the creative freedom they could possibly want. The only stipulation was the ‘Masstige’ theme, combining those luxury loving brands with an accessible edge.



Shergill and Ghanem got to work right away, pulling together reference images, casting models and organizing the clothes for the shoot. “I had some amazing support. Chanel and Louis Vuitton let me use whatever I liked.” It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, as one Paris based PR played the snotty stuck-up routine. “That PR really messed me around,” mentions Ghanem. “Luckily the owner of Kokon To Zai boutique helped out with the samples I was after. They were very supportive.”




{mosimage}Styling wise references ranged from traditional Arabian dress to Russian history with a touch of English Chav. “The styling is a bit religious and a bit mysterious, we came up with this rich kid idea based on the Beckham kids, so we deliberately chose young male models. In a way it was like letting a child loose in a very expensive sweet shop, when the models arrived on set they really got involved, trying out different ideas and styling some of the pieces on themselves,” mentions Ghanem.



Shergill kept the lighting clean and got exactly the right mood and pose from the models by closing the set. The entire shoot is riddled with contrasts and yet it all manages to work beautifully. There is a mutual respect between Ghanem and Shergill which makes for a great working relationship. “I consider Ziad as more than just a fashion designer or tailor, Ziad approaches clothes with an artistic point of view. When we first met we instantly clicked, with Ziad there is always fun and drama,” comments Shergill.



{mosimage}Meanwhile, the future looks busy for both designer and photographer. Ghanem will split his label in two with an affordable range of Ziad basics alongside a bespoke line called ‘Psycho-Logy.’ “The couture-style line will be all about personalization at the clients request and will only be available in a limited number of stores around the globe,” says Ghanem. Elsewhere, Shergill plans to take on the world of publishing in-between all his photography projects and campaigns. Launching next spring 2006 the new magazine he says: “Will be like a breath of fresh air for the market.”



Shergill, Ghanem & Surface has kindly given us a sneak preview of the shoot – to see the full glossy story pick up a copy of Surface magazine due out 1st September 2005.









By JoJo Iles www.fashionpr.co.uk


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