Barneys New York, the luxury specialty retailer, announced its spring campaign, Mantle, a virtual reality experience with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The iconic New York institutions have joined forces to create a virtual reality short film that blends fashion, technology and contemporary dance, premiering in Barneys New York stores in exclusive designer looks straight from the runway. The experience can be viewed in Barneys New York stores with Gear VR powered by Oculus, through the Samsung VR app, and online at Barneys.com.
“Barneys’ mission is to allow people to interact with our creative content in as many ways as possible, and technology can bring this dance piece to life in an unprecedented way,” says Barneys Creative Director Matthew Mazzucca. “Within VR and 360 environments, as well as through the variety of formats we’ve created, no two viewers will have the same experience of the dance, and that’s exciting.”
Filmed using 360-degree camera technology, Mantle tells a story through its four principal dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company, who embody character archetypes representing parts of the human psyche: Power, Ethereal, Possessed, and The Cleaner. Directed by Theo Stanley and choreographed by Cynthia Stanley, Mantle features a diverse cast of dancers, with the four principal dancers, as well as former company members ranging in age up into their 70s, many of whom have been with the group since the days of Graham herself.
The full cast of dancers brings the story to life in the modern designs of Prabal Gurung, The Row, Rick Owens, Loewe, and Craig Green. The wardrobe featured in the piece will be displayed in the windows at Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue flagship, as well as within the store at the virtual reality experience. Additional collaborators on Mantle include composer Sam Wagster, set designer Stefan Beckman, makeup artist James Kaliardos, and hairstylist Jeff Francis.