MTV “Fashionably Loud”


This was one of the first Brand New School projects I’ve worked on, and one of the most fun. It took us about five minutes to come up with the concept, and three weeks of painstaking rotoscoping action to get it done.

The graphic concept of the show opens is a simple pun on the title “Fashionably Loud.” We devised a visual world where textile colors, patterns and styles are clashing. We browsed through the history of fashion and textile design and illustration and came up with two strategies:

The first was inspired by an old fashion designers’ and dressmakers’ trick, where cutouts of dress shapes serve as masks for trying out textiles samples. We created a symbiosis of photographic skin and hair, and flat graphics within the shapes of the clothes and the backgrounds. Both the silhouettes and the patterns could move separately, which created a whole lot of techniques to play around with: The patterns could cycle though pieces of clothing, or switch between the dress and the background, or we could cut to another figure while the pattern inside of the clothes stayed in place. We designed some of the patterns ourselves, and paraphrased others from current and historic designs. All were redrawn and animated.

The second strategy was to not shoot on film, but with a motor still camera, and then edit the pictures into a sequence. While this choice was initially dictated by MTV’s limited budget, we soon appreciated the brilliant quality of fashion photographs set into motion.

We worked very closely with Venice-based music house Machine Head. The eclectic diversity of the textile patterns was expressed by samples of random vinyl records. The sampled bits were heavily syncopated to underscore the jagged nature of the picture edits.

MTV Fashionably Loud Open (2000/0:53)


Client: MTV Networks, New York
Production Company: Brand New School, Los Angeles
Creative Director/Designer/Animator: Jens Gehlhaar
Creative Director/Designer/Photographer: Jonathan Notaro
Designer/Animator: Sean Dougherty
Photographer: Pat Notaro
Animator: Brumby Boylston
Producer: Angela de Oliveira

Music: Machine Head, Venice Beach

Awards: 365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 22
AIGA “Grown in California” 2004