Y’all basked in the neon afterglow of this video with a splendor of a thousand nerd suns! We reached out to stylist Madelaine Turner for a behind-the-scenes look at the making-of still feel by half alive: one of the most popular Style the Beat videos!
“Imagine Napoleon Dynamite in a Wes Anderson casting demo reel… Stylist Madelaine Turner manages to keep the revenge of khaki pants real cool. Long live Nerdgeekdom!”
How is music video styling different from other types of fashion-based projects?
With a traditional editorial shoot, you can get away with clipping sizing discrepancies for the sake of a still. With video, depending on what that the artist is attempting to do, you normally have to consider their ability to move in general. For this project, all items had fit exactly since all five subjects were doing choreographed movement. For example, we had a few jacket options that we absolutely loved for Brett Kramer (the drummer), but he wasn’t able to lift his arms in them. Not an option! For a drummer!
How do you choose stuff for a shoot with complex choreography & light changes?!
Well, Josh Taylor, the lead singer, came in with a ton of inspiration and a very clear vision. It’s always fun to work with an artist who dreams really big and your job is to scale everything down to reality. We wanted the look straight out of the 60’s and 70’s, so we sourced from a vintage costuming warehouse that specializes in period film and television. It was so fun and really helped in creating a seamless feel.
How challenging was it to achieve a cohesive visual for the entire band?
Oftentimes, the wardrobe really comes together as you’re pulling pieces and getting fresh ideas. For the “basic” sweaters and undershirts, we went to vintage stores and pulled pieces that enhanced the warm, earthy color palette. My absolute favorite look was the final piece Josh wears: the orange embroidered, double breasted jacket. We had no idea we were going to find anything like that and we ended up building a lot of the wardrobe around that piece.
Whose styling makes you go wow-now?!
I’m always surprised and wowed by what hip-hop artists bring to the table in terms of aesthetics and pushing boundaries musically, visually and socially. I could name a dozen names, but Tyler The Creator is a huge inspiration and influence to me right now. I feel he’s always elevating what he does.
What is your success-bound advice for the creatives starting out in the industry?
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. The best way to get your feet wet is to just go out there and style, style, style. Photographers are always looking for stylists and it’s a great way to build a portfolio. My favorite part of the job is getting to work with artists I admire on their ultimate creative vision. If I can just continue with that and be proud of the outcomes, that’s success to me.
Post-Paris Postscript: the video has been viewed 7,500,000+ times as of mid-October 2018 and the vibrant still alive visuals have generated a ton of fan art… This is how you know your work has struck the right chord(s)! Follow Madelaine Turner and half alive on Instagram for all the future coolness they’re sure to unleash onto the world… And check out the band’s own stylish merch!