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Dig This! Rebecca Moses Brings Animation Into Fashion

Animation World Magazine takes a jaunt into the innovative and remarkable: this month we look at fashion designer Rebecca Moses' animated film, The Discovery of India.

Download a Quicktime movie of Rebecca Moses' animated fashion show, The Discovery of India. 1.1 MB. © Rebecca Moses.

© Rebecca Moses.

The fast-paced world of international fashion is an unlikely place to find animation. But fashion designer Rebecca Moses has challenged that notion by using animation to showcase her designs. Moses, an American-born, Milan-based designer of luxury apparel (her clothes sell for U.S. $700 and up), developed the idea of animating her drawings while working on a collection inspired by India. At the encouragement of her sister, Deborah Moses and her company Moses Media, as well as Nick and Gretchen van der Grinten of Detour Design, both based in New York, Rebecca designed characters which could be animated. Rebecca's designs were brought to life in the form of a colorful, playful and truly unique film titled The Discovery of India.

© Rebecca Moses.

Rebecca's colored sketches--about 20 in all--were drawn on scraps of paper, complete with backgrounds. At Detour, the art was then scanned and colored in Photoshop, where the backgrounds were separated and the characters split into pieces and transformed into cut-out-like puppets, then animated as such with Adobe After Effects. The project was a challenge for Detour, a small design studio that mainly focuses on print media and broadcast design, for which the most animation is often moving type. But, said Nick van der Grinten, their approach was "deliberately un-sophisticated," which facilitated their production schedule: less than one month!

The completed three-and-a-half-minute animation was first screened as a surprise introduction to Rebecca Moses' Spring '98 Collection, before the models hit the runway, at a show for the industry and media. "The fashion world is way too serious, " said Deborah Moses, "I think this woke them up. It takes a lot of courage in this business to take chances and risks, and to incorporate a sense of humor."

For her next Spring Collection show, Rebecca designed a pop-up invitation, and a mural installation featuring 3D props made from her drawings. She would like to use animation again, but has no definite plans to do so yet.

Wendy Jackson is associate editor of Animation World Magazine.

What else should we dig? Every month, Animation World Magazine will highlight the most interesting, exciting happenings in animation, in "Dig This!" Send us your ideas, suggestions, videos, products or works-in-progress today. You dig? E-mail: