GAGA’S WORKSHOP is well underway at Barneys New York, but before you storm the gates for your Gaga goodies, pause to take in the 8 by 5 foot video wall in one of the Madison Avenue windows. The interactive Gaga Constellation features Lady Gaga re-imagined as a celestial being (not too far a stretch) amid a constellation peppered with tweets from Gaga fans around the world. (Want your message to get its moment in the sun? Tweet it to #gagastars, then check out all the tweets pouring in here.)
We chatted with the masterminds behind the window installation, Brook Armstrong and Kevin Kollenda of Q4, about their digital derring-do, sources of inspiration and very fashionable avatars.
Barneys New York: What first ran through your mind when you found out you’d be working on a project for Gaga?
Q4: To have as our second project the ingredients of the unparalleled genius of Lady Gaga, the rich history of Barneys New York and the creative drive of Nicola Formichetti was, in a word, awesome.
BNY: Tell us about Q4—where did the idea come from?
Q4: We created Q4 because we realized that the world’s most progressive and innovative industries—fashion and interactive gaming—hadn’t yet been connected in an intelligent and meaningful way. Our first foray into this uncharted territory was a collaboration with online gaming giant CCP and Nicola Formichetti, creative director at Mugler, wherein Zombie Boy (aka Rick Genest, the tattooed model and performer made famous by Mugler’s Fall 2011 campaign) was digitally recreated and rendered into the gaming environment of EVE Online, wearing custom-designed virtual fashion by Formichetti.
BNY: How did you decide to integrate Twitter?
Q4: We realized that the window’s location on Madison Avenue was a dynamic physical location for the digital and interactive world to reach users in a powerful way. Twitter is a great platform to integrate all of these elements; it gave digital life to our “message in a bottle” concept for the interactive portion of the Gaga Constellation.
BNY: Where do you look for inspiration?
Q4: As an interdisciplinary company, our inspiration comes from a vast range of sources: fashion magazines; nightclubs; video games; generations X, Y and Z; grindr; social media; blogs; and the zoo!
BNY: What would be a dream project for you?
Q4: We dream of a day when your profile is your avatar, and your avatar can dress better than a model in Vogue and live on any digital platform anywhere at anytime: a video game, an interactive Hollywood movie, in social media or on the catwalk of a runway show.
In the meantime, leave your avatars at home and go visit the window in person at our Madison Avenue flagship.
- Alexandra Andrews
Director: Tim Richardson
Creative Director: Nicola Formichetti
Sponsored by White Label Product
Post production by The Mill
Screen technology by Prysm
Interactive experience design by Moving Image & Content and The Science Project
Presented by Q4