Groundbreaking up-and-comer Dexter Navy has released his Paris-based short film featuring Michéle Lamy.
At 23, Dexter Navy’s ascent in the world of underground art and photography is more than impressive. His work with A$AP Rocky earlier this year helped define the aesthetic for the rapper’s new album, as he not only directed the kaleidoscopic, tripped-out video for ‘L$D’ – which saw Rocky in Dries Van Noten amongst the distorted, neon glow of Tokyo – but also shot the album art. He’s photographed Tyler the Creator, Instagram style hero Ian Connor, and done lookbook work with Billionaire Boy’s Club, and with his latest piece, for the Red Bull Music Academy ‘Paris Now!’ season of short films, he has made a truly special portrait of Paris’ avant garde.
SAINT is a dedication to the true creatives of Paris; it’s a beautifully shot montage of those subversive, fiercely original artists across the worlds of fashion, performance art, music and dance. Described as a visual ‘poem written by and for Paris’, it features such individuals as the high-priestess of dark fashion Michéle Lamy (Rick Owen’s wife, but more importantly his mentor, muse, and creative adviser) and the multi-disciplinary musician and performance artist Oko Ebombo – who dangles off a high-rise in the striking half-black-half-white suit that fans will recognise from his ’19 Naked Life’ video. Joining them are, among others, distinctive models Simon Adde and Adja Kaba as well as innovative dancers Shaun Bui and Andre Atangana
The piece is set to a verse composition by Cleo Wade – a New York based artist and poet – that throws out such enigmatic lines as “forever is only a thing Paris understands” and, less expansively but more revealing, “underground club kids body to body…their sweat becomes yours. Everybody’s nobody.” Towards the end of the film as we see, congregated in a warehouse, a shot of the whole ensemble in all their beautifully unconventional variety. The line “we find our time, we claim our lands…we make our art, we made the city” resonates particularly powerfully: this is a film about those who boldly dance, design, perform, fight and push expectations in Paris. In doing so, it creates a distinctly underground vision of the city that is every-bit as enthralling as the romantic and historical Paris that fashion usually serves us.
WORDS: Benji Walters