Collapsology: The 2018 Collection of Russian Fashion Label Brier

The feeling of wanting to escape responsibility, concerned that those around you are going to be let down by you.

Collapsology is the latest work by award-winning director Daria Geller, shot for the 2018 collection of Russian fashion label Brier.

The film is the second video installment Geller’s has created for the brand, in which she explores the relationship between self-destruction and love. The first one, Brier, won Best Middle Eastern film at Berlin Fashion Film Festival 2017.

With her latest work Geller explores the theme of Collapsology - a term used to refer to the belief that civilisation is destined to collapse. Interpreting this theme from her personal perspective and making it relatable by using relationships as an example, Collapsology reflects on men and women’s flair for self-sabotage.

In Collapsology we are granted a view into the thoughts of a man struggling to come to terms with the expectations others have of him. Feeling caged, trapped and filled with doubt, his crescendo of anxiety is reflected through the man’s internal monologue, visually expressed with quick bursts of emotionally charged shots, set against a dark colour palette. In an ironic and comedic twist, his emotional distress comes to a halt the moment someone compliments his coat, a simple gesture capable of putting things into perspective and a way to return our focus back onto Brier’s designs.

Commenting on the film, Geller added: “Collapsology is describing a feeling that we are all too familiar with. The feeling of wanting to escape responsibility, concerned that those around you are going to be let down by you. But it’s also about having the realisation that most of the pressure comes from within ourselves and remembering that all it takes to snap out of it is small acts of kindness”. 

Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.

I’ve directed, shot, produced and edited this film.

Tell us about the creative brief, what did it ask?

There was no brief, as my idea came first. The atmosphere and the feeling it carried suited the brand (Brier), which the designer agreed with. As she designs and release four collections a year, producing Collapsology came at the right as a way to advertise Brier’s collection.

Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?

I know somebody who acts in the exact similar way as the character in the video - every single moment of darkness makes him feel like the world is an awful place, which includes me as well. As I was walking to his place after a similar episode had just taken place, I suddenly thought this up in my head and I just simply wanted to portray it.

Can you share with us any alternative ideas (if any) for this campaign? Why was this idea chosen?

I chose to work with this idea because I felt that this was an important theme to talk about and explore, especially as this resonated very well with the brand too. I was then lucky enough to have the designer give me absolute creative freedom.

How did the client initially react to this idea?

The designer loved the idea straight away. No changes were made. I think I fit her vision really well and she trusts me, which is awesome, because I also truly adore her as a creative - she is a true artist.

What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development?

The greatest challenge was editing. I knew exactly how and what to shoot. To then find the right shape and structure in order to convey the message and idea was the real challenge. I wanted the message to be easily read by the viewer, making it relatable and interesting to watch.

What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?

Aside from some new technical details, every shooting teaches me one thing: art-making shouldn’t feel comfortable. Searching, trying and risking always pays off. Being afraid to try something you are not comfortable always brings me a step back.

Where do you see this campaign going in the future?

I’ll focus on getting this campaign out to a range of European film festivals, as a way to keep the content alive but also in order reach others who may be looking for content that that fits my style of work.