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UNEXPIRED A Curated Collection of Finished Projects By Thomas Stevens / Christophe Coulier

Comprises of work made during the course International Fashion & Branding at AMFI. The title refers to how everything has a cycle of life and that inspiration can be found in unexpected places; beauty is a constructed idea and perfection a subjected one.

Portfolio 2011


ISN’T A PORTFOLIO JUST A REALLY GOOD BOOK ABOUT ME?


brands & Identity 2011 trendbook Research-Clustering-EditingCopywriting-ActualizationPresentation

visual culture 2010 2011 L'Artisan Research-art direction-EditingCopywriting-ActualizationPresentation

Hoarderline Syndrom Research-Editing-BrandingActualization-Presentation

intimate stills Research-Editing-BrandingActualization-PresentationCopywriting

Fashion & Branding 2010 Sirens song Research-Editing-Branding-ActualizationPresentation-Copywriting-OrganizationConcepting

Fashion & Branding 2009 Jeans brand book Research-Editing-BrandingActualization-PresentationCopywriting-Organization

mark my words 2011 no queer here: How hollywood hides homosexuality mark my words 2010 photography: a crime of passion? mark my words 2009 a tall glass of stirrup Photo by Martha Schoemaker


Visit www.issuu.com/thomascoulier to see full issues of each finished project.


trendbook What do you get when you start collecting a wide variety of seemingly random signs? A personal and unique view on what is going on in society. Working together with the renowned DDB Signbanking project gave us the opportunity to really investigate the world around us and to come up with intriguing conclusions. These conclusions were to be presented in a ‘TrendBook’, though the form of the presentation was free. Working in groups of 5 offered the chance to broaden our horizons even more. As a result GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN was born. It comprises of three major trends, transcending disciplines.

The form of the book is very much aligned with the general theme. Therefore one had to open it from left to right to enhance the rebellious nature. We’d also decided on using an all-black background, by which we were breaking certain design ‘rules’ as well. The result is a thrilling experience in which you are presented with an intriguing glimpse of what is happening in society, both in as well as outside of the fashion industry.

brands & identity 2011


revolting minorities

REVOLTING MINORITIES of course has a double meaning but the focus is on them protesting, taking a stand against their oppression. Down Syndrom is IN and cookie cutter beaty standards are way OUT. The shift lies in the authority of their presence. No pity parties or sentimental stuff. GLEE’s Sue Sylvester’s evil assistent Becky kicks ass and defies all rules for people with a so-called disadvantage.

trendbook 2011


priceless

PRICELESS is about how money has lost its monetary currency and how this means a shift in consumer behavior.

trendbook 2011


l'Artisan The aim for a final product for the Minor VISUAL CULTURE, was to present a professional short Fashion Film, inspired by a chosen designer, in a timespan of two weeks. In this case NON by KIM was the inspiration for L’ARTISAN. In groups of five, each with an individually assigned role. Performing the tasks of a Director of Photography initially seemed quite daunting, since I’m not the most technically adequate. I do however possess over a specific taste in film and am able to articulate that. With a Director who was somewhat more experienced and with a similar taste in film, he was able to understand my specific references.

Check out the end result online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77gA7T7olVo The poster was created by me and Scarlett Rachamim, our creative Producer, who also shot the image. As Director of Photography and the one who named the film, it is both an ode as a reference to Jean Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie.

visual culture 2011


Despite being Director of Photography I enjoyed taking part in all the other elements as well. The casting for example and though the clothes were donated by NON by KIM, the styling had to be taken care of as well. Joost den Duppen, whom we cast as our leading man, came all the way from Belgium and really added a sense of sensitivity to the role, even though he’s ‘just’ a model.


The ‘premiere’ of all films was held in Ketelhuis. Being presented on a proper screen gave us the extra boost to really go for something of a qualitative high standard. Something which NON by KIM agreed with and decided to show it on her Fall Collection Presentation location.


personal book 2 With this second half of the Minor VISUAL CULTURE revolving around film, as well as creating our own, I wanted this book to focus on my personal filminspiration combined with written texts and articles. As a result, HOARDERLINE SYNDROM presents a selected fraction of an immense archive of cinematography.

I saw this as an opportunity to be able to bundle some of my written work during this Minor, with my love for films. Thus I created different sections where I was able to review some of my favorite movies ever, combined with my own photography and other texts and articles. The title refers to my own hoarding behavior, both on as offline, having an emotional attachment to almost anything I lay my eyes on.

visual culture 2010


Hoarderline Syndrom

A curated compilation of movies, essays and other personal parafernalia, with a twist of gloom & doom.


example spread

The original inspiration comes from one of the most exciting women to have graced this earth, little Edie Beale. The cousin of Jacky O lived on a dilapidated estate with her bed ridden mother and had created her own world, with her own rules to live by.

hoarderline syndrom


Two women can't live together for twenty years without some jealousy. Not that my voice is better than Mother's, but she can't dance. < Edie Beale Jr. >


personal book 1 This first half of the Minor VISUAL CULTURE centred around photography. By way of creating photographic assignments, one could uncover their own signature style. Initially the semester kicked off with the choosing of a FASHION FASCINATION, one that would be interesting and broad enough to work with for the next upcoming weeks. OCCULTISM became my personal starting point, as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always been intruiged and fascinated by rituals and symbolisms. I started wondering, what is our own modern day prophet? INTIMATE STILLS shows you my thought process and certainly gives a sneak peek at what goes on in that slightly neurotic brain of mine.

The reason for choosing the Minor Visual Culture was not an obvious one. Ever since starting AMFI the initial plan had always been to participate in the Minor Magazines. And though over the years my love for the printed media has only grown deeper, I was also craving a more theoretical addition to the knowledge I had acquired and Visual Culture proved to be a valuable experience in that sense.

visual culture 2010


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[ Intimate Stills

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- PART 1, ISSUE 1 -


by one in the morning the day has not ended. By 2 he is scared that sleep is no friend and by 4 he will drink but he cannot feel it sleep will not come because sleep does not will it


oh the gods that he believes never fail to amaze me He believes in the love of his god of all things But i find him wrapped up in all manner of sins


sirens song The final semester of the second year revolved around building a brand from scratch. After creating an extensive Strategic Marketing Plan, the aim was to present an Online Expression and a Sponsored Magazine. In this case NOIR, a bi-annual issue, available in stores and online. Sirens Song aims at catering to successful businesswomen with an edge. An erotic edge, that is. Offering a range of high-end lingerie, evening and night wear, and an array of female friendly erotic items.

The whole process started off as an in-depth personal analysis. We then had to visualize this and swop with an assigned partner. In my case, Spanish exchange student Sara. These characteristics formed the basis upon which each had to create their own brand. After that, we swopped partners again and I found my other half in British exchange student Emily, only this time by choice. We decided on expanding the brand I had created around Sara. The end result is something we fondly remember and still firmly believe in. The cover image is by Sรถlve Sundsbรถ and only used for inspirational purposes.

Fashion & branding 2010


example spread

Though the aim of the assignment was to come up with a mock up magazine, me and my partner had already decided on writing every piece of text ourselves. This added a lot of extra pressure but also an extra value to the end product.

noir magazine


sirens song

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were three dangerous bird-women, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.

Fashion & branding 2010


jeans brand book This assignment required some organization since it involved the entire class. After an extensive research of the Denim market, we narrowed down to 24 major jeans brands. Not only that, but an event had to be planned around the launch of this book as well. My personal contribution to this project has been to find a way to keep a consistent writing style throughout the entire book. By editing all the texts I managed to do so and the result is an exciting overview of some of the biggest brands in the JEANS INDUSTRY.

Denim has proven to be the most international and unversial piece of garment, rich with history and technology. It reaches both high as low culture and has a wide variety of connotations. Thus this specific piece of clothing is highly interesting to investigate and to understand how different brands can sell the same type of product.

fashion & branding 2009


no queer here How hollywood hides homosexuality

During the first half of the Specialization Brands & Identity the objective was to write an actual essay around the theme of identity. I used this as an opportunity to work on an idea that had started bubbling the previous semester. Influenced by sexuality and Hollywood, the end result is an objective text weighing all possible options equally.

mark my words 2011


photography: A crime of passion?

DUring the Minor Visual Culture 2010-2011 one the objectives was to write a personal piece, using theory from Susan Sontagâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s insightful book of essays, On Photography. Furthermore being inspired by pop culture, celebrity culture and little Miss Moss, the end result is a personal and eye-opening view on photography. The image is found in Nico Magazine Issue 2.

mark my words 2010


My introduction to and affinity for photography has been awakened mainly by fashion photography. As a young boy, flipping through magazines, this alternate planet; a perfect moment in time, captured in front of the lens was something otherworldly, magical, maybe even surreal or hyper real for that matter. What is it with photographs that make them universally accepted, unequivocally present? The only sense you need is sight, making it an highly accessible form of art, to many people around us. For me personally, being the glass is half empty kinda guy, I have had issues capturing something photographically since I was about 16. Where most people can look at an image, full of nostalgia, and reminisce about what was, I on the other hand can feel slightly depressed looking at images of unforgettable nights; they can, and never will be, measured up to. The photo is the absolute truth, providing you with evidence of something occurring. Without the tangible proof of that slice of time, the only thing that remains is a hazy memory which will only confirm it was a great night, but will not slap you around the face to say: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know what, this was such a great fucking party. Nothing will ever come close to the feeling you had that night, so there, take that, in your faceâ&#x20AC;?.


Thus, for the same reason you will hardly find any pictures of me after that certain age. Has that got to do with avoiding confirmation? For example, nobody will be able to say: Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never looked better there. Or worse. Or even, you look so different. If so, it has everything to do with the way I see myself in my head and the actual representation of me, if there is any such a thing. This led me to think more about the predatory and beautifying effect of photography.


Closely linked to (fashion) photography are models and after finishing Sontag’s insightful essays it began to dawn on me why these girls are being photographed by a Polaroid camera when they are first plucked off the street. The image will show the girl in its most pure form, yet shot through the most ‘ugly’ way possible; harsh lighting etc. Only if her features survive what the Polaroid picture does to her, will she get the chance to actually call herself a model. Which is an odd thing, because she will be replaced by heavily made-up and computer enhanced modellike creatures; she will not look anything like the way they initially found her. Her hyper-real self becomes the norm. If there is truth-telling in photography, like Sontag claims, does this mean the Polaroid is closer near the truth or is it just an awful liar? This brings me to an avid user of the Polaroid and another one of my fascinations: Guy Bourdin. Maybe the fact that he used the truth-telling machine for his grotesque and ‘fake’ images is what made his work so strong. Exactly like Edward Steichen did when he took the image of the milk bottle on the tenement escape. Before that no one had ever thought that could be worth photographing. When Guy Bourdin took something like fashion photography, which in itself is an idolizing and beautifying genre, and combined it with the ‘gritty’, ‘real’ aesthetic of the Polaroid, he placed it out of context and pushed the boundaries for photography even further. In a way, he’s not too different from someone like Diane Arbus. How she photographed her subjects, void from judgement, is exactly the opposite of how they were seen and treated by the public. The fact that her eccentric photographic topics are faced to the camera, full frontally, shows a clear


intimacy between subject and photographer. Which is interesting since this full frontality in images often strengthen the predatory effect of the camera. Just think of the passport pictures or other images of official documents; clear and strict guidelines, no room for improvisation. Stripped back from all glamour and technique, this again reminds me of the Polaroid images taken from models at the beginning of their “career”. Standing in front of the camera, often holding up their measurements the way inmates hold up their sheet of misdemeanors , you can’t get any more up close and personal than that, a violation of keeping one at arms’ length. What I find intriguing about this ‘breach of privacy’, if such a thing can ever be fully captured on film, is what happens if you are confronted with your own representation, or someone else’s representation of you for that matter, on a constant base? Does the model I discussed earlier above will be able to recognize herself in her own hyper-reality? Or does she adapt to that representation, slowly leaving behind what exactly made her photographically interesting to begin with? Personally, I do think the difference between one’s own representation and the actual end-result can have self-destructing effects. Would Britney have lost it had she been an ordinary elementary teacher? If not, and let’s assume this is true, it is probable that Ms. Spears started to put her hyper-real self on a pedestal. If this flawless, picture perfect Pop Princess becomes something to live up to, one can only imagine how much of a disillusion this can cause in one’s sense of self. That gives a double meaning when Susan Sontag mentions that the mere act of photography is one of nonintervention; prolonging the moment that is captured. It almost makes the photographer the perpetrator, its subject the victim of whatever the viewer wants to see, or keep seeing. But there are also examples of a society being the victim, or at least disillusioned. What to think about the moment Kate Moss was snapped snorting coke?

Of course the nature of the image, taken with a mobile phone, added to the ‘peeping’ feeling. Outraged, the world demanded an explanation from the model with myth-like proportions. This was not the creature they created! Would the same thing have happened, had it been an editorial photo-shoot by Vogue Italia’s master Meisel? Undoubtedly it would generate an extreme buzz and even more negative responses and insinuations of provocation, but Ms. Moss would probably also be applauded for her courageous commentary on the fashion industry. Does this say something about the development of photography, or of a society? One would be inclined to agree on the latter, since it is the outside world that isn’t satisfied anymore with a photo as absolute truth or proof. It needs more and it will only want more.


a tall glass of stirrup

This column was written for Sirens Songâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sponsored magazine NOIR. The challenge was to write something that fits with both the (fake) brand as its target audience. In this case, well-off business women. Or at least powerful women with careers. The brand offers its clients high-end lingerie, evening and nightwear and a range of female friendly erotic items. The result is a witty piece, presenting you with a glimpse in the life of Sirens Songâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so-called brand ambassador. The illustration used on the next spread was found in 125 Magazine.

mark my words 2009


UNEXPIRED A Curated Collection of Finished Projects By Thomas Stevens / Christophe Coulier

...Thomas Stevens likes to work under his alter ego Christophe Coulier?..He really wants to believe he is the lovechild of Tina Feyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Liz Lemon and Simon Cowell?...Special Topics in Calamity Physics is his favorite book?..His porn alias would be Pistachio Playwagon?..Has a fear for anything rodent-like?...His hair started going gray at 16?...He speaks Dutch, English, French, German and a bit of Spanish?...He would love to be a globetrotter but has an immense dislike of the actual flying part?...He is slightly reminiscent of David Sedaris, mixed with a bit of Diablo Cody, finished with a dash of Stephen Fry and Simon Amstell...

Did you know that....?


UNEXPIRED