#001 /tokyo police club
Coachella, Lollapalooza, the Glastonbury Festival, David Letterman and, now, TEST/model magazine! In between the airport and their concert sound check, Canadian indie rockers Tokyo Police Club graced us with an exclusive photo shoot with aspiring stylist Wes Ochitwa. TEST/model magazine sat down for a coffee and a few questions with Wes O. about his background and style influences.
Wes, how do you know Tokyo Police Club?
I was working at (indie label) Paper Bag Records in Toronto and TPC opened for an act that we were scouting and blew us away. They already had a solid demo that we didn’t want to mess with, we just wanted to make it louder.
(laughing) YES, when in doubt, always make it louder!!
I became friends with the guys as the label was developing them and have seen them grow as artists and people.
Let’s talk a little about the styling for this shoot. When we finished this shoot and you were reviewing the images did this look feel “authentic” for them?
Yes it did!
Has their look changed since you’ve known them?
(laughing) Oh yeah, definitely! Three of them worked at Value Village (a chain of Canadian thrift shops) and they all looked like little vintage dressed puppies.
They were all about colourful underwear, really crappy t-shirts, and you know, slacks! As they became more successful and doors were opening for them they became a little more aware and hip to what was out there and their look developed naturally. I knew what they would look good in and we rolled with that.
Good, so where do some of your design influences come from?
Hmmm, good question (laughing), well, I really love high end clothing where the fabric and cut is an instant read, that this garment is “right” and on the other end of the spectrum is rustic woodland work wear and boots, barb wire and whiskey.
(laughing) A good mash up for sure, contrasts of style and context always work for me! What I like about this shoot with TPC is the clean minimal location the clothes you pulled and the contrast of the props, so tell us a little about that.
Just like I said, nice clothes beside stuff you would find in a cabin.
I’m obsessed with a blog right now called “free cabin porn” so I know where you are coming from! What I like about this shoot is that due to the time constraints (2 hours) we had to make it simple and the combination of a sparse set, the guys personal dynamics, nice clothes and the few props made it kind of timeless. Also, minimal re-touching etc, is always good. Anything else that you would like to add Wes?
At the end of the day it is always good to push people a little past their comfort zone.
YES! If you are not uncomfortable you are not growing! Did you push TPC past their “zone”?
Yes, I did a little, but it worked, they bought about half of the clothes from the shoot AND some of the props!
HA! Well at the end of the day we are selling “rags”, so good job!! Thanks for your time Wes O. and let us know what you are up to in the future.
artists / tokyo police club / david monks / josh hook / graham wright / greg alsop
photography / victor john penner
producer / marlisse penner
styling / wes ochitwa
prop styling / wes ochitwa
retouching / manolo lugo for the lab
location / eugene choo
special thanks to the following for their support and/or loan of products and service…
creep by hiroshi aiwa
eugene choo / kildare curtis
flashpoint photographic rentals / berndt luchterhand
paper bag records
the lab / hieu nguyen
tokyo police club / david monks / josh hook / graham wright / greg alsop
umeboshi / stephanie gorrell