Director Yelena Yemchuk and stylist April Hughes teamed up once more for Ulla Johnson’s Spring Summer 2021 virtual runway show, an artistically innovative approach in Covid lockdown times for the New York Fashion Week, designed and produced by the runway producers Bureau Betak, featuring local singer/songwriter Shamiqua.
Yelena, a constant collaborator of both Hughes and Johnson, brought in Picture Farm editor Toddy Stewart to get the incredibly tight turnaround right. Shooting on a Wednesday and delivering a thirty second teaser, hand bag and runway cutdowns alongside the eight minute full runway show by Monday morning, Toddy worked around the clock to get the edit to the right flowing, fluid place that would suit Ulla’s sensibility.
“Ulla Johnson staged a runway show at Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park, which the brand documented on video unveiled on its website. With the Manhattan skyline in the background, models paced a colorblocked runway while the Staten Island singer-songwriter Shamiqua strummed a guitar in front of a microphone. It was one of the presentations that felt the most like being at a real fashion show, albeit with sharper video editing and tight production quality.” – W Magazine
“The Brooklyn-based designer showcased her latest offering at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island—a location symbolizing hope—with the urban skyline of the city, including the United Nations headquarters, standing powerfully in plain sight. Johnson enlisted the artists of Oliphant Studios in Bushwick to hand-paint the pastel runway and emerging Staten Island-native Shamiqua for a live performance: the singer’s refrain, “the show must go on”, certainly added to the entirely emotive presentation.
As for the fashion, displayed in slow and sensual glory in a short film released by the brand on Monday morning, it was all about fluidity and movement. The nod to Japan was evident in the ikebana-inspired prints, origami-thin pleating, Obi belts, and structured silhouettes that were evocative of ceremonial dressing.” – The Daily Front Row
“Set against the backdrop of New York City on Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park, designer Ulla Johnson debuted dynamic outdoor runway film of her darling spring collection. Within the designer’s “Love Letter to New York City” — which debuted on the brand’s e-commerce Monday morning — models emerged on a hand-painted color-blocked runway, designed by the artists of Oliphant Studios in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, to the stunning voice of 17-year-old Staten Island talent Shamiqua.” – WWD
“Segue into Monday, however, and Ulla Johnson’s digital show, complete with a backdrop of Manhattan and acoustic music from Shamiqua, pulled at heartstrings. Models were shown in traditional runway fashion, but also close-up in the clothes for those who are used to seeing the fabric and its movement from the front row.” – Vanity Fair
“Ulla Johnson went to the great length of staging an audience-less fashion show at Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park for spring 2021. The pictures, with models foregrounded against a wall of trees and Manhattan’s skyscrapers providing a familiar backdrop, are a bittersweet reminder of what we’ve lost in this COVID year.” – Vogue