The film features eight new-wave performers from the underground Ballroom scene in dance-offs in which the viewer gets to choose the winner. Cullen states, "The Scene is so alive and the culture is amazing, with all the different houses dancing off."
Watch "Ballroom Battle" by clicking here.
Streeters spoke with Stylist Sarah Ellison-Prat about the looks, her inspirations and New York in the '90s in this exclusive interview with Streeters.
Streeters: Describe some of the looks the inspirations for them.
Sarah Ellison-Prat: Clara's inspiration was the Street Fighter video games, so I wanted them to feel like anime superhero characters representing the essence of each of the designers.
Streeters: What looks, shapes and designers were important to obtain for this story?
Sarah Ellison-Prat: The houses are: Balenciaga, Comme des Carcons, Lacroix, Lanvin, McQueen, Mugler, Versace. Most of the dancers belong to a specific house that there are affiliated with, and a few are free agents, so for them I could choose a designer/house. The most important part was making sure we found pieces that they could really move in, and that complimented their dancing styles - if it restricted their movement, it was out.
Streeters: How was it working with the dancers on the shoot?
Sarah Ellison-Prat: I fell in love with all of them! They all had the most positive attitude and worked so hard. There was literally blood on the dancefloor by the end of the shoot, but they hung in there like pros and got it done.
Streeters: Did music play a role during the shoot?
Sarah Ellison-Prat: The music was made specifically for the shoot by a producer who is part of their posse. Its all about those aggressive beats and loud crashes that are perfect for dramatic drops.
Streeters: As someone who follows underground cultures, what do you find most interesting about this sub-culture, their practices, fashions, etc.?
Sarah Ellison-Prat: I have love this scene since I saw Paris is Burning back when it came out in 1991 - I actually saw it in the theater! When I moved to New York in 1994, a lot of those people were still around in the clubs. Willi Ninja used to do the door at Sound Factory Bar, where I went every week, and he often performed inside. Back then, they danced to a slower tempo, smoother music and smoother moves, a softer glamour, if you will. The kids now have developed their own style, and its much more fast, aggressive and technical, very powerful. They are exceptionally skilled performers, each of them has a very distinct style of dancing that belongs to them alone.
Images courtesy of Nowness.com