Style & Grooming

Agusta Yr, the Icelandic Artist Who Animated Yang Li S/S20

Agusta Yr – aka @iceicebabyspice – collaborated with Yang Li on his most recent show in Paris, creating 3D-scanned digital artworks which accompanied a performance by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Earlier this year, in lieu of a traditional runway show, designer Yang Li drafted 27 individuals from ten different countries around the world to photograph themselves remotely, wearing his Autumn/Winter 2019 collection. The resulting ‘selfies’ – among the eclectic participants were Stoya, Rossy de Palma, and Jehnny Beth – were then posted simultaneously on Instagram during Paris Fashion Week. He titled it Automatic ShowWe live in an era where control over one’s image is everything, and this is especially true for fashion,” Li told Dazed at the time. “I wanted to cede this control, to let go, to reverse this model, in order to create a more genuine method of storytelling.” 

Last month, Li presented the next chapter of this project – titled Automatic Show II, he drafted digital artist Agusta Yr to 3D-scan models wearing his Spring/Summer 2020 collection and create a subsequent film, to be accompanied by a performance by seminal alt-rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain in Paris. Music – particularly industrial and noise music – has long informed Li’s work; previously, he has incorporated live performance into his presentations and even began an offshoot label, Samizdat, based on noise music merch and ephemera (there, he has collaborated with Justin Broadrick of GODFLESH and Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV, among others). 

Yr – who is also known by her Instagram username @iceicebabyspice – creates surreal digital artworks which often incorporate 3D-scanned objects alongside her own image. “I got bored with traditional photography and the flatness of it,” Yr tells Another Man as part of an email conversation. “I’ve always enjoyed experimenting and exploring with new technologies and techniques to create something beautiful.”

Yr first became involved in the project through photographer Nick Knight – Automatic Show II was a collaboration with his editorial platform, SHOWstudio – who she had previously modelled for. Working with Li felt natural: “We discussed that this was his Automatic Show where I would take lead but he was always on call and ready to talk anything creative through the process,” she said. That process encompassed two days, 37 3D-scanned looks and three models – Ruby Aldridge, Tatiana Katysheva and Wolf Gillespie, son of original The Jesus and Mary Chain drummer Bobby Gillespie and stylist Katy England.

“[The Jesus and Mary Chain] performing alongside the piece made it that much more special. They are icons,” says Yr of the film, which was projected on vast screens in the Grande Salle of Paris’ La Gaîté Lyrique. “One of their most prominent lyrics in Just Like Honey has to do with ‘plastic toys’, which is also a lyric featured on some items in Yang’s collection, so I knew I wanted to push that with the 3D models and make them look like plastic toys.” Indeed, the various 3D-scanned characters have the appearance of action figures, or characters in a video game. 

“I love the idea of changing our ways and figuring out how we can elevate and create memorable experiences for viewers,” says Yr. “I think especially for people in the fashion industry who attend so many runway shows a year – this will be one of the ones they will remember for a while.”