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in nihilo thuy nguyen maria spahn

In Nihilo (Maria Spahn, Thuy Nguyen): transforming virtual materials to concretize ideas

In fashion, we’re always very keen to explore the work of seamstresses; they are the ones who sublime the vision of a designer. With the booming of digital, new crafts are opening: they are magicians with computers and cameras; they amplify the dream machine of creative industries.

We met the two founders of In Nihilo in Paris. A new territory of inspiration between arts, new technologies and storytelling.



Your job, for the uninitiated, what is it?

 To give a common designation to our activities, I would say that we image the needs of our customers. This stretches from space design, 3d animations, as much as corporate visual creations and video-art installations. We work for fashion industry, events, exhibitions and private individuals.


Who does what in your tandem?

 Translating the abstract ideas of our customers into image always means stimulating our creativity conjointly and find a new balance in our duo.

Coming from theater scenography, Maria is particularly sensitive and competent for all aspects of space, sound, and the merger of these dimensions.

She takes care of set design, 3D animation, and sometimes she creates the musical arrangements.

Thuy, by her training as photographer, is particularly attentive to framing 2D images, creating the composition and to accomplish the narrative. She takes care of photos and videos, from filming to editing.


In nihilo, why this name?

 “Ex nihilo” means creating out of nothing. For some, it is only God who creates ex nihilo. We, modestly, create “in nihilo.” We are not starting from scratch, we transform virtual material to render ideas tangible. Whether in 3D animation or the creation of video content, we handle primarily pixels. This explains “in nihilo”, a play with words to express two ideas: creation and virtuality.

You worked for Bureau Betak: strong memories of this adventure?

 We are impressed by Alexandre’s ability to consistently reinvent himself. He has a very modern approach to design. He is someone very sensitive to shapes, colors, and materials. He is very specific on the use of lights and on staging ideas. Alexandre de Betak is certainly one of the most creative people we encountered.
It is a great adventure to work with the entire production team of Bureau Betak, an enormous pleasure to travel around the world, to confront us with different local cultures through our work, and to rise above our distinctions to arrive at the end of a project. This certainly remains an unforgettable experience.

What are the creations, you are most proud of?

 There are no creations that deserve being singled out in particular.

What drives us first of all is that every project provides an opportunity to learn again and again, to renew ourselves, and to escape repetition as far as possible.

Perhaps a recent example of a project that has enchanted us is that for the bicentenary of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Karlsruhe. It was to tell the history of this institution, from its origins to today, with very abstract 3D animations. We had total freedom of creative proposals, which is very enjoyable when working for an institution.

Creative industries are undergoing a transformation with the digital: how do you see the market evolve in the coming years?

 In our sector, we are at the heart of digital, first by our tools, but also by the particular form that characterizes our creations.

Following our different backgrounds, we initially were trained in more traditional techniques such as assembling theatre design models out of cardboard, or developing films in darkrooms.

But soon, we were sensitive to cultural and social changes and exploited the extraordinary offer of new technologies to develop our expertise.

In our business, everything evolves very quickly, so it’s a must to keep yourself informed. We permanantly have to adapt and form ourselves to stimulate and renew our creativity.

Digital is a modern creed, but for us it is important not to become a slave of it. What counts most is content, otherwise it would be an abuse of technology to hide the paucity of ideas.

Take the example of video mapping that we see more and more. The video projections on buildings or other surfaces are often poor in content, we often see animated geometric shapes, certainly beautiful, but completely meaningless.

There is no doubt that innovations are continuous, especially in the digital, and we certainly cannot ignore them. However in our relationship between creation and technical developments, we always take into account the specificities of our customers. While offering our own visions, we are attentive to their culture and needs and then decide how to adopt novelties.


levis 140 501

The Story of the 501® Jean: 140 years of quest for progress

Levi’s is one of Lilzeon’s favorite brands. Because there’s a daring and ambitious communication; because there’s a rough and engaging approach; and because his brother always wears 501.

They’re celebrating 140 years of 501 stories. And we can only wish Levi’s a happy birthday.

Since its invention 140 years ago, the 501® jean has taken on a life of its own as a beloved icon of culture and style around the world. From old to young and punk to prep, the 501® is one of the most democratic fashion items ever created, defined by the people who wear it. This film highlights the major evolutions in design of the 501® and its influence on culture throughout the decades.

The Levi’s® 501® jean. The uniform of progress since 1873.

canon power up

Canon wants to bring power to your next step (and why it’s interesting for fashion lovers)

Canon has just revealed a new EMEA campaign; we like the core message of the ads: it’s not about taking pictures, it’s about MAKING them.

With Instagram, it’s true that we may have lost sometimes the required work to set up a really good picture. It’s obviously not only about a great smile, a great outfit and a great filter. It’s about producing this right moment with the right people.

When it comes to fashion, we realize that it’s more and more complicated to find ads that really impress us. There’s a culture of laziness also in our industry, and it’s always good that a brand like Canon, probably one of the most important ones for all the people working on art direction, visual culture, design, tells us that the MAKING is important.

This campaign involved three shoots in 12 different locations. 63 Canon cameras and 27 EF lenses to capture the shots to demonstrate the “breath and versatility” of the Canon product range.

the great gatsby soundtrack

The Great Gatsby Soundtrack: when meets the crazy 20s Fox Trot

Whether you like the Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, or that you hate it, you can’t avoid to succumb in the very well designed soundtrack. A mix of ultra modern beats (The XX, Sia) meeting the crazy 20s.

The more you listen to the the tracks and that you think about the film, the more you think this decade was really apart from the world. Unconsciousness or ultra consciousness? No one can tell.

We all know that Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway would have loved that; and said cheers with a whiskey in hands.

1. 100$ Bill – JAY Z
2. Back To Black – Beyoncé, André 3000
3. Bang Bang –
4. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) – Fergie, Q-Tip, GoonRock
5. Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey
6. Love Is The Drug – Bryan Ferry, The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
7. Over The Love – Florence + The Machine
8. Where The Wind Blows – Coco O.
9. Crazy In Love – Emeli Sandé, The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
10. Together – The xx
11. Hearts A Mess – Gotye
12. Love Is Blindness – Jack White
13. Into The Past – Nero
14. Kill And Run – Sia

post sponsored by Polydor


Fair Trade from China

Curiously a few weeks after the sad collapse of a textile factory in Bangladesh, we have received in our mailbox a quite rare type of contact. A chinese sports shoes factory/brand had decided to reach out to us and bring its work to our attention. What has really frozen our minds is not the product itself, but the way our contact methodically introduced its work: not only did he produce a lookbook, he sent a whole 9-page company profile auditing its production chain, its social support (workers care and accomodations), as well as its paperwork including … a fire service inspection notice. Obviously, we immediately thought this new corporate and RP attention to what’s behind the curtain was interesting enough to be shared.

cap1 cap2

georgia may jagger

Sisley Live from Paris with Georgia May Jagger & Josh McLellan

We like Sisley: it used to be the brand you could discover in the top floor of Benetton shop; and most of the time, good surprises happen. Olivier Zahm helped the brand for their Autumn/Winter campaign and shot some photos for Sisley Instagram account.

Black & white, leather: it prefigures what the tribes are going to wear in the coming months. All Saints & associates are also very happy as you can imagine…

This is a good first step of the brand in social space: we of course would love to see (and do) more with Sisley; next time, add budget to involve your fans!


Nike x Liberty collection: classic Nike styles revisited

Liberty and Nike managed to launch a very interesting collection for Spring.  For the first time, customers can now use Liberty print to customise classic Nike styles as part of the Nike ID range. To celebrate the launch, three custom built styles from the collection will be available to buy in store and online at Liberty.

Classic Nike silhouettes the Air Max 1, Blazer Mid and the cult favourite Roshe Run will be available in two of Liberty famous prints, Capel and Pepper


Liberty Capel print was first printed on tana at Loveclough in 1978. Based on a 1930s print in the Liberty archive, Capel features a loosely drawn low-colour floral with a defining outline on a printed blotch background. The design has been on classic tana since 1993 and is now printed at Reggiani.


Designed for Liberty by the Jack Prince Studio in 1974, Pepper was first printed on tana at Loveclough in December the same year. Part of the very first Liberty classic tana lawn fabric range, with design names inspired by spices, it is now printed at Standfast. Pepper features small delicate shapes with a fine black outline to form an all-over texture

A good set of patterns and motifs for fashionistas!


Géraldine Dormoy: “I have « dude » days, and « woman » ones”

Hey everyone! I’m Lionel, blogger from The Trendy Trooper, and it’s with a great pleasure that I join the Hit Bag team! From now on, I’ll keep a column to introduce you, dear readers, to some of the top fashion influencers in a very specific way. We’ll sneak around their closets, their bags and their fashion habits. Tell me what you wear, I’ll we tell you who you are!

Today, meet Geraldine Dormoy and her androgynous closet. Editor at l’Express Styles, she also shares her fashion knowledge on her blog Cafe Mode.

 Hello Geraldine! Garance Doré and Leandra Medine (The Man Repeller) confess that they often borrow men’s stuff. Razors, moisturizers, shirts, perfumes and watches, nothing’s left out. What about you ? Do you let your hands wander around ?

Absolutely ! Mark, my husband, is shorter than me, so I can’t pinch his trousers, but apart from that, I borrow everything from him : shirts, coats, blazers, scarves, belts… I can’t help it, I think he’s got perfect taste ! Plus, our clothes are stored in the same place, some sort of box room we like to call our dressing. We both have our half of the room…. When I have run out of things to wear, I automatically cast my greedy glance on the hanging rail on the other side…

Do you own any men’s clothes ?

Actually, I’m a bit of a schizo. Half of my wardrobe is man-ish, the other half is composed of dresses, heels… I have « dude » days, and « woman » ones. In the men’s corner, I collect derbies, blazers, V-neck cashmere sweaters and men’s shirts. I like how practical those never-out-of-fashion and well-cut pieces of clothing are.

Are you especially attached to one particular piece ? If so, what’s its story?

I would say my first pair of Church’s, navy blue summer Burdwoods. I bought them in Milan, during my very first fashion week…in other words, it’s been a while ! They cost a pretty penny but I still wear them. I love their design, the fact that the size and model number are written by hand, with a felt pen, on the inside leather. They age gracefully and they are an easy match : my smartest investment up to now. Too bad that the brand isn’t more creative, I would more easily fall for its other pieces.

Do you think men’s fashion seeks to be more androgynous today ? Are we heading towards a more mixed wardrobe ?

It will be definitely mixed the day when guys wear skirts and no one is shocked, not before. Us girls are lucky enough to dispose of two wardrobes, ever since Saint-Laurent made trousers available for everyone.

We’ve been toying with androgyny for quite a while, now. Unfortunately, it still is quite complicated for men. They still have a long way to go to finally be comfortable with their feminine side.

Has a recent men’s collection particularly caught your attention ?

I haven’t seen it for real, but I really liked the pictures of the 2012 F/W J.Crew’s collection, especially the Fair Isle sweaters. I can’t wait for this brand to finally land in Europe (a shop has been announced to open in London soon).

According to you, what’s the masculine piece of clothing a woman must absolutely have ?

A shirt. They are always better cut than the ones for women.

marc jacobs swimsuit 2013

Marc Jacobs SS13 swimwear: Neoprene Scuba Suit

The new Marc Jacobs SS13 swimwear collection is just astonishing. While some stupid random guys try to tell us that sexual healing does not concern XL / XXL people, MJ comes with an elegant and futurist Neoprene scuba suit. The lookbook is great: beautiful and absolutely not A&F models.

We’ve never said enough to girls how love their little bellies. ‘Cause there are butterflies in them :)

marc jacobs swimsuit 2013
Introducing new Marc by Marc Jacobs SS13 swimwear: The Neoprene Scuba Suit
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