STYLE FOCUS: NIL TOMAKAN – TEXT LUKE TIERNEY
Fresh off the set of Tinie Tempah’s new music video we caught up with Nil Tomakan (check her insta: @niltomakan), a little lady with a lot of style. Having already worked with one of her style favourites M.I.A. you’d think she would retire but no Nil has divided her time between music videos and commercials to stylish effect. For Slaves’ ‘Cheer Up London’ Nil lets the boys be both in the limelight yet themselves whilst dressing literally 50+ people to keep the vibe on point. From all white combos to more classic attire, everything is modern punk with an effortless natural feel.
Having worked on a ton of WIC favourites (Kasabian, Peace, Elliott Power, Tune Yards, Peace again, M.I.A.!) we wanted to find out a little more about Nil’s thought processes and influences. Need some styling, hit Nil up here.
Word Is Cheap: When hearing ‘Cheer Up London’ did you instantly know how you would dress Slaves?
Nil Tomakan: I was already familiar with their style and music anyway but when I heard the track I knew that they would want to look like themselves but only with a twist.
WIC: Were you previously aware of Slaves visual personas?
NT: I knew the band and their music although we never met before which is a bit tricky normally. We met properly on the shoot day and got on really well. It was really nice that we were all on the same page.
WIC: Did you have a long time to prep for the shoot, how did you prepare?
NT: I didn’t at all. I have to say it feels like dream when I think about it now as we had 40+ extras on the day. Some were the main characters like Shaun (Barry) and the cheerleaders. We also had businessmen/women. Everyone had their specific looks, it required a lot of prep and long hours of shopping and looking for the right style for everyone.
First I received the treatment and loved it instantly. I loved the story and all in one shot idea.
It was so real and how it blows out of proportion and turning into this big mayhem was so much fun! I had an online meeting with the lovely directors Ben and Ross over Skype – 21st century 🙂 We went through all the scenes, characters. ideas as well as the general look about the video which was really helpful of course just to make sure everyone is on the same page. It was lovely working with them.
WIC: What were your main influences when styling the band?
NT: The guys dress really well anyway, they have a great style, and it was really important to keep them real in this promo. Obviously punk is a massive influence throughout the video as they are a punk band.
For example the cheerleaders were heavily influenced by Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit cheerleaders. We replaced the anarchy sign with a Slaves logo.
WIC: Those white suits! Please explain.
NT: I really wanted to stay true to the punk attitude which is also a huge part of my teenage years. The white suits were really smart slim cut and fitted the boys really well. We kept Converse Chuck Taylors and Dr Martens for shoes and did turn ups on the trousers which worked really well to keep their look constant but different. They were themselves but different at the same time and stood out in a big crowd scene which was our aim on that finale.
WIC: Whats your favourite example of brilliant styling in music video?
NT: Bad Girls – MIA styled by Hannah Edwards is my all time favourite.