Feb 13, 2016 | By Benedict

The Black Crook, first performed in 1866, is often considered the first piece of musical theatre, but that piece of stage history has now been launched way into the future by designers Célia Elmasu and Nelly Zagury. The French-born, Brooklyn-based duo, who together comprise jewelry brand Holy Faya, have turned the musical into a colorful hip-hop music video—replete with 3D printed jewelry.

Elmasu and Zagury established the Holy Faya 3D printed jewelry brand in January 2015, producing some stunning early designs and admitting to having a “crush on the MakerBot”—just like us. Since then, the pair have gone from strength to strength. Yesterday, February 12, the Holy Faya adaptation of The Black Crook was screened at The Chimney, NYC.

In the extended music video, billed as “the first music video featuring 3D printed costumes and jewelry”, 20-year-old French rapper Marcus Dossavi-Gourdot a.k.a. KillASon plays the role of the sorcerer and performs his track “Black Crook”. With the Holy Faya 3D printed jewelry featuring heavily, the short film is as much a fashion show as it is a retelling of the classic tale. “Our initial idea was two parts: a hip-hop musical and doing crazy props,” Zagury told the New York Times.

The 1866 play serves an essential role in everything Holy Faya has created. In the year since the brand’s inception, Elmasu and Zagury have produced a number of collections, each based on and designed for a character from the musical. Every 3D printed item is therefore part prop, part high street jewelry, designed for both the stage and the street. This duality is perhaps best typified by Holy Faya’s clientele, with the 3D printed pieces recently adopted by FKA Twigs, reigning queen of British alternative music.

Before joining up with Elmasu, Zagury was a jewelry designer at Chanel, Boucheron, and Swarovski, as well as artistic designer at The Family, an entrepreneur support centre. Elmasu’s resumé is similarly impressive, listing stints at Cartier, Ciroc, and Ralph Lauren. A shared passion for vibrant jewelry and modern technology brought the duo together, and their bond has since spawned some eye-catching additively manufactured accessories.

Holy Faya uses a range of materials, such as gold, mother-of-pearl, and snakeskin, to create its elaborate pieces. However, the core of each wild design is 3D printed. “We didn’t think about 3D printing at first,” Zagury explained to Diane Pernet’s A Shaded View last year. “But we did some prototypes, and after that we began to add polished metal and we realized that the color and the light were amazing… [3D printing] is a very artisanal way of making. People think that because you have a machine, you can rest, but 3D printing for now is still very craft-like. It’s not something you can industrialize.”

One of the brand’s earliest collections was “AMINA”, inspired by the affable village girl of the same name from The Black Crook. According to Zagury, that collection of vibrant 3D printed pieces had an unusual aesthetic inspiration: “All this collection is a mix between Virgin Mary iconography and hula dancers,” she explained. The collection’s key item is a €500, pink 3D printed necklace (below) complete with heart and removable sword, to represent the pierced heart of the wearer.

From a purely technical standpoint, the most impressive piece in the Amina collection is the ivory white “Metamorphosis” (€200, above), a chunky 3D printed chain which took full advantage of CAD design to completely eliminate the need for assembly. “What’s amazing about that one is that we printed it in one go,” said Zagury. “It goes layer-by-layer and there is no assembly, which is pretty magical.”

The Holy Faya philosophy culminates perfectly in its adaptation of The Black Crook, which will soon be available to watch in its complete, unabridged form. “When everything comes together, it’s incredibly joyous,” Elmasu says. “3D printing isn’t the end goal; it’s a tool that makes our thoughts come true.”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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