Undressing the Art of Dressing Up: Chronicling the Story of Alex Sumner

Client: Alexander Nash | Role: Director, DP, Producer and Editor | Location: New York

 

Conversing with Alex Sumner for hours on end was the spark that ignited my inspiration to create the short film “Undressing the Art of Dressing Up.” These fascinating conversations blew my mind and led me to ask Alex if he would allow me to shadow him with my camera for a few months to capture a portrait of his world in fashion, style, and design. Thankfully, he granted me full access, offering an intimate glimpse into his creative process and daily life.

Armed with a Canon 5D Mark II camera, a tripod, some wireless mics, and relying on natural light, I set out to document his journey. Over those months, I conducted two or three in-depth interviews with Alex, each lasting about an hour. The challenge was to distill our rich and varied conversations into the coherent narrative that ultimately shaped the film. The editing process, done in Adobe Premiere Pro, was surprisingly smooth. Having become so familiar with the digital assets and deeply interested in the material, the final edit flowed out of me with remarkable ease. I crafted the score by scouring canned music websites, further pushing the film’s mood and themes.

From my in-depth conversations with Alex Sumner, I gleaned insightful perspectives on his evolution within the fashion domain, beginning with an impactful childhood moment. At five, his fascination with his father’s wardrobe started a lifelong passion for the transformative power of dressing well. This interest was nurtured by his parents’ distinctive influences: his father’s vibrant and confident style, akin to a peacock’s flamboyance, and his mother’s artistic spirit, leading him to the discovery of vintage shopping.

Alex described his father, a Yale alumnus and member of a prestigious singing group, who wore vibrant hues with an ease usually reserved for more traditional attire. His mother was crucial in cultivating his artistic inclinations, guiding him towards art classes and thrift stores, significantly shaping his philosophy on style.

As Alex transitioned into adulthood, his hobby evolved into a professional endeavor. His tall frame led to frequent tailor visits, fostering a deep appreciation for bespoke clothing. Working at a club, he developed connections that allowed him access to unique fabrics and tailoring services, enabling him to create personalized, standout pieces. This experimentation phase was pivotal, eventually establishing the Alexander Nash brand and transforming his passion into a career.

Alex emphasized a thoughtful approach to fashion, urging clients to embrace risk and step beyond their comfort zones while maintaining a balance to avoid excess. He champions simplicity and the inspiration drawn from nature, often incorporating a lapel flower as an homage to natural beauty.

Central to our discussions was humility, which Alex identifies as the cornerstone of his ethos and professional philosophy. He aims to demystify dressing well, asserting that true style is rooted in creativity, resourcefulness, and inclusivity, not financial means. Alex’s mission is to democratize fashion, making style an accessible expression for everyone based on individual creativity rather than exclusivity.

Thanks for walking with me.

 

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