Canada Goose is getting a makeover. The heritage outerwear brand recently collaborated with light artist James Clar for the BRANTA Spring 2020 collection, touting it as “Canada Goose, like you’ve never seen us before.” Defined by bold, reflective detailing, it certainly marks a departure from their signature understated aesthetic.
“This collection is focused on the ‘Art of Light’ and the interplay between light, environment, and product,” Clar tells Bustle of the five-piece capsule. “I got involved because Canada Goose was looking to gain insight into how we experience light and how it could be utilized within their garments.”
He worked with the brand on crafting the reflective elements featured on the BRANTA styles, merging the fields of art and science in the process. Using reflective material, he helped design a diamond shaped symbol that has “exponential spacing” integrated into its motif.
“I’ve used these expanding line segments within my artwork to suggest the increasing energy waveforms of light, which is the color spectrum,” Clar explains. “Therefore, the diamond symbol made from this reflective material represents all the visible colors we can experience.”
Clar, a first-generation Filipino American, grew up in the countryside but went to college in NYC. His heritage, along with those juxtaposing rural and urban experiences, greatly informs his work as an artist.
“I’ve sustained a studio practice in Dubai, New York, Tokyo, and now Manila, with projects and exhibitions held globally,” he says. “I love the Philippines and all the cultures I’ve been fortunate enough to experience. They’re each like a different prism in which we can behave.”
His time at NYU was especially formative, laying the groundwork for his career today. “The origins came from film school at New York University,” Clar explains. “I came to realize that film and video are light systems, and things started to shift toward developing my own light systems.”
He began using technology and lights as a “sculptural medium” like pixels taken away from the screen, or elements from a virtual dreamworld brought into reality. “Within my art practice, I’m developing unique light-based systems to convey emotion or tell stories.”
Clar describes his personal style as function-first, especially given the amount of time he spends in the studio. “I’m definitely about functionality since I’m working directly with materials, such as wiring lights, soldering circuits, or casting resin, so things can get messy,” he shares, adding: “At openings or events, I like the balance of having a slightly preppy, clean-cut look with subtle psychedelic details.”
In addition to having a hand in designing this collection with Canada Goose, Clar took on another first by creating an interactive Instagram filter based on his work. The filter, called “Elements of Spring,” generates light rays around the user in a reactive, virtual environment.
“As the user moves, the light rays fall and the color spectrum changes, symbolizing spring’s elements — wind, sun, rain — and how often they can change,” he says. “Creating a filter was a first for me. It’s especially exciting to see my art interpreted and utilized that way.”