Mara Soler and Daniela Villanueva describe themselves as “the coolest señoritas directoras in the world of multidisciplinary stuff” and when you see their work you’ll know that’s not boasting. Every project they take on with their creative studio Flaminguettes shows their love for all things tropical, cheerful and a little weird – a combination which will likely put a smile on your face.
The Mexican duo designs concepts and sets, but also make films, animations and do post-production for clients like Pepsi, Air France and Nike. If a project allows it, they happily take charge of its creative process from start to finish.
This level of involvement adds to the charm of their projects. It makes you recognize the artists’ style in multiple layers, and gives the result a personal feel.
In their pieces you’ll find a colorful mix of pop culture, Mexican influences and humor. “In Central America, everything is very concentrated, saturated, and exploding of colors, yet we’re also fans of minimalistic design. We try to mix these aesthetics in our work,” Daniela says.
“We like to work in different areas but with consistent elements. Whether it’s an installation or a film, we make sure it captures our style,” Mara adds.
Their cinemagraphs for the Mexican i-D illustrate this approach. It features girls who are happy with their natural hair.
“Currently there’s this movement in Mexico, where everybody wants to have straight, blond hair. So you won’t see much curls or redheads in the street. Girls with very short hair also aren’t very common,” Daniela says.
And so the duo turned to the project in Flaminguettes style. They gathered models with frizzy blond waves, a short pixie and a red bob cut. They dressed up the set in nude pastels, which made each hairdo really jump out.
“We immediately knew we wanted to make cinemagraphs. It’s much more interesting to understand the texture of the hair with the movement,” Mara explains.
The result is an uplifting series of clips in which the subtle moves of the models’ hair instantly draw attention. In combination with the surprising gestures of the girls the whole thing is a delightful surprise.
And that’s also their main aim – Mara and Daniela hope to amuse and distract you from your daily routine, but always in a positive way.
“We live in a country that has a lot of issues,” Mara says. “But Mexican culture is quite sarcastic and lighthearted, and we like to approach situations from this perspective.
“It means we always try to find the good, or positive thing in everything. Instead of closing your eyes from reality, we try to make you look at it, standing from a different perspective. We believe confronting life from the bright side is the most effective way to change the world.”