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by Patrick Robinson

Local filmmaker Jamie Chamberlin, whose films and videos for ZZTop, Duff McKagen and others have earned him a reputation as edgy and innovative, is branching out from that career into his own clothing line.

His brand Black Dahlia is the same but now in addition to the imagery of film, the brand will allow people to become part of it by wearing hats, shirts, tunics and more all in his signature color, black.

Right now they have eleven prototypes, all designed by Chamberlin. Six of those will be selected to move into samples and patterns. The clothing will initially be available online only, but the eventual goal is to place the clothing in retail outlets.

The website is under development as they get the photography and video work done.

He said the line would launch in Spring 2016.

But his creative work began long before. Chamberlin said,” Probably the origins of everything I’m doing now from photography, fashion or filmmaking started in high school.” He attended Northside School of the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia where he majored in lighting design.”My path was originally as a theatrical lighting designer.” After spending a year in New York hustling around off Broadway he chose to get an Academic degree and came to Seattle where he attended Seattle Central College. He has switched to a Psychology major and got his AA degree. But pure academia was not his wish, so he heard about the Vancouver film School in British Columbia and went there to live for two years getting a certificate. A bachelors degree still held appeal though so he came to Evergreen College in Olympia where he finished his degree in film and photography. Then it was off to Los Angeles.

Ten years there meant working in television production finally becoming a Producer for Fox Television on The X Show which ran from 1999 to 2001 and then worked on Sex and the City following the show to New York.

But it was during his stint on the X Show that he met Billy Gibbons of the band ZZ Top. The two hit it off and became friends. That relationship resulted in Chamberlain’s first documentary film “Rock and Roll Gearhead: Four Days with Billy F. Gibbons” and led to his going on tour with the band in 2008 where he documented over 100 live shows resulting in a DVD called “ZZ Top – Double Down Live”

In 2010 he was approached by Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses to produce and direct a feature length film to support “The Taking,” the 2011 album release from McKagan’s band LOADED. That film was completed in 2012 and went on to win a Gold Remi at the 2013 Houston International film festival.

Chamberlin has continued his relationship with Billy F Gibbons and ZZ Top by directing and co-producing a majority of the backline screen content for ZZ Top’s current concert tour.

Most recently he shot some music videos for Queensryche lead singer Geoff Tate’s new project Operation Mindcrime which he hopes to finish by the end of July.

“I would say this year is the busiest year I’ve ever had,” he said. He said he wants to continue to diversify, “I want Black Dahlia to be an all purpose brand from film and promotional to the clothing brand and even event coordination. We’re starting a great collaboration with some great and very talented people. Hopefully we can all collaborate in a way that benefits all of us so we can do the things we want to do and get paid for it.”

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