‘If you were to ask me what makes a great fashion film, it’s very easy to answer, great fashion makes a great fashion film’; for Nick Knight a narrative already lies dormant in every garment just waiting to be explored. As a natural progression from illustration and photography, fashion film is on the rise to becoming an essential communication tool. In this article we take a look at some of the talented fashion videographers who know what it takes to draw the story out of clothes and into motion.
‘Dressing the Screen: The Rise of Fashion Film’ was the name of an exhibition put on as part of Design Fashion Week Singapore several years back. It celebrated fashion film as an innovative platform which can allow a designer to re-imagine their collection. People now await the release of a new fashion film as they would a blockbuster, and no wonder, as a fashion film can speak volumes about a brand and a designer’s concept for their collection. It gives designers the opportunity to collaborate with other creatives; art directors, stylists, actors, musicians and editors to name a few, who can bring a fresh perspective to the table. Film can combine fashion with other forms of art and imbue garments with richer cultural subtext. It can break away from the uniformity of a lookbook, bringing performance, environment, props and people into a dynamic relationship with the collection. Some designers use fashion film to glamorous effect (think Rihanna’s ‘Secret Garden’ appearance for Dior) and others really exploit it’s potential to push their brand in a new experimental direction, such as Eckhaus Latta who collaborated with director Alexa Karolinski in a series of provocative films. Here are some of the fashion filmmakers to keep an eye out for.
Ruth Hogben has an amazing sense of fun in her films; they’re vibrant and full of energy. In particular, her work for LOVE magazine radiates playfulness. She uses music extremely well, matching it to her characteristic quick cuts and pacey vibe. This is one of our favourites:
This visual treat from Pierre Debuscherre is crammed full of techniques, proving that with some creative choreography and editing, a simple studio (and lots of pretty flowers!) can be the basis for a really dynamic video.
Glen Luchford works with Gucci’s new creative director Allesandro Michele (who took over from Frida Giannina in January 2015) to create some really iconic fashion films. Luchford’s SS16 Campaign film came under fire because it heavily echoed the cult film ‘Christiane F’ and was criticised for glamorising themes in the film such as heroin addiction and prostitution. However the brand recovered magnificently with Luchford’s simple vision for the Cruise 2016 film. It feels like a culmination of Michele’s quirky and vintage style, and perfectly embodies Gucci’s exaggerated geek chic aesthetic; Luchford contemporises 70s kitsch for the youth of today in his goofy film:
Marie Kristiansen came to our attention as the winner of the Berlin Fashion Film Festival category for cinematography/best idea in 2015. She’s an extremely versatile artist, especially in her work for Edeline Lee for Brand of Sisters. She uses a precise aesthetic to echo the minimalist lines and structural designs. She also demonstrates the influences of art on fashion in her Autumn/ Winter 2015 film for Edeline Lee. The quick cuts and repetition of the model echo the linearity of the Mondrian-esque Modernist designs, with horizontals and verticals recurring throughout the video:
Kristiansen has worked closely with designer Phoebe English (a strong advocate of fashion film), she experimentally shot her collection underwater to accentuate and slow down the movement of the unusual fabrics, focusing on the craftsmanship, texture and detailing.
Finally, George Harvey who at the tender age of 23 shot his first cover for i-D Magazine has an archetypal minimalist style. His videos are totally pared back and he primarily works in black and white for the ultimate clean aesthetic. They’re always in motion and epitomise the idea that video can be a language which can intimately communicate the intricacies of a collection. His lyrical style lends itself perfectly to Phoebe English’s designs which focus on structure and detail:
If you’re interested in looking at fashion film further then here are some more filmmakers and sites to get stuck into:
Filmmakers: Rei Nadal (who has a distinctly gritty and provocative style), Marie Schuller, Harley Weir, Ben Toms, Alexa Karolinski, Greg Araki, Terence Neale and Sean Baker.
Sites: SHOWstudio (founded by Nick Knight), Art Partner and Berlin Fashion Film Festival.
Article by Elly from Just Noise Pictures