Short film or long advert? Inevitably every ‘fashion film’ will be deemed the former by its PR and the latter by the journalist whose inbox it reaches; once, perhaps twice, on occasion several times.
It’s hard to define exactly what it is that makes an audience agree with those pushing it. The length, the concept or the viewer’s preference for the subject? Each is a justifiable factor and in reality each will likely play a part.
With the rise of digital platforms and the ongoing debate about the role of the fashion show, film today plays a more vital role in the industry than ever before. Indeed, amongst its coverage of fashion weeks across the globe, Style.com hosts ‘Video Fashion Week’ every season, streaming ready to wear concept films.
As Martine Rose and Shaun Samson showed last week – both with NEWGEN backing, each opting to preview their AW14 collections with web exclusives – a fashion show is not the be all and end all. It’s also not cheap.
Picking up on the need for a separate platform several seasons ago, last Wednesday River Island and the British Fashion Council hosted Fash/On Film, an evening dedicated to the fashion short.
‘Glimpse The Eternal’, Alex Mattsson’s AW14 offering, saw the designer hook up with Red Bull Catwalk Studios for the final time. Set to Zebra Katz’ ‘LST CTRL’, the Blair Witch style video includes a cameo from Mattsson himself, disgruntledly stating “fashion films… so fucking boring”.
Alongside the candid clips, a single model stomps his way through the track before losing his mind. It’s a slick piece of film executed with the attitude it deserves. There are close ups of the clothes – lest you forget its reason for existing – but these are done with the deepest regard for the format. You can watch 'Glimpse The Eternal' here.
Also showing on the night was River Island’s latest Fashion Forum collaborator, Joseph Turvey. Working with director Alex Turvey – no relation – the two minute clip takes on a day in the life vibe, following the model collective Justanorm.
Here the narrative takes prominence with the clothing a secondary element and the matching skateboard and basketballs – in Turvey’s pink and black camo like design – an added bonus.
The two videos portray the collections in quite different ways, but each is an example of how film can play to a designer’s strengths – allowing them further creative charge – and engage fans (and ultimately potential buyers), in a different way.