The beautiful thing about fashion film is it’s a genre that encompasses virtually every other medium of art. A creative vision is spawned by a seamed collaboration between artists from different backgrounds all with the goal of constructing an indelible presentation of a motif.
The best work in fashion film are pieces that clearly exploit the brand, that invoke a sense of mystery and entice the audience’s curiosity about the product, that maintain a sense of humor, are visually arresting, and have a unique point of view and arouse declarations of controversy.
I was treated to these attributes many times over at the recent bout of public screenings for the Berlin Fashion Film Festival 2014. The selection committee somehow managed to dwindle over 700 submissions down to 70, from 54 countries with a bevy of works spanning all kinds of brands and backgrounds.
Tonight is the Award Ceremony where the judges will have the daunting task of picking the winners amongst the group of carefully curated films. The ceremony will also include a live fashion show from eccentric and charismatic Russian designer Andre Bartenev – presenting his Bubble of Hope pieces that I had the honor of adorning at a Fashion Week opening party.
I couldn’t be any more inspired than I am right now. The films were so creative and well-versed in artistry from the provocative to the hilarious to the seriously satirical. Subjectiveness withstanding, here are my favorites out of the films I got to see*.
1. “Jumper” by Justin Anderson
I don’t know what it is about people with the last name “Anderson” – but they seem to be naturally born filmmakers. He killed it with his arresting composition of reality meets fantasy in a film that I hope everyone in the world will get to see. It’s not online yet, but you can see a sample of his work here:
2. “Persona” by Gordon von Steiner
This is a very racy film that uses a very dark sexuality to seduce the viewer but that is not all that I love about it. Yes, sex sells, but what is so meticulously attested to is the importance of the self-reflecting nature of fashion. With the absence of clothes (seen so vehemently throughout) the importance of the wardrobe becomes almost subliminally etched into your memory. The pieces are memorable (those jackets! those shoes!) because when the character is stripped down to that naked vulnerable object, the value of style becomes more apparent. Yes, I’m getting all poetic about it, but this is the sort of work that demonstrates the poetry of fashion – and more importantly, the pith of why we choose the clothes that we choose.
3. “Let’s Not Make It Complicated” – by Samu-Jussi Koshi
This is brilliant. Simple, hilarious, shows the product clearly and the theme of the collection. It just works. It was nice to see some high quality dialog and acting to go with something so visual. That fear factor of using live acting is put to rest here – this film could do very well in a visual-only situation with the addition of subtitles.
4. “Today, Tonight” by Fred & Nick
It is a difficult task to encapsulate the aesthetics of menswear and womenswear in one film and this does so brilliantly, though I feel as though much of the work was dubiously augmented by an incomparable budget and should have let some more organic aspects of the film linger on, for example: the acting gems they acquired for the piece were usurped by flashes of cinematic genius. It’s not easy to get a model that can act – this could have been taken advantage of.
5. “L’Agent by Agent Provocateur” by Penelope Cruz
Penelope! You so nasty! J’adore!
Absolutely loved these other films as well.
“MYKITA + Maison Martin Margiela” by Julien Soulier and Adrien Landre
“Hummel J Autumn Winter 2014” by Ole Delfs
“K Woman” by Hunter and Gatti
“Prenza Schouler IS” by HARRYS
“ANTWRP SS14” by Guido Verelst
“The Purgatory of Monotony” by Ace Norton
Two of my most honorable mentions go to Badtime Stories – a local mom & pop produced low budget film from the independent label Muschi Kreuzberg Berlin.
I will not say anything about this because it is so riveting you have to experience it first hand. WATCH NOW!!!
And last but not least – this ditty really took home the cake for being the most fun!
Happy Fashion Week!
*I was only able to attend 3 our of the total 4 screenings