For years there was something slightly unnerving about the combination of the words fashion and film, normally prompting a polite smile and a change of subject, in fear of having to sit through two minutes of models dancing their way through popular fashion capitals around the world. However, in recent times, this reputation has diminished with brands like Prada and Proenza Schouler, and their clever collaboration with reputable directors and artists, making fashion films a newsfeed-worthy subject.
Perhaps this melding of creative talent has influenced some of the most unexpected projects such as David Lynch’s recent women’s sportswear debut. For the most part, fortunately, these great visual minds have brought a fresh take to stylish shorts and caused the genre of fashion film t0 gain credibility across both industries. Take a look at five of our favorite fashion and film collaborations from recent years below.
“Castello Cavalcanti” – Wes Anderson x Prada (2013)
Director of some of the most modern classic films, Wes Anderson, debuted his short film at the Rome Film Festival in 2013, in collaboration with Miuccia Prada’s Italian fashion label, easily one of the most iconic brands worldwide. This combined with Anderson’s admiration and recognition in the film industry for deadpan humor works faultlessly. A story of love, set in Italy, with meticulous attention to detail and incredible humor enables the bridge to be broken between producing fashion films intended for people just interested in fashion and leaves us with a highly creditable short film.
“Act da Fool” – Harmony Korine x Proenza Schouler (2010)
“Act da Fool,” directed by Harmony Korine and writer of cult classic Kids and more recently director of Gummo and Spring Breakers, is more an episodic illustration than a film short. Korine shot the piece in his hometown of Tennessee – more specifically the projects in Nashville – with his signature low-grade and gritty production. “Act Da Fool” is a visually seductive insight into a girl gang, with an almost poetic dialogue. The majority of its success is its informative and eye-opening display of a place and people that would never normally be prominent in the fashion industry. The spoken dialect, lo-fi production and subcultural references break the conventional boundaries of fashion films perfectly and illustrate the American filmmaker’s dynamic range, which also includes films for Dior and Supreme.
“Missoni by Anger” – Kenneth Anger x Missoni (2010)
Controversial filmmaker Kenneth Anger shot members of the Missoni family for their Fall 2010 campaign to the tune of Koudlam’s “Heavy Metal Valley” – a bold complement to the film’s attitude. The mood is reminiscent of some of his other work, boasting luxe colors and hallucinogenic, dream-like qualities. This beautiful avant-garde short featuring abstract frames of dissimilar moods, unconventional locations and distorted imagery easily puts it at the forefront of the more exciting and unorthodox fashion films.
“L’Invitation au Voyage” – Romain Gavras x David Bowie x Louis Vuitton (2013)
“L’Invitation au Voyage” starring David Bowie and model Arizona Muse, and directed by Romain Gavras (best known for his work with M.I.A), is the second part of a series of campaigns by French fashion house Louis Vuitton. This collaboration comprised of a highly prestigious brand and an iconic figure features Bowie serenading Muse in the middle of a decadent ball. Unsurprisingly Bowie is singing his own track, “I’d Rather Be High,” but with less guitars and alt-rock elements and more Venetian elegance. This film may be somewhat more commercial than other contenders but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.
“Cloudbusting” – Partel Oliva x KENZO (2013)
This energetic one-minute short by directing duo Partel Oliva takes inspiration from the key looks of KENZO‘s Fall/Winter 2013 menswear line – clouds. This is used to great effect in the film’s contrast between day and night, dreamlike worlds and the amped-up energy of the acrobatic motorbike riders. Another perfect example of the Parisian label combining sportswear and refined detail, which we now, of course, expect from luxury fashion houses. Like most things they do, this one is effortlessly cool.
Holly Ladd for Highsnobiety.com