The December issue of Vogue is out. The window displays are up. The John Lewis advert is on the telly. It’s officially Christmas.
We’ve all seen the photos on Instagram, and the printed adverts in magazines that emerge in the run up to the season of gift-giving, advertising products, services and lifestyles. It is felt by some that the fashion film is not lodged into the public consciousness, that the photo shoot still reigns supreme… but it seems the wind is changing. This year’s forays into film are emotional, exciting and in some cases quite subversive. Is fashion film finally having a moment?
The Tale of Thomas Burberry
By award winning director Asif Kapadia this emotional, Hollywood style advert had me begging for a feature length film version. The drama, the costumes, the intimate relationships of the characters, the heart breaking tragedy; it had me hooked! Starring Domnhall Gleeson and Sienna Miller, ‘The Tale…’ condenses 160 years of British history into the fantasy tale of one man, Thomas Burberry. This is one of those carefully crafted pieces of advertising where the product is not thrust forward to centre stage. Burberry is selling a lifestyle, steeped in history and romance.
Come Together- H&M
Continuing the theme of award winning directors, H&M commissioned Wes Anderson for this years christmas advert. Set on the H&M Winter Express, this film tells the story of lone travellers who won’t make it home in time for Christmas day. The soundtrack feels nostalgic, using choral music and a record by John Lennon: ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’. Anderson employs his trademark dolls house style to look through the windows of the train at the individual characters. As a sentimental touch, they each sit next to a photo of a loved one. The ad concludes with a makeshift festive scene in the dining carriage, and a shot of one of the passengers, the unaccompanied little boy, placing the paper star on the tree (thrown through the window earlier in the film). Utterly charming.
Kenzo World- the new fragrance
Directed by Spike Jonze, this film immediately captures it’s audience’s attention. A now woman pop of colour in a sea of black tie. The colour of the dress, juxtaposed against the mise-en-scene, was bright, bold and modern. Actress and model Margaret Qualley defies the expectations set up in the opening frame by dancing with limitless energy, and a certain sense of ferocity. This film isn’t sexually charged, nor does it try to translate a scent directly into a visual image. Instead, it excites us, and arouses our curiosity. ‘What will she do next?’ I found myself thinking as I watched her lick a sculptural bust. This film had me laughing out loud with delight.
Marc Jacobs fall 2016
This film is functional; it serves as an introduction to the collection, and what an introduction it is. However, there is something about Hype Williams’ film that feels subversive. It has in part to do with the neon light that create an atmosphere of a dark, sexy club. The colours are stark against a black background, and the models seem to be at one with that darkness. Stars like Cara Delvigne and Marilyn Manson bring individuality to a more general air of androgyny.