Technology can often pose a threat to the fashion industry. With technological advances comes the risk that the mass production these technologies permit will render age-old techniques and one-of-a-kind quirks obselete. Magazines and newspapers face continual problems as their readers turn to the internet where they can watch fashion shows and read news stories for free.
But amongst the downsides come the obvious advantages (making our lives that little easier, making information faster and more easily communicated...) but also the gems. There is one blossoming art form that shows to me how we should be using technology - not merely as a digitalising way of life, but as a tool for humans, and human creativity. Fashion on film shows how technology can be used to create something beautiful.
With the birth of the i-pad and the expansion of media platforms I expect that in the not too distant future designers and retailers everywhere will use film as a natural means of selling product. No doubt the art form will become sadly mainstream and lose its allure. But for now at least we are still in the stages of play where producers, stylists and designers are experimenting with film and achieving beautiful, one of a kind results.
Below are some of my favourite fashion films. They are short, sometimes bizarre, and their purpose is often unclear. But all of these films capture a humanity and playfulness that is beautifully individual. In a sometimes depressingly homogenised world, and when university stress makes me momentarily disollusioned with the fashion industry, these films make me smile and remind me of what fashion can be.
My faith has been restored.
(Click on the links to watch the films for yourself...)
Vanessa Bruno, Le Bel Eté
Vanessa Bruno's film, 'Le Bel Eté' showcased her Spring/Summer 2010 range, was directed by Stephanie De Guisto and starred Lou Doillon. The film isn't just a moving catalogue - in fact the clothes are secondary. What it is is a heartwarming series of uplifting and beautifully shot moving images.
Lou Doillon dances in flour to a background of cheerful music, and balances flowers on her head in a hot pink dress.
Between the scenes of dancing, play and then the sunlit euphoria at the end, there is a poignant moment in which Gonzales plays painfully beautiful piano music and the camera focuses on Lou Doillon's tear stained face.
One of the things the film does so well is capture emotion - after Doillon's tears come unbounded happiness as she rolls down an empty sand dune.
I think 'Le Bel Eté' is my favourite of all these films. Does it sell Vanessa Bruno's collection? Does it matter? What it does instead is warm my heart and make me happy to be human.
Vanessa Bruno, Night and Day
After the success of 'Le Bel Eté' came 'Night and Day' for the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection, a darker but equally compelling film.
The music really makes it in both of the Vanessa Bruno films. From Efterklang's bewitching folk 'Raincoats' to Gonzalez' piano music and Doillon's haunting vocals the music adds another dimension to the images.
Romantic and girly magazine, Lula features many short films on their website...
Why don't they let us fall in love ? Catherine Servel
The title of this film is as romantic as the film itself.
Fireworks for Five Eyes, My Party by Sandra Freij
Ethereal light, an old house and hundreds of white feathers.
I love the misty layers of this film; the models are ephemeral ghosts bathed in gold light.
Doll is Mine by Damon Heath
I love the song that accompanies this short film - Better Times by Beach House. Its video too, is beautiful and worth watching.
Cecilia Mary Robinson, Spring Summer 2011
This film, orchestrated by Swedish director Sandra Freij, is stunningly cinematic.
Every single shot was beautiful.
Complainte de la Seine, Carlotta Manaigo
This film ends fairly strangely, but I still loved it - mainly because I wanted her Parisian appartment and her underwear.
The film was composed of exquisitely stylised black and white images.
Liquid Luxe, Lacey
This film, featuring plastic Melissa / Vivienne Westwood shoes and ballooning clouds of coloured powder, was perhaps the strangest, but also one of my favourites.
The colours, shapes and patterns are simply stunning and showcase what we can achieve with the help of technology.
Hayclon Days - Gemma Booth
Shot on a charmingly grainy film 'Hayclon Days' evokes the simple joy and nostalgia of summer.
There is a glorious golden light throughout, and the film makes me yearn to run through the sea like a child.
Although some of these films promote designers or clothes most of the time it is unclear what they are really for or what they really mean. But sometimes you can fall in love with a poem without really understanding it. These films are moving poetry.