Shaded view of fashion
On the day of the awards ceremony for the 3rd edition of A Shaded View On Fashion Film Festival (ASVOFF) we speak to its founder and international fashion icon, Diane Pernet. Pernet’s impressive career spans fashion and costume design, journalism and filmmaking. However her work on the web, as the driving force behind the cult blog A Shaded View On Fashion, launched in 2005, has propelled her to the forefront of online fashion today. In September 2008 Pernet launched A Shaded View Of Fashion Film, the first annual international film festival dedicated to fashion, style and beauty at Jeu de Paume National Gallery. The program has travelled to landmark institutions, museums and festivals around the world. Divided into five awards in which submitted films have to be no longer than five minutes, the competition is judged by a jury of professionals. This year included: Mike Figgis, Michael Nyman, Bryan Adams, Dira Von Teese and Paolo Roversi. In breaking news we’ve just heard that Daniel Askill has won the Le Book prize for his film Nocturna, commissioned exclusively for AnOther.
What inspired and motivated you to start ASVOFF?
It is a long story and in fact I had the idea more than a decade ago but it was too soon and there was not enough material out there. More than six years ago Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto asked me to make a road movie of the launch of his menswear collection via the Gumball Rally. It was an 18-minute film and I showed it to my LA contributor at the time and he asked me if I wanted to screen it in LA. The next day my Mexico City correspondent, EGR, sent me a film and I posted it on A Shaded View On Fashion and we decided instead of just screening my film in LA we would put together a festival.
Film is becoming an increasingly important medium in fashion – do you feel you in part pioneered this?
It sounds pretentious on my part to say that. Let’s just say that I helped to propel it into the limelight…
Why do you feel film is so important in the worlds of fashion, style and beauty?
Consumers understand very well that fashion goes much deeper than clothes or a photograph. That’s why the top tier of the industry spends a fortune on advertising, marketing and branding. But luxury consumers are realising much faster than most brands that fashion film is one of the best ways we have in 2010 to capture and distribute the elusive power of fashion. And as most good CEOs know, seduce the customer and you’re half of the way to selling your product.
How do you feel your experiences have aided the success of ASVOFF?
One of my first jobs in Paris was as a costume designer for an Amos Gitae film, Golem l’Esprit d’Exile. It was at that point that I realised most directors are afraid of fashion, worrying that it will take too much attention from the film or they fail to understand the importance of fashion in film. Although every photographer’s agent is encouraging them to pick up a video camera, the transition is not an obvious one. It’s a much different action to direct a static photo series than it is to act on all the other elements that make up a good film. What I discovered as a big difference with the submissions to ASVOFF this year is that there were many more well constructed films than there were animated photo shoots. Directors that have made the cross over into film with great aplomb are Glen Luchford, Steven Klein and Ryan McGinley. Directors like Almodovar, Greenaway, Lynch and William Klein have always understood the power of fashion in film.
Do you have any favourite films from your last two festivals?
Le Dernier Cri by Erwin Olaf, VPL by Marcelo Krasilcic, The Transformer by Alexander McQueen and Nick Knight, Rick Owens by Nick Knight.
AnOther's Exclusive film Nocturna by Daniel Askill won the Le Book award at ASVOFF, what are your thoughts on this piece?
I loved this film and was super happy with the choice, I think the atmosphere and the timing of the film was perfection.
What makes a great fashion film?
The same qualities that make any other film great, cinematography, good acting, good sound design. A good film can make you loose yourself, inspires you and takes you on a journey. It can be an animation like The Quay Brothers for Wonderwood (Comme des Garcons) or Glen Luchford with Tilda Swinton that are so sensitive and beautiful that with every frame you are transported. It has to look effortless.
Which filmmakers do you consider as ones-to-watch?
Justin Anderson, Robi Rodgriquez, Glen Luchford, Alex Prager, Zen Sekizawa , Elisha Smith-Leverock, Mattias Montero, Benjamin Seroussi, Yoann Lemoine, Andrea Splisgar, Vincent Gagliostro, Suzie Q & Leo Siboni, Marcelo Krasilcic, Rain Li …
Is ASVOFF 3 bigger and better than the two previous and if so in what ways?
Yes, I think so. Fashion film has exploded over the last few years. In fact this is the biggest selection ever, maybe it is even too big… next year I’ll cut down the size but I wanted to show the diversity of ways to express fashion in film from all around the world. I love that so many countries are represented in this edition: China to Australia, Poland, Japan, France, England, Latvia, the US. We have a symposium this year putting directors in touch with other industry professionals, distributors, producers, art directors.
Where do you see fashion film going over the next decade?
I don’t see it as a trend. I think that it is something that will continue to grow and used correctly, will prove to be a great tool both commercially and in establishing an identity for a brand.
What does the future hold for you and ASVOFF, and do you have any collaborations in the pipeline?
I’m currently discussing taking ASVOFF on a Middle East tour, Barcelona, Milan, Tokyo and Mexico City. I’d like to find the perfect global sponsor that understands film as a great tool to communicate their brand. I’d like to commission more films and find ASVOFF as a satellite at film festivals like Venice, Berlin and Cannes. I want to support the medium and watch it grow.
Interview by Lucia Davies
ASVOFF 3 runs from 24 – 26 September, Centre Pompidou, Paris, with a repeat showing of In-competition Films running from 3 – 5 October BETC, Paris.