While film studios may be pumping out wave after wave of absolute drudgery, at least we’re seeing cinematic leaps in the worlds of fashion and beauty. The super-short film is the new magazine ad, and these five fashionable brands have jumped on the video vanguard wagon in leaps and bounds…
File this one under ‘WTF’. A hauntingly beautiful video with a quiet stillness that reverberates throughout, First Spring is an interesting cross-section of Film Noir meets Mary Poppins meets The Godfather meets the circus. Seriously, what was director/Chinese art star Yang Fudong trying to accomplish here? An intertwining of lives centred around a sophisticated couple in Old World Shanghai, First Spring depicts the fashion house’s latest menswear collection amidst the juxtaposition of traditional Chinese garb. There’s nothing particularly creepy about the short flick, but on a whole you’re left feeling slightly… unsettled. It’s definitely an interesting way for Prada to have debuted their S/S ’10 collection.
What happens when a renowned luxury brand pairs up with the world’s leading optical company to debut a series of fashionable shorts? The answer comes in the form of Armani’s Frames of Life series, in partnership with Luxottica. Initially launched in 2010, the brands resurrected the concept this year in a series of four shorts depicting five characters: Luc, a dashing writer; Carlos, a sexy waiter; Nina, a gorgeous cellist; and Lucille and Adrian, fabled lovers. Each minute-or-so-long clip depicts the sultry subjects experiencing some sort of life milestone – from the publishing of Luc’s first book to Nina’s big audition. What do we take from the six minutes of YouTube trolling it took to watch these jewels? Life must blow if you’re in shitty glasses.
A stunning and cinematic approach to a branded short, Cartier’s Odyssey encapsulates the prestige and precision of the jeweller in three minutes of vivid visuals. A bejewelled panther (a strong symbol in Cartier history) is brought to life to lead us through the Cartier journey; dashing through the snow in Russia, swirling around a golden dragon in China, undulating through an Indian palace filled with gorgeously detailed “live” jewelled animals, and ending in Paris at the Grand Palais. Striking, intriguing, and with effects that would titillate Speilberg, L’Odyssée de Cartier is one of the most appealing branded shorts on the web today.
Beloved Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz recently “relaunched” many of Lancôme’s eye makeups in newly styled and reinvented packaging. The collection was brought to life via a short, Lancôme Show by Alber Elbaz, that debuted earlier this month. The raw yet refined cartoon features headless beauties where the focus is their elongated lashes – presumably thanks to the use of the collection – and dramatic reactions to an haute couture fashion show. Brava, Lancôme! Brava!
As part of The Alphabet – a digital heritage project that highlights important terms and ideologies associated with Chloé and that coincided with the Chloé.Attitudes exhibition at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo – Chloé created a multitude of shorts that involve the audience in the intricacies of the brand. Possibly most profound of the series is G for Gaby, depicting the words of Chloé founder Gaby Aghion and her personal story, journeying from Egypt to Paris and subsequently the creation of her fashion house.