LONDON, United Kingdom — This season, we saw a wide diversity of fashion films — from a gorgeously animated “Sky Watcher” from Trussardi to the quirky charm of i-D’s “A-Z of the World’s Top Supermodels”— evidence that the genre has matured well past its roots in moving fashion editorial and simple behind-the-scenes clips.
But in the end, as in seasons past, humour drove the best results. In our top pick, “Cover Girl,” an American Vogue short introducing the magazine’s February cover, international editor at-large Hamish Bowles instructs writer and actress Lena Dunham on how to pose. With a little help from models past and present, Dunham and Bowles snappily re-enact some of the magazine’s greatest cover poses in what becomes a hilarious dance. The film has been shared over 14,800 times on Facebook and generated such buzz that Vogue released a second video teaching viewers how to do the dance themselves. Apparently, fans also performed the dance for Bowles outside of the fashion shows this season.
Now, without further ado, sit back and enjoy BoF’s Top 10 Fashion Films of the Season. And don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.
1. “Cover Girl” by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman for Vogue
“Feel the core, work those bananas! Kate, Naomi, Cindy, Twiggy,” instructs Vogue international editor at-large Hamish Bowles — who at times can barely suppress his laughter — to a puzzled but eager Lena Dunham, in this engaging short. It is the night before Dunham’s first cover shoot for Vogue, and under Bowles’ guidance, she adopts a multitude of poses from the magazine’s rich archives, culminating in a catchy jig.
It is always refreshing when such an established brand like Vogue can poke fun at itself, and Dunham’s playful performance clearly demonstrates that despite the buzz generated by her work and cover appearance, neither she nor the magazine take themselves too seriously. It also helped put to rest questions raised by some media outlets over Vogue’s retouching and allegedly unrealistic depiction of Dunham by demonstrating her comfort with the process.
2. “First Kiss” by Tatia Pllieva for Wren
Twenty-five million views in two days — that’s the viral pull of this video of 20 strangers asked to kiss for the first time on camera by filmmaker Tatia Pllieva for Los Angeles-based fashion brand Wren. In the two days since the video was uploaded, it has captured the attention of viewers on an unprecedented scale. Although it isn’t immediately apparent that the black and white short is indeed a fashion film, which is perhaps part of its success, the cast — all friends of Wren creative director Melissa Coker — all wear the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection. At turns awkward, sweet, tender, and cringe-worthy, the video strikes a very human nerve with the range of emotions it takes viewers through.
3. “Sky Watcher” by James Lima and Yuko Shimizu for Trussardi
In celebration of the Trussardi greyhound’s 40th anniversary, the Italian brand enlisted director James Lima and Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu to produce this visually stunning and imaginative animated film. Set around the historic piazzas of Milan, awash in moonlight, a celestial rabbit escapes from the stars to lead the gilded greyhound on a wild goose chase around town — until he has to return to guard the Trussardi store come morning.
4. Spring/Summer 2014 by Prada
Prada brought depth and wit to its Spring/Summer 2014 video campaign by turning her coterie of artfully clad women into an imagined audience. Posed as they are shot in the campaign photos, the models cheer and boo players in an imaginary match; toss popcorn at each other during a movie screening; and scream in excitement for their musical idols on stage. The film brought another layer of intrigue to the stunning still imagery of the brand’s print campaign.
5. “A-Z of the World’s Top Supermodels” by i-D magazine
Set to the foot-tappingly catchy ‘Arp #1’ by Jackson and His Computerband, the supermodel edition of i-D’s popular fashion alphabet series features 26 catwalk and magazine fixtures like Natalia Vodianova, Cara Delevingne, and Joan Smalls performing the magazine’s signature wink. Special guest appearances by J.W. Anderson and Rick Owens, as well as bright lettering and plenty of freeze frames, round out the stylish, lively short directed by Jérémie Rozan and styled by Charlotte Stockdale.
This cheeky, vintage-inspired film depicts identical twins and models Ruth and May Bell preparing for a party through a flirty, bright pastel lens. Directed by Ellen von Unwerth, the video showcases embellished looks from London brand Sister by Sibling’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Against the backdrop of a planned Tupperware party set in a 1950s house, the film adds dimension to the collection and offers a wholesome, fun slice of vintage Americana.
7. “The Spirit of Travel” by Louis Vuitton
Against the sweeping, rich landscape of the South African plains, amidst local wildlife and sand dunes, Louis Vuitton brings its latest travel campaign to life. Shot by famed lensman Peter Lindbergh and styled by Carine Roitfeld, models Karen Elson and Edie Campbell cavort in the tall grass, filming wild giraffes and cheetahs, and stroll lazily along dusty roads. The final shot, with Campbell perched atop a haphazardly stacked pile of luggage, is a standout.
8. “Mine All Mine” for Nowness
This season, Nowness launched an interactive, shoppable video, starring dancers from Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. Directed by Luke White and Remi Weekes (who are known, together, as Tell No One), the dancers leap and emote while seamlessly swapping outfits mid-jump. Viewers can click to view and purchase the pieces featured in the film — from labels like Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, La Perla and Maison Martin Margiela — though the YouTube version of the film is, sadly, not shoppable. The fully interactive video is available on Nowness.com.
9. Saint Laurent Music Project featuring Curtis Harding
Soulful blues singer Curtis Harding is the star of Saint Laurent’s latest film for its on-going Music Project, which has previously featured artists such as Daft Punk and Marilyn Manson. In dramatic black-and-white, Hedi Slimane shoots Harding as he sings his single “Next Time” in a fringed leather jacket. Shots of a languid and topless Grace Hartzel are juxtaposed with Harding’s focused performance for a production that exudes Slimane’s stark, rock n’ roll aesthetic codes.
10. “Bipping” by Kirbie for Bip Ling
Bipasha Ling, known simply as Bip Ling, is a DJ and fashion blogger based in London. With a distinctly ‘Gen Y’ take on blogging and sharing, her lo-fi music video about her daily to-do list of “bipping, mooching, blogging” includes many Bip-isms: her animated bear Mooch; animated GIFs of her bathroom looks of the day; and constant affirmations of ‘YAR.’ But even for those unfamiliar with her offbeat humour and catchphrases, Ling’s irreverence and self-deprecation about fashion blogging, which has been much debated in the media, is infectious and refreshing.