NEW YORK, United States — In recent seasons, digital fashion film has been gaining momentum as an emotionally charged and cost-effective presentation format. But this season is the first time designers have started using film in a way that tightly complements their runway shows and lets them extend their presence across multiple fashion weeks, in different geographic markets.
Yesterday evening, English enfant terrible Gareth Pugh, who has been showing in Paris for the last two seasons, established his first presence at New York Fashion Week by showing not one, but four short films. Created in collaboration with fashion filmmaker Ruth Hogben, the films set the tone and outlined the inspirations for Pugh's upcoming Spring Summer 2010 collection to be unveiled on the Paris catwalks in early October.
After speaking with Ruth about her previous films for Gareth, I was especially excited to see what the two had dreamt up. Their stunning installation did not disappoint.
Inspired by the four elements – earth, water, wind and fire – the four films were presented on four sides of a monolithic cube designed by Simon Costin. Accompanied by a soundtrack by Matthew Stone that was at once futuristic and medieval, the cube sat in the darkened loading dock at Milk Studios, before editors including Suzy Menkes and Jefferson Hack, looking like it had landed from somewhere far away, carrying the elemental essence of Mr. Pugh's forthcoming collection with it.
Mr. Pugh hasn't been the only one experimenting with fashion film this week. Having relocated his men's runway show to Paris this past June, CFDA award-winning designer Tim Hamilton staged a film screening over the weekend in New York, high above the city on the 22nd floor of the historic Art Deco AT&T building in Tribeca.
Rope and Climb, two simple but evocative films created in collaboration with contemporary artist and photographer Collier Schorr, brought pieces from Hamilton's Spring Summer 2010 men's collection to life for the assembled editors and buyers, giving the brand a continued presence at New York Fashion Week and proving that digital films can conjur and extend the energy and emotion of a collection as both prequels or sequels.
Vikram Alexei Kansara is a digital strategist and writer based in New York.