On Saturday January 10, the London Short Film Festival presented its fashion film strand Transgression & Convention in Fashion Film in collaboration with London College of Fashion, University of the Art’s Graduate School at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.
Brand new work from MA Fashion Media Production, MA Fashion Photography and from independent filmmakers was showcased.
MA Fashion Media Production and MA Fashion Photography at London Short Film Festival
Creative, emotionally engaging and thought-provoking, are not words that the uninitiated might associate with fashion film, but this is exactly what the audience experienced on Saturday. The Convention and Transgression screening was as diverse as the fashion industry itself. The fashion films covered topics as varied as transgender identity, dysfunctional relationships, oppression, hyper-reality, self-revelation and Alzheimer’s disease.
Atmospheric and haunting was the story of a toxic relationship in Folie a Deux by MA Fashion Media Production graduate Poon Sap, shot on the white cliffs of Dover. Release by MA Fashion Media Production graduate Raki Cheng was a poetic and visually compelling fashion film that conveyed the loss of childhood.
Most buzzed about was the prize-winning short film Blackened Wings (Miami and Chicago Fashion Film Festival) by Josh Brandão, alumni of MA Fashion Photography. Using motifs of Russian Constructivism and elements of Film Noir, this powerful theatrical production presents the story of a young bullied man who emerges triumphant in flames, wearing amazing designs by Vivienne Westwood, Armani, Givenchy and Tiger of Sweden.
Presenting candid documentary approaches to questions of gender identity were Larissa de Filippo, alumna of MA Fashion Media Production and Harun Güler, current student of MA Fashion Photography with All Eyes on Me; and Saskia Reis, alumna of MA Fashion Media Production and founder of THE LOVESTREET with her 2011 video portrait Rose in London.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Nilgin Yusuf, Programme Director of the Media Graduate School and Course Leader of MA Fashion Media Production; Paul Bevan, Course Leader of MA Fashion Photography; Andy Lee, Subject Leader of Fashion Film Practice; and filmmaker Josh Brandão.
According to Nilgin Yusuf, transgression and fashion film could be as simple as presenting the flawed, the imperfect, the unclean, and the emotional. These were no slick fashion commercials but ground-breaking short films that the market is longing for.
Paul Bevan saw transgression in the diversity of work. None of them were typical fashion films and many had non-linear approaches.
Meanwhile, Josh Brandõ was inspired by the anti-commercial and sees fashion film as a form of art. As film is an expensive medium he advices current and future LCF students to gather as much as possible from the amazing facilities on offer.
Although his films are sophisticated productions he reveals they were low-budget productions based on favours and his time experimenting in the studios at LCF.
“Having a clear vision of your film in mind is what helps you to get people on board”, says Andy Lee.
Although he cannot predict where the future of fashion film is going, it is clear that it is a growing force. With a huge number of fashion films internationally, there is also growing interest from established short film festivals. In November the LCF Graduate School sponsored the first fashion film strands at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, as well as this recent collaboration with London Short Film Festival.
Fashion film enthusiasts are invited to discover the next generation of film making talent at the MA15 Exhibition, 18 – 22 Feb, where they can see new work from graduates of MA Fashion Media Production and MA Fashion Photography, alongside other creative disciplines.
Written by Helen Woltering, MA Fashion Media Production, fashion-bakery.blogspot.com