The first digital edition of Haute Couture season finished on Wednesday. During 3 days, 34 fashion films put on display the savoir-faire of extraordinary designers. Huge names, from Dior to Chanel, passing by Valentino, Schiaparelli, Maison Margiela and Elie Saab. But also, more discrete houses took part of this landmark in fashion history.
The circumstances that pushed fashion brands into digital media were exceptional for this occasion. The coronavirus pandemic put the world upside-down. Since the spread started, there has been 11,8 million cases and more than half a million fatalities.
Taking that into account, fashion houses aspired to stay on the radar and to keep in touch in this particular time. They couldn’t continue with their traditional runways, so they needed to adapt. Nevertheless, fashion films have a complexity not all of them mastered. In my opinion, aesthetics is an important part of the project, but its not the only factor to favour. How you tell your story and the message you leave at the end is also essential.
My top 9 fashion films for Haute Couture Automne- Hiver 20-21
|2||Yuima Nakazato||4’12’’||Communication with clients||7||9||9|
|3||Julien Fournié||7’31’’||Designer in the first person||8||8||8|
|5||Ralph & Russo||6’22’’||Avatar||9||8||8|
|7||Christophe Josse||10’22’’||Paris by night||8||8||5|
|8||Iris van Herpen||2’57’’||Technology||9||9||5|
|9||Schiaparelli||3’30’’||Sketches in NY city||8||8||8|
The first place goes without a doubt to Viktor&Rolf. “Change” is an exquisite mix of the nostalgia of catwalks, a modern engaged brand and lavish couture. The voice-over narration sets the tone of the video in a very welcoming way despite the epidemics. An opulent empty room is the simple scene used in this film accompanied by an outstanding warm lighting that privilege the gowns and every skin tone. 3 models, product of a diverse casting, embody elegance at its finest.
The script is well thought out. It’s like an old fashion catwalk, with the narrator describing each garment and its inspiration. There are three main themes and each one of them includes 3 outfits.
The first group embraces a somber mood with fantasy elements like the raincloud motif incrustations in a blue satin empire line dress, a voluminous grey déshabillé with very long sleeves and an elaborate bow, typical of the Viktor&Rolf creations and cone motif black faux leather coat. This last outfit comes with a face mask, said to be “the smartest new accessory of the season”, according to the voiceover.
The second group of clothes sums up the “conflicting emotions these days”. The impact of social media is incarnated in a peach satin one shoulder dress embroider with emojis, each of them symbolising a “state of mind”. A second déshabillé enters into the scene, this time in pale pink and canary yellow and with many huge bows in the left sleeve. Then an asymmetric pink coat with decoration of holes and panels seems to be the perfect tool for social distancing.
The third group is all about love. “Change is necessary. If only we could change ourselves as easily as we do our outfits. Who wouldn’t choose love? Because love conquers all, n’est pas? (right?)”, says the voice while presenting a satin negligée with red, white and black hearts. A white bathrobe with heart shape red pockets is the perfect example of chic.
The finale outfit is sublime and full of meaning: a white faux leather coat adorns with glittering hearts. “We all deserve to be love, regardless of age, colour, gender, race, religion or sexuality”, emphasizes the narrator while presenting this garment.
Viktor&Rolf acknowledges the changes we are experiencing as a society and brings “spectacular beauty”, “unexpected elegance” and “spiritual glamour” to these strange times.
These are the reasons why I chose “Change” of Viktor&Rolf as my favourite fashion film from the Haute Couture season. In my opinion, this film makes sense. It challenges the traditional industry with a video that is intense and light at the same time. Its activism is shown in its faux leather use, LGBT rights statement, exposing mental health issues… The clothes reflect fantasy and humour with a brilliant level of execution. Through the 3 groups of outfits we pass from dark times to redemption. In the end, “love conquers all, n’est pas”.