Diane Pernet And Tavi Take The Shaded View Of Fashion Film
This weekend, the legendary Diane Pernet—whose A Shaded View On Fashion is one of the original fashion blogs—unveiled the third edition of her fashion-film festival, A Shaded View On Fashion Film. This year, she’s brought on a co-judge, Tavi Gevinson (left, with Pernet), one of the most followed fashion bloggers of the moment. The winners have been named—visit A Shaded View On Fashion Film for more—but all the films from the competition screen for the public tomorrow at the Centre Pompidou. For the festival weekend, Style.com sat down with Pernet and Gevinson to talk fashion, film, and just where the whole blog thing may go.
How did you two first come together?
Diane Pernet: I was invited to participate in a blogging conference last March. Tavi was participating in one section and me in another. I told the organizer that I wanted to meet Tavi because I wanted to propose something to her. We met. She was charming. It was very brief.
Tavi Gevinson: I remember being in total awe of her hat and knowing I was meeting a true character.
The competition is for fashion films. Tell me a little about them—do you see them as their own separate art form?
DP: There are no rules for fashion film, as it is a new genre. That said, if we think of fashion films as any film where fashion plays a major role, then we can say that under that heading fashion films have been around since the time of silent movies. G. W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box in 1929 with Louise Brooks, William Klein’s 1966 Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?, Luis Bunuel’s 1967 Belle du Jour with Catherine Deneuve, and short fashion films by Guy Bourdin all show the impact that fashion and cinema can ignite.
So what, would you say, are the top five qualities that a fashion film needs to have to be compelling?
DP: Does it hold my interest or touch me in some way? Aside from that, it is the same qualities that interest me in any film: construction, character, cinematography, music, and direction.
TG: I don’t think all of the following five are necessary to have all at once, but they’re attributes I especially like:
1) Fashion isn’t just about clothes, it’s about a mood. There are ways other than shots where the details are perfectly clear to tell us about the clothes.
2) A story isnt necessary, the same way collections can be about a mood instead of a [narrative] progression. But a story and a vivid mood at the same time can be really exciting.
3) Fashion film doesn’t necessarily mean a commercial. I’d really rather not be sold the clothes. I like it when I can just get a view into someone else’s world instead or hear the message they want to project.
4) Fashion is not always pretty, glamorous, or inviting. But there’s beauty in ugliness, and some of my favorite artworks explore that.
5) Knowing when too much is enough. Technology has allowed us so many options for things like editing, so it’s probably very easy to go overboard and do a bunch of cool stuff, but I’m not usually one for gimmicks.
What do you think is the next big movement in fashion? Is it films of this kind?
DP: I think that Another Digital has really interesting filmed editorials; that is a definite direction. iPad applications and the like continue. And for the past few years, all the major brands and emerging brands are live-streaming their shows. For those that want live action, maybe fashion [should be presented] as a spectacle for a paying public and shown at the same time that the clothes are in the shops? Tokyo Girls Collection is one of the world’s biggest fashion festivals. It is fashion as entertainment with orders being placed on mobile phones as the looks come down the catwalk; they’re also available in stores. That concept could make more sense in the future for people who cannot imagine fashion without catwalk shows.
TG: I want more live streams! That’s obvious, though. I can’t yet totally grasp all the possibilities, so I’ll just be happy with whatever the smarter people can come up with.
What about bloggers and blogging—where do you stand on the blog’s place in fashion? Will blogs last, or are they just a trend?
DP: I think that bloggers have changed the landscape of how we see and report on fashion. Some will fall by the wayside and others will remain; there is a place for blogs and a place for the printed press. Radio did not die when TV was invented. Magazines are evolving, and of course they all have a foot in cyberspace, be it on an iPad or paper; each has its own reason to exist.
TG: Only time will tell, you know? There’s no use clumping all bloggers into the same category, though; it’s ultimately about the actual content. I guess some will turn out to be just hype and some will have lasting power. I never got used to the idea of people liking my blog, so if it all is a trend, I won’t miss it when the recognition goes away. Plus I like when my stats go down—it’s like natural selection. The people who really want to stick around, with whom my blog really resonates, will keep reading. Other people can stay or leave—it doesn’t really make a difference to me. This sounds really careless—I’m of course thankful for all my readers, but if I allow myself to value them too much, I’ll also value the negative opinions, which I obviously don’t want to do.