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April 17 2014

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81 posts tagged "Dolce & Gabbana"

Diane Pernet Loves Film, Fashion, and Zoolander

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diane-pernetFashion film is a curious genre. Oftentimes, the Style.com team is confronted with the typical pitch: a short little flick featuring haunting indie music, a pensive-looking model, a vintage bohemian ambiance, and, of course, a new collection. Sure, there are great ones (as evidenced by our Video Fashion Week series, which wrapped today), but more often than not, they’re cheesy and lacking in both plot and substance. However, according to former designer, renowned journalist, and A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival founder Diane Pernet, this breed of cinematography is not fashion film at all. “Just because you’ve used a movie camera doesn’t mean you’ve made a film,” Pernet told Style.com. And she would know. Having launched her famed Paris-based festival in 2008 (it gets its name from her blog, A Shaded View on Fashion), Pernet now sorts through more than five hundred cinematic submissions each year before curating the lineup of films to be shown (and judged) during her grand event. As you can imagine, she’s seen the bad, the terrible, but also the spectacular.

Last weekend, thanks to a little help from the French Institute Alliance Française and Kering, Pernet brought New York its first taste of ASVOFF. She screened the festival’s greatest hits by the likes of Bruce Weber, Ellen von Unwerth, and Mike Figgis with the hopes of inspiring and enlightening her stateside fans. There was no competition element this time around, but Pernet, who’s as well known for her marvelously outré noir uniform as for her widespread work in sartorial cinema, hinted that she hopes to bring the full-fledged festival to the Big Apple next year. Also on her docket? The launch of a trio of perfumes, which debut on Style.com’s Beauty Counter this afternoon. Here, Pernet talks to Style.com about the role of fashion film, her frustration with runway shows, and why fashion flicks are so rarely taken seriously.

Oftentimes, fashion film is not taken seriously. Why do you think that is?

I think the reason it’s not taken seriously is that a lot of fashion photographers making films aren’t filmmakers. It’s their agents who are telling them, “You’d better get a video camera and you’d better make a film because that’s where it’s at.” And a film director has to think of so many different elements that you don’t think about in a frozen image. So a big problem is that some fashion photographers have a hard time making the segue. Of course, there are people who have made a nice entry, like Bruce Weber or Ellen von Unwerth who have been doing it for over a decade, or newer people like Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, and Inez & Vinoodh. But a lot of photographers are just making fashion photo shoots that move. That’s not a film. It’s a fashion shoot in motion and that’s not interesting. Not interesting to me, anyway.

A lot of fashion films that we see are almost a parody of themselves, with the indie music, the “deep in thought” models, the vintage vibe…With that in mind, what does it take to make a compelling fashion film?

I always use this as an example because it’s something everybody knows: A Therapy, Roman Polanski’s 2012 film for Prada. That’s an excellent fashion film. I personally like a narrative. I think you need a narrative if you’re going to hold somebody’s interest for three minutes. CO’s She Said, She Said [2013] by Stuart Blumberg, which won best acting in my festival, is a great example. It had a wonderful story. After my festival at Centre Pompidou, I got an e-mail from a digital person at LVMH that said, “Now that is a great way to show fashion.” Fashion film is not about just selling the product—it’s about creating an atmosphere. It’s a story. A great fashion film needs the same criteria as a feature film. Does it take you somewhere? Does it have some kind of emotion? And humor is always great. People in fashion need humor.

Does it upset you that so many brands are dubbing these moving photo shoots “fashion films”?

I get about five hundred submissions [for my festival] every year, and an awful lot are in that category. I think people still don’t have a grip on what a fashion film is—they still believe that if someone’s moving in front of the camera, it’s a film. So that’s a little depressing, but it’s getting better. People are starting to realize that it’s not about, like, here’s the shoe, here’s the dress, here’s this. It’s not an animated lookbook, for God’s sake. It’s a film.

Do you think that fashion film can stand on its own as an art form, or will its primary purpose always be to showcase a product?

I think it can stand on its own. There are a lot of fashion films that are made by actual filmmakers that are not just about a product, even when it is for a product. We have to move away from [product-centric fashion films] because they’re not very interesting. You want something that’s going to make you think. It’s just not about being pretty—it’s got to be more than that.

You were really the first major champion of fashion film. How did you come to be so passionate about it?

Well, my background is in film. That’s what I have my degree in, and I’ve always loved film and I’ve always loved fashion. I think from the first Walt Disney movie I saw in a drive-in, the fantasy of films just captured me. And as far as clothing, I was a designer for thirteen years. I think the real seed of it, though, was planted when I moved to Paris at the end of 1990. My first job was working on a feature film as a costume designer, and I realized how directors are really afraid of fashion. Of course, some directors, like David Lynch and Peter Greenaway, got it. But most are afraid that the fashions are going to take too much importance. But really, fashion is supporting the character, and it can be very subtle. Most directors just don’t understand fashion or they don’t give it the credit that it really warrants. That really made me think about the relationship between fashion and film.

Do you think the fact that directors like Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson, who have made films for Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, respectively, have elevated the practice to higher regard?

Absolutely. That’s why we like to always have one of our films presented at Cannes because we want more directors like that to be involved. I just met Alejandro Jodorowsky’s son, Adan Jodorowsky, who made this incredible film, The Voice Thief [2013], with Asia Argento. We’re going to put it in the next edition of ASVOFF. I want to always raise the bar, and I want more real directors. I think that’s important.

Do you think that something originally pegged as a fashion film could evolve into something that ends up being a mainstream feature?

Yeah, I hope so. I’d love that. And why not? Take Wes Anderson. I haven’t seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet. But I think there are directors whose features you can call fashion films. We had William Klein two years ago as a special guest, and that film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? [1996], was a fashion film. Or what about Zoolander [2001]? I love Zoolander. That’s a fashion film. I thought it was really interesting. And I love some documentaries, like the one on Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has to Travel [2011]. I loved that film. I thought it was really inspiring.

How do fashion films make us look at garments differently than a fashion photograph or a runway show does?

Fashion films are a dream. They’re all about desire. You’re seeing the garment in 3-D. I love a frozen image, too, so I’m not against print. I think there’s a value to that, and they can be something really beautiful. Fashion films are just another way to show fashion—not the only way. I’m not saying that fashion films are going to take over runway shows, because they’ve always been the most efficient way to show fashion, even though now, I think, for the most part they look pretty last century. I don’t think that will change right away.

Do you think it should change? Should we move away from runway shows?

I’d be happier to see more films and installations. I think so many fashion shows shouldn’t even happen. You spend so much time going from one end [of a city] to the other just to see things walking up and down the runway. If you’re going to take us somewhere, like Alexander McQueen used to or like [John] Galliano did in his day, or sometimes other designers like Rick Owens or Haider Ackermann do, there’s something special and emotional about a show. There’s a mood. But I don’t see that a lot anymore. I’ve talked to Rick Owens about this, and he likes the “tribe” experience of a show, but if you ask me, the main point of a lot of these fashion shows now is just to see who’s sitting in what row. I mean, who cares? I think they’re not necessary.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Naomi Campbell on Career, Children, and That Ring of Fire

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Naomi Campbell

“You know what? I’m blessed: I’ve been working with people who I’ve been working with since I was 16. Why would they want me still?” exhaled Naomi Campbell at SiriusXM’s midtown center yesterday afternoon. She was talking with her longtime friend and mentor Diane von Furstenberg, who was quick to reply, “One of the reasons they want you is precisely that you are the woman that you were.” There’s no denying that at the age of 43, after twenty-seven years in the business, Campbell is (and always has been) exactly what she represents herself to be—no apologies, no facades. Her reality-TV project, The Face, returns to Oxygen tonight (the reason for the radio time), and in the midst of all the press and ongoing paparazzi chaos, she continues to serve as an advocate through her work with Diversity Coalition, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and others. Of course, Campbell still hits select runways and pages—experiences she draws upon as she coaches the young models of The Face. Of her most recent FW14 appearance at Philipp Plein’s flame-engulfed, cowboy-themed show, Campbell told Style.com, “I saw backstage how the safety people were there, so I understood they had it all worked out—but to feel that heat…I’ve done a few [risky things for fashion], like being on a crane. [But this time], I was more worried about the audience: Are they going to get up and run?”

The conversation with Von Furstenberg touched on everything from Campbell’s early ambitions (“I wanted to be a dancer and travel the world. I wanted it to be spontaneous—I was 6.”) to the state of diversity in the industry (“Are we making progress? We’re definitely making progress on the ad campaigns. On the shows, especially in England, it could be a lot better. We do not want it to be a trend. We want it to be consistent.”). She discussed what’s left to be done: more advocacy, Saturday Night Live, and a child (“With or without a man! I’m gonna damn well try,” exclaimed Campbell.). And she related what keeps her going: “I do pray. And I am nervous, because I don’t ever want to feel like, I am the best. I can do it with my eyes closed,” she said. “I think my nervousness and my fear are what keep pushing me to strive to be better as a person in what I do—that’s why I still enjoy what I do.”

After the show, Campbell revealed a few Fall ’14 thoughts to Style.com. “I loved the new Alaïa presentation. Miu Miu was great,” she said. “And I loved Dolce & Gabbana—the fantasy of Little Red Riding Hood. I loved it! I think everybody’s going back to doing their fantasies. I love fantasies. It’s nice to dream.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sirius XM 

Three’s a Trend: Petal Pushers

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Floral looks from Stella Jean, Marni, and Dolce & Gabbana

Florals aren’t exactly a “new” trend, but the eye-catching flora and fauna we’ve seen on the Fall ’14 runways definitely feel like they’re turning over a new leaf. Keep in mind these aren’t your typical ladylike, garden party flowers—there isn’t a pastel in sight. Instead, we’re seeing blown-up proportions, supersaturated hues, and a vibe that errs more toward artsy than girly. At Dolce & Gabbana, a black lace column was covered in tangled blooms and branches for a glam-meets-handmade effect. Stella Jean had quite the opposite approach, combining giant orange daisies with digital African-inspired prints. And at Marni, an oversize shift was covered in ruched white blossoms with pops of electric pink and green for good measure. Dressing like a flower child has never felt so modern.

Photos: IndigitalImages

Insta-Gratification: #MFW Edition

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In the age of Instagram, all it takes is a smartphone to achieve a photo finish, be it filtered or #nofilter-ed. That’s why Style.com’s social media editor, Rachel Walgrove, is rounding up our favorite snaps and bringing them into focus. For this very special edition of Insta-Gratification, she’ll be calling out the best shots from #MFW. See below for today’s picks.

Monday, February 24

Giorgio and his Armani army.

Collect them all.

Marni, through Linda Fargo’s lens.

Missoni’s pre-show clique.

The finale bow. Squared. Continue Reading “Insta-Gratification: #MFW Edition” »

Charlotte Stockdale Talks Exploring Fashion and Her Gig at Garage

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Garage

Last October, British stylist Charlotte Stockdale announced she was leaving her post at i-D, a pillar of British street and underground fashion, and joining Garage magazine as its fashion director. The über-cool stylist’s first efforts for Dasha Zhukova’s biannual art and fashion mag were unveiled today, when issue six hit newsstands. Garage gave us an exclusive first look at its Nick Knight-lensed covers (above), which feature Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne. As evidenced by Garage‘s new snaps, Stockdale can seamlessly transition between high-gloss and grit—a skill that no doubt came in handy during her stints at Dazed & Confused and Harper’s Bazaar, and while styling shows for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi. She’s worked with Karl Lagerfeld on the latter’s runway looks and campaigns for the last five years. Here, Style.com caught up with Stockdale to talk about the state of British fashion, leaving i-D, and her vision for Garage.

What drew you to Garage?
Everything about it. I remember the first issue coming out and thinking it was something different, courageous, seriously beautiful, and sometimes quite shocking. It’s not safe and it’s incredibly sophisticated. I talked on and off with Dasha about shooting for her, but it never worked because I was too busy with i-D. Then we met for tea after the summer—I was quite relaxed from holiday—and she said she was looking into a fashion director, and obviously that evolved into a conversation.

Did you feel that i-D was no longer those things—courageous, shocking, and beautiful? Is that why you left?
No, that’s not why I left. Not in the slightest. I enjoy conceptual fashion, and there isn’t a lot of space left for it anymore. Garage is a venue where conceptual fashion is still the right thing. When I started at Dazed & Confused at the beginning, conceptual fashion was the thing. I like exploring it on multilayers, not just mixing jackets and trousers for a good picture.

And how does that translate in terms of your vision for this magazine?
I would like to keep a delicate mix of sophisticated and playful. Humor is very important, but it can’t be silly, and beauty is really important. The art content is serious. I don’t mean serious in a way that it is not amusing. Some of it is very amusing, but they put in heavyweights. The fashion needs to balance that out. I love working with the stylish photographers and new photographers and new designers. So far, most of them are saying “yes.”

On the subject of new designers, who are you particularly excited about right now in London?
It sounds awfully predictable to say, but I am very interested in J.W. Anderson and Christopher Kane. London right now has finally hit its stride. There’s Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou, etc., and they have all found this balance between creativity and the business, which are equally important. That wasn’t so much the case when I was young. Some succeeded and others didn’t—the balance wasn’t correct. I have seen so much talent leave Britain and move to other cities. We have always felt it was such a shame that these kids aren’t back at home building proper brands themselves.

How do you think this momentum with London fashion will progress in the next few seasons?
I think the momentum will continue. With Natalie Massenet at the helm of British Fashion Council, everything has stepped up a few notches. Obviously, she is a lady of no fear. These young designers all have solid bases, and they are building proper businesses. The month is a very crowded month, and it is pretty challenging for [fashion] people like ourselves. London used to be a three-day thing and you could miss it. Now it’s a solid five-day event full of high-class content. It is the most interesting fashion week aside from Paris.

Photos: Nick Knight