Thursday, 10 March 2011


Stills from Forgetful Green, courtesy of the Frieze Foundation

Yesterday saw the Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011 sponsored by present Fashion loves Film: Art and Commerce. The event hosted for the first time at BFI Southbank provided a distinctly exclusive female panel of artists and filmmakers with a platform for us to view their works and indulge in a panel discussion post viewings.

Arriving early (lesson learned from previous fashion late debacles) I bumped into the gorgeous Richard Nicoll glowing with the post LFW success of his AW11 show – of which the fluidity of the fabrics and the draping of plush neutrals in clean and sensual lines brought many a smile.

The panel consisted of Jaime Perlman Art Director for British Vogue, Francesa Gavin writer, curator and Visual Arts Editor of Dazed and Confused and artistic filmmakers from the presentation - Ruth Hogben, Julie Verhoeven and Katerina Jebb.

There was a distinct split in the style of the films with the first half exploring a more questioning view of feminism, consumerism and personal identity via the medium of art presented in film format. The second half showed a more ‘conventional’ view of video in fashion with what seemed to be more centred on the collections of designers including Henry Holland, Vanessa Bruno and Holly Fulton – prompting the finale question from a member of the audience “what is the difference between a fashion film and an advertisement?” - One which although the panel did not have time to discuss resonated with me, in the fact that in order for fashion and film to produce the poignancy, acclamation and respect of art and independent films it must try to delve further than advertising a collection, although business wise somewhere in the spectrum of fashion advertising this will be duly noted down as an aim.

Nether the less, the films shown and discussed raised visual markers to our relationships with beauty, sexuality and consumerism as human beings and women. An aptly suitable topic in the week in which women are celebrated, discussed and congratulated through International Women’s Day.

Personal stand out films included Forgetful Green by Linder Sterling, 2010 which looked at views on glamour and distorted visions of fame. Simulacrum and Hyperbole by Katerina Jebb, 2010 (watch here) lightened the mood of the auditorium yet pressed questions on our consumer driven state of being and through satirical ‘adverts’ featuring Tilda Swinton, Kylie Minogue and a host of equally enchanting women disseminated our fears of inadequacy fuelled by clever marketing and exploitation of these make believe inadequacies. All of which powerful and thought provoking pieces of art.

Fashion statements were heralded in the form of Ruth’s captivating piece for Gareth Pugh

which stripped away sexuality and presented a platform for the garments themselves to frame and produce strong silhouettes that equalled the designs themselves having as central a role (if not more so). First seen by me on the gawjus blog of a one Lulu Kennedy. Speaking about fashion and film Ruth could not deny her love for fashion and clothing, pointing out that for her “fashion publications offer a static fantasy that film can help to bring alive”.

It would seem that although fashion and film have always shared a rich heritage and intertwined relationship, there new journey together highlighted last night, is one that is no longer confined to designers creating the garments for a film but presenting an artistic collaboration where the inner dreams and nightmares of the designer and collection are presented on a moving platform where the viewer can indulge in something that has all the artistic integrity it seeks to find.


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