ASVOFF Barcelona
26 January, 2012

The fashion industry needs more and more films and moving images.

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© Joachim Schirrmacher

Diane Pernet is a world-renowned Fashion critic and blogs on her site “A shaded view on Fashion” (ASVOF). She created 2008 the first fashion film festival at the Centre Pompidiou. Since is debut in Paris, ASVOFF tours the Globe with festivals in New York, London, Tokyo, Milan, Moscow, Mexico City or during Cannes Film Festival. 2012 ASVOFF comes to Barcelona. Diane Pernet asked Joachim Schirrmacher to be part of the jury.

ASVOFF Barcelona took place at the Caixa Forum – next to the rebuilt Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe. It has been hold at the same time as Barcelona’s fashion week, consolidating the city as an international fashion meeting point, after the fashion fair “Bread and Butter” moved back to Berlin.
The international fashion short film festival reached 3,200 visitors in four days of screenings, lectures, round tables and the award ceremony. 1,400 people from Poland, Brazil, Japan, Turkey and Canada, followed the festival online.

500 Short Films

From 10th  to 17th  January, 2012, the jury screend more than 500 short films in the categories “Official”, “Student” and “Mobile”. Entries came from Spain, England, Italy, Germany and the United States. Each member of the jury judged from his own perspective as a critic, actor, curator, creative director or journalist. They took into account the concept, innovation, technology, cut, or the interplay of image, space, sound, fashion, etc.. Members of the jury were, among others, Glenn Adamson (Head of Research, Victoria & Albert Museum, London), Linda Loppa, (Director, Fashion Institute Polimoda, Florence), Franc Pairon (Director, Institut Français de la Mode, Paris) or Joachim Schirrmacher.

In a Q&A Section, lead by Glenn Adamson, Diane Pernet, Linda Loppa, Robb Young (contributing fashion business journalist for the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times and Vogue.co.uk) and Joachim Schirrmacher discussed the development of the fashion film (with simultaneous translation into Spanish and Catalan).

Genre in Development

Fashion Films have great potential. On the one hand by the increase of electronic media. He draws from a diverse background from commercials, music videos, classic short film or feature film (which, like “Out of Africa” often triggered waves of fashion). On the other hand the potential is in the possibility to show the (social) context and the garments in movement.

Ralph Lauren wrote in his book “Ralph Lauren” (New York, 2007): “When I work on a collection I feel like I’m making a movie. I’m not … just make a dress, I’m writing a story. While the dress is important, it’s just one part of the story. I write through my clothes with a theme that connects everything I do. ”

Similar to the Gesamtkunstwerk of an opera, a film depends on the interplay of visual, sounds (music, voice, background, etc.) or rhetorical effects (see also: Gui Bonsiepe: Visuell-Verbale Rhetorik“ in „Interface. Design neu begreifen“, 1996, and: “Entwurf und Gestaltung”, 2000; in German).
One function of a fashion film, can be – similar to a catwalk show – to affect feelings, moods and decisions.

Fashion films are a genre still in its development. The experiences from the screening of the submitted films and discussions in Barcelona, on the stage, and during the dinner:

1st Fashion film plays an increasingly important role – particularly for the websites of fashion brands. Most films are made, however, because of the interest of the creative class. Many impulse come from the students.

2nd The key medium in the fashion industry is still the classic advertisement in glossy magazines.

3rd Many fashion photographers – including the most prominent names – fail to the medium. Models are standing like frozen in the wind, some movement is only in the dress or hair , they turn the pages of a photo album like in grandma’s time, or models stalk through a set until the entire collection is presented.

4th  Many fashion films just relying on the familiar big names, whether actors, models or photographers. How can they be surprising, when they play only themselves?

5th  Many fashion films lack in a theme, a story or they turned quickly banal or in a cliché. This is reinforced, because there is usually no dialogue. Too often, the film ends with a “fade out”. Car commercial show how to tell a powerful story in a few seconds.

6th  Often the film is exhausted to effects such as shock, fast cutting, underwater photographs, carried out well or badly. Where’s the idea? The message? The contents?

7th  Models are not actors. Poses that often seem absurd in photographs, get grotesque in a movement.

8th  There is no economic base for fashion films. Almost all movies are low budget productions. A budget of € 1,000 for a “making-off” of the printed Key-Visual is a lot.

9th  Comparable to the the fashion photography, often long overcome images of women are presented. There were few submissions with men’s fashion, although here is currently the most dynamic development.

10th  A photo can trigger a movie in your head, can tell stories like the pictures of Gregor Hohenberg for Frank Leder does. Sometimes photos work better than a movie. For instance when a movement is frozen spectaculary. Such a strong motive inspires the imagination.

The categories and winners

ASVOFF Barcelona Grand Prix for Best Film
“Ephemeral Nature” by Gsus Lopez

Best Director of Fashion Prize
“La waist for Show Studio” by Marie Schuller & Kristian Schuller

Best Artistic Direction Prize
“Parallel Twin” by Justin Anderson

Best soundtrack prize
“Gala’s Invitation” by Alex Murray-leslie and Anat Ben-David

Best Student Film Prize
“Amante” by Paul te Riele

ASVOFF Barcelona Mobile Fashion Film Prize
“Boag” by Jason Load

People’s Choice Mobile Fashion Film Prize
“Goggle me” Frankie Sharp

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