Dear Shaded Viewers,
Leading figures from the fashion and film industries will take centre stage next month at the star- studded tenth edition of A SHADED VIEW ON FASHION FILM (ASVOFF). The world’s first film festival dedicated to fashion, style and beauty, ASVOFF continues to break new ground and reward excellence in fashion film.
The landmark six-day, two-city event will see actors, designers, filmmakers, musicians, entertainers, photographers and celebrities gather in Paris before moving on to Rome the following week. AVOFF 10 Paris bows at the Club de l’Etoile on October 12, 13 and 14. President of this year’s jury is the actress Rossy de Palma and President of Honour is fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier. The celebration will continue at the Palazzo Altemps where ASVOFF 10 Rome, sponsored by BVLGARI takes place as part of Videocitta, on October 20, 21 and 22.
This year, ASVOFF founder Diane Pernet has curated a programme highlighting the incredible versatility of the fashion film genre. The roster of films features famous fashion faces like Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace, Kendall Jenner, Kristen Stewart, Tilda Swinton, Elijah Wood, Amber Valletta; fashion brands such as Prada, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and fashion industry launchpads like Vogue, Selfridges, CR Magazine and Matches. But the films at ASVOFF 10 also explore a kaleidoscope of other topics: veiled women wearing the chador in Iran, contestants at the inaugural Miss Black Germany pageant, and a pastiche of trailer trash chic that sees Pamela Anderson murdered by a vengeful battleaxe.
Expect young upstarts and cinema legends with a penchant for the avant-garde alongside Academy Award-winning directors like Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), the animator Vladimir Todorov who has worked on everything from Harry Potter to Beowulf, and renowned directors including Fabien Baron, Wing Shya, Tim Yip, Autumn de Wilde and Michel Haddi. One of the three films by John Malkovich at ASVOFF 10 captures the strange story of a Japanese boy so obsessed by tsunamis that he makes himself a pair of inflatable rubber underpants in case disaster strikes. A fake documentary covers the life of Andy Warhol’s muse International Velvet alongside films that riff off the style of illegal motorbike racers in the Caribbean and a brutally honest portrait of queer celebrity performers Casey Spooner and Violet Chachki.
Submissions yielded over 120 films that were selected to screen at ASVOFF 10, from filmmakers who hail from places as diverse as Brazil is to Bahrain and Berlin is to Beijing or Bulgaria. Ranging from features and documentaries to in-and-out-of- competition shorts and a selection of student films, ASVOFF’s many screenings will be interspersed with a variety of conferences, performances, master classes and installations that put fashion film in the wider context of art, music, social commentary and the creative industries.
In the Paris edition of ASVOFF 10, jury members will include the director, screenwriter and producer Roger Avary, who worked on Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Joining Avary, Rossy de Palma and Jean Paul Gaultier will be Pamela Golbin, chief curator of the Musée de la Mode et du Textile at the Louvre, the film producer and CEO of Première Heure Patrice Haddad, costume designer Eric Daman, Michèle Lamy, the artist ORLAN, Stephan Rabimov and French film critic Elisabeth Quin. As part of the tenth anniversary celebrations, most of this year’s jury members are former presidents of the jury from past editions of ASVOFF. Grand Prize in partnership with Persol.
In the Rome edition of ASVOFF 10, among other jury members will be Cuba Tornado Scott, an equestrian-illustrator-model and the granddaughter of bona fide sci-fi cinema royalty Ridley Scott, Pam Hogg and Rila Fukushima whose film credits include The Wolverine, Ghost in the Shell 2017, Game of Thrones, The Long Goodbye and Million Yen Women.
In the ten years since the launch of ASVOFF, there have been a growing number of films with fresh fashion interpretations of classic cinematic formats like the action-adventure, sci-fi thriller, black comedy, erotic fantasy, horror flick, political satire, romantic bloopers, docudramas and of course countless fascinating hybrid formats as well.
From the epic scenes of a fading Chinese ghost town built to resemble Paris where albinos rule the roost (“Gosh” by Romain Gavras) to a frenzied trance-like prayer service in Paris at an African evangelical church where parishioners wear Comme des Garcons (“Praise Break” by Eric Weidt), ASVOFF has presented an incredibly diverse selection of fashion films. Contrast the spiritual and haunting scenes of Indian widows on the banks of the Ganges (“Holi Holy” by Bharat Sikka) with the unnerving close-ups of a female bodybuilder grunting and glistening with sweat as she wears a cocktail dress in a British gym lifting gold-covered weights (“I Want Muscle” by Elisha Smith-Leverock).
Some ASVOFF films have been very much ahead of their time. Take the tongue-in-cheek comedy about a lesbian couple on the verge of a divorce (“She Said, She Said” by Stuart Blumberg) or a subversive take on the casting couch “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by Georgie Greville). Thanks to talented directors, hard-hitting topics like religious conflict in the Middle East (“Headpieces For Peace” by Jessica Mitrani”) have sit alongside camp and kitsch lampoons like a reality star monologue (“Dolly” by Laura Hypponen).
Even when ASVOFF fashion films focus on a single item of clothing like a sweater or a shoe, they have used thought-provoking visual metaphors like a housewife having an affair or surprising narratives like the voice-over of a foot model who stands in for Madonna. Perhaps most importantly, ASVOFF has served to shine a light on hot young break out stars like Ibrahim Kamara in a film he styled featuring everyday beauty rituals in an Igbo village in Nigeria (‘Unity is strength’ by Akinola Davies Jr.) or to provide a platform for talented photographers like Steven Klein to invest more of his talent in the moving image.
Diane Pernet, says: “I’ve devoted the past 10 years of my life to fashion film. But I’m no less excited about it today than I was back when I first sat down at Cinespace on the Hollywood Boulevard in LA to see the curtains lifted for ASVOFF’s precursor event. Once I brought the festival to Paris, the fashion film genre evolved and ASVOFF evolved with it. We became part incubator and part accelerator for the genre – and a hub for all the creatives from the fashion, film, art and music industries who weren’t afraid of collaborating, converging and sometimes colliding to make something powerful, exciting and new.”
On the significance of the anniversary, Pernet explains: “I prefer looking forward than looking back but we should take stock now that ASVOFF has been around for a decade. So many inspirational directors, incredible designers and brave brands have been part of ASVOFF over the years. I feel especially fortunate that some of the mega directors of our era – living legends like William Klein, Mike Figgis, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Jerry Schatzberg –have given master classes at ASVOFF passing on their knowledge to the next generation of filmmakers.”
Pernet concludes: “The festival is definitely about both nurturing and leading the fashion film movement but ultimately ASVOFF is about rewarding excellence in this increasingly important industry within an industry. Bestowing prizes on the most moving performances, the most beguiling sound and the most captivating fashion and visuals, that’s how we can keep fashion film moving forward for the next 10 years – by celebrating the best of the best and encouraging talent with great potential. Some people say fashion film has finally blossomed now. I say watch out, because we’ve only just planted the seed.”