Animation and the fashion film

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Hermès / Ugo Gattoni

Animation in fashion film is hot, whether it’s a cartoon, a collage or an interaction of illustrated elements with the camera’s eye. Its techniques are versatile and can, most importantly, create an infinite amount of possibilities. Everything we can imagine can be animated. That’s why the world of animation is limitless. This makes it the perfect medium to portray the dreams of fashion.

Besides, some animations, like this one from Ugo Gattoni, are real works or art. This enables fashion to associate itself with another kind of art than solely cinema – illustration. This is important, as fashion designers and brands often don’t want to be associated with fashion, they rather want to be associated with the art world. Understandably, because fashion has become to mean a lot of things other than original and beautiful designs that can intrigue and inspire. Fashion also refers to the mass copycat spirit of the high street clothing stores. It also implicates the reason why so many people are dressed the same way. It’s associated too with fast and cheap, which aren’t really the things you’d want to aspire to as a couture brand. Fashion can only thrive as long as they keep the stakes high, as long as there’s an intense desire for what one can’t have.

This distancing from fashion by high fashion brands can go in two directions. One way is to design clothing that is rather conceptual than practical in a sense that it’s more meant to look at than to be worn. In other words, that it’s more about the idea or concept of a design than the actual functionality of the design itself (which is that it can be worn in daily life). Another way is to exaggerate or mock the culture that (cheap) fashion is associated with, and where high fashion brands desperately try to stay away from. A perfect example of this is Moschino, who has adopted a bunch of cartoons and even McDonalds, which are icons of “low” culture, into clothes that are way too expensive for most of the people that actually go there. It’s about this idea that fashion shouldn’t be associated with this messy mass culture. By adopting specifically those things, it shows that fashion is only fashion when they say so, and therefore keep their voice and relevance in the mishmash that is referred to with “fashion.”

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Hippopolis is actually a silk scarf that has come to life in this fashion film. You could say that the actual design is not complete without the film, making the fashion film an essential to the product, adding something to it, as a means of stimulating one’s imagination and showing of the versatility and incredible possibilities of the world of Hermès. It’s kind of in between these two directions I described earlier, as it has great artistic qualities whilst adopting sound design familiar to video games. What makes it different from a mainstream cartoon are the sophisticated colors (unlike Moschino’s in-your-face flashy colors and prints) that are also used for the actual scarf design. It’s a different lightly humorous take upon the classic carré scarf that is Hermès’ signature product. It will appeal to a large public as it’s witty but classy at the same time, which is exactly what the fashion film is about. You don’t have to like fashion to like this video. But if you like this video, you can’t ignore but be intrigued by Hermès.

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