The fashion film is a genre that exists almost exclusively online. Yes – of course we have the fashion film festivals too, that puts the digital film, or rather video, back in the classical context of cinema, consisting of a dark room with a big wide screen on which the film is projected. But the contemporary fashion film is originally digital and is therefore meant to be seen on any screen we have available to us every day. How does this differ the fashion film from film in general?
Indeed, the fashion film seems to be somewhere in between the video and traditional cinema. Usually in-between one and fifteen, but mostly under five minutes long, its format easily fits into the scrolling nature of today’s Internet culture in which we are constantly fed with a never-ending stream of audiovisual material. Because on the digital web all communication is direct, the speed and the amount of data we receive seems to be ever-increasingly fast, forcing messages to be shorter and more direct. With this mentality, it gets harder to keep people’s attention for a long time, forcing the digital fashion film to stay short, catchy and to-the-point, almost like a movie trailer. Except that it doesn’t want to make us curious for a movie, but for a fashion brand.
This works perfectly in today’s everyday life that is so intertwined with the online world. Whether we like it or not, the metropolitan streetscape is filled with people looking at their telephone screens, iPads and laptops against a background of advertisement posters and screens. Hence, this fashion film for Innfâll is made especially to be watched on a telephone, which is where a big amount of fashion films are actually consumed – yeah, who else is getting bored or feels like you’re wasting your time when you have to wait for the bus for 2 minutes? And instead of staring out of the window, why not catch up (again) on actual life through Facebook? Reality check… lol
In this urban environment, we’ve gotten rather sick of the non-stop bombardment of commercial messages, as I described in another blogpost: Back-on-stage Chanel. As a result, most explicitly “selling” audiovisual material is never ever going to be watched voluntarily. Instead, the things we choose to give some of our time need to have a surplus value on top of whatever it tries to sell us (let’s face it, most things we scroll through on a daily basis are trying to sell us something, whether it is a product, an idea, a piece of clothing or a political opinion – it doesn’t really matter).
Yes: the fashion film is not just trying to sell us a brand and make us purchase their products. Often having great cinematic and artistic qualities, the fashion film is for many highly desirable viewers content. In short, the fashion film has become a consumable product in itself, outside of the actual physical commercial products it actually represents – just like regular feature films. And this is what the fashion film festival abundantly celebrates.