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The Yorker at ASFF ’17: Fashion 2

Aesthetica provides York residents with fascinating screenings every November, presenting films, which people might not otherwise get to see. In that sense its fashion panels are always a treat, showing the audience the interesting visual playground that is fashion films. This year’s Fashion panel 2 was of particular interest as the films shown there covered an extensive array of ideas and approaches, walking the fine line between classic narrative and buoyant imagery.

It’s been a long time (by Esteban and Manuel Iljitsch, 2016, Germany) explores the deterioration in a young couple`s relationship. The film is the classic tale of misunderstanding the person closest to one’s heart, combining stylish lighting and a cinematic production design, which make use of vintage sets and costumes. The film also explores femininity through a woman who is devoted to experiencing life in a sensual way, as her boyfriend tries to control her and keep her close to himself, feeling that they grow further apart each day. In my opinion this is a fine example of telling a story in a short and concise way. With a lot of style of course!

The following two films Bleu Reine (Akim Laouar Aronsen, 2016, France) and Desert (Greg Ferro, 2017, Italy) took the viewers on a journey through their senses. They are both essentially promotional videos for two different fashion brands, and combine familiar elements of the fashion film into their aesthetic. Both rely heavily on music with no dialogue, and lots of colorful imagery to convey mood. Bleu Reine is far more urban and aggressive in its tone, while Desert depicts romance and picturesque scenery.

Emma Brewin Spring Summer 2017 by Anna Peftieva and Ben Higgs (UK) draws an interesting connection between nature and clothing, no doubt in correspondence with the actual clothing line it promotes. What I found very interesting is that the cinematography and overall blocking of the model on screen created a sense of stability and interaction between human and nature. What is more the films calls for greater conservation for the protection of bee populations so, in that sense it is not only a visual treat but one with an important message, as well.

In Conversation with Vogue Arabia (UK, 2016) is essentially a documentary film, which explores the launch of Vogue magazine for the first time in Arabic. The film is made by Elisa Sednaoui Dellal and focuses on what impact the new rendition of Vogue will have in the Arab world as seen through the eyes of designer Elie Saab. It is an interesting insight into the world of Beirut (native to Saab), its rhythm of life, but also how does Elie Saab himself feels as someone who made it as an international designer.

The last film (Ronan Gali and Damien Krisl, 2017, France) of the screening was also the most poetic one. Titled The Flower of Life it is a visual ode to womanhood and femininity seen as the beginning of all life, not only in the physical sense, but also in terms of ideas, beauty and aesthetics. Once again the interaction of physical texture (transparent sheets) and the human body is used, but this time it is to create an abstract and ephemeral sense, one which established the strength and power of women in combination with their tender side.

Aesthetica has done well yet again with its intriguing selection of films and the only thing left to do is wait and see what it brings us next year.

These films were screened as part of Aesthetica Short Film festival. Image source: ThingsToDoInYork.com.