Xerjoff Magazine

Hollywood directors and fashion: a long love story


Oscar-winning directors and Hollywood stars are currently the protagonists of the most interesting fashion web series. Short films inspired by the atmospheres of the silver screen and which continue on the smartphone’s screen.

The love story between Hollywood directors and fashion appears to be a long-lasting trend. Historically, great directors were the ones behind the camera of memorable commercials.
Like Chris Cunningham, who directed Flora by Gucci in 2009, rewriting the music theme on the basis of “I feel love” went down into advertising history. His experience in the music industry (he directed the most creative video clips of Madonna, Aphex Twin, Portishead and Björk) has created a truly fashionable and explosive mix.
The “Odyssée de Cartier” was one of the first commercial-colossal made by a team of over 100 movie professionals and special effects designers who created a masterpiece of suggestion with computer graphics.

Often the synergies between cinema and fashion originate from collaborations established on the set. Baz Luhrmann, director of Moulin Rouge, directed Nicole Kidman in the commercial Chanel No. 5: The Film, inspired by the same atmospheres of the movie, in a 3-minute short film that has cost over 30 million dollars.Joe Wright, who directed Keira Knightley on the set of “Pride and Prejudice”, “Atonement” and “Anna Karenina”, was chosen to direct her in to direct her in “Coco Mademoiselle: The Film”.

Darren Aronofsky, the director of “Black Swan” starring Vincent Cassel, has directed him in the commercial of the male fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent, La Nuit De L’Homme

Jean Pierre Jeunet directed Audrey Tautou in the short film “Train de Nuit for Chanel N° 5”.

On the other hand, some designers have ventured behind the camera with resulting in great satisfaction of the public and critics. One of the most acclaimed is Tom Ford, creative director for Gucci and YSL, director of two films based on the best sellers of Austin Wright, “A Single Man” and “Nocturnal Animals”.

Karl Lagerfeld has directed many short films that have helped to reinforce the mystical aura around the brand Chanel: from “Reincarnation” to “Women Only”

and ” The Return” with Geraldine Chaplin in the role of an aged Coco Chanel and exceptional protagonists like Pharrell Williams, Cara Delevingne, Rupert Everett.

In “Once Upon a Time” the young Coco is played Keira Knightley.

Moncler has recruited a world famous director, Spike Lee, to shoot a tribute to New York in a short musical film called “Brave”, inspired by Stew & Heidi Rodewald’s musical off “Total Bent”. Where the archetypes of New York citizens, wear the collection while dancing in the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

It is not the brand’s first cinematographic experiment: on YouTube channel some videos inspired to the grammar of the silver screen.“Moonray” presents the Fall-Winter 2017 collection in the twilight zone, in a 70’s sci-fi setting, with even an alien.

The contaminations between cinema and fashion go beyond advertising. The short film showing the collection Moncler Grenoble FW17 recalls the films of 007 with split screen.

A few years ago, also with the complicity of social media going viral, some luxury brands have launched their own web series. Prada has been promoting the short film project “The Postman’s Gifts”since 2015: alongside the protagonist Elijah Wood (Frodo of The Lord of the Rings) the newcomer Natalia Dyer, Amber Valletta, Sasha Frolova, Emma Roberts and Autumn Kendrick.

The mini episodes with extravagant aesthetics, at times ironic, represent an exercise in style that mixes magical realism and touches of modernity in a timeless atmosphere. The stories are built around the brand’s bags and accessories collections and can all be seen on the Prada website.

Gucci, with Alessandro Michele, its imaginative fashion director, has inaugurated a season of native videos, visible on the Facebook pages that have conquered the brand’s fans. One of the last successful experiments, where cinematographic art and fashion merge, is We Wake Eternally, which stages the surreal atmospheres created by the photographer Tim Walker. The retro chic fairy tale continues online.