Fashion Week: A Cinephile’s Dream Come True

Tom Ford’s directorial debut, A Single Man, may have just premiered at the Venice Film Festival (where its lead, Colin Firth scored the Volpi Cup award for his performance). But back stateside, quite a few designers showing Spring 2010 collections at New York Fashion Week have been bitten by the film bug. Shipley & Halmos and Tim Hamilton showcased film-centric presentations that forewent a catwalk and models this past weekend. Steven Alan presented an original film, directed by Adam Levite, last night in the Yard at the Soho Grand Hotel in place of a traditional runway show. And, as I mentioned Monday, Gareth Pugh debuted a four-part filmic installation in Milk Studios over the weekend in anticipation of his Paris runway show.

And, yesterday, 8 flights up from the garage that housed Pugh’s films, Alice Temperley brought her own version of sartorial cinema to NYC. The latter included literal mannequins outfitted in SS10 Temperley London looks lined up beside a carnival circa the 20s-themed short film. Shortly before the presentation, Temperley mused on the show’s concept via email. “We wanted to challenge the conventional way of presenting a collection in the attempt to come up with something completely innovative and before unseen. We also wanted to make the collection accessible to a wider audience on a global scale and take into consideration those who are unable to travel due to restricted travel budgets. The new Format is also sensitive to the ever increasing environmental issues surrounding the seasonal traveling.”

So, how exactly does showing a film differ from a runway show in terms of user experience? “The nature presenting the collection in this way also allows the installation and collection to be transported to the main fashion capitals for a debut in each, something previously unheard of with the catwalk concept.” (Post debuting in NYC, the film will travel to London Fashion Week and, subsequently, Paris.) And, Temperley explains, it allows for new found relationship potentials both within the industry as well as beyond. “For the fashion insider they are entitled to not only get up close and interact with the clothes at the first available opportunity but they themselves are invited to participate within the installation. For the consumer, they too can feel a part of the debut simply by following the Temperley London site for an immediate release of the film and collections shots at Temperleylondon.com. Not only that, but they get to experience the collection through the film rather than static runway shots on a generic catwalk.” So, can one expect that eventually everyone will cut costs and consider showing similarly structured presentations? Probably not, says Temperley. Besides, “if every designer decided to show in the same format every season we would be back to where we started.”

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