Fashion and cinema are two artistic disciplines that have always maintained close ties, and this fashion month proved to be no exception. Many houses across the fashion capitals presented both short and feature films to showcase their Spring/Summer 2021 collections. This creative choice makes sense amidst a mostly runway-less fashion season–film is an accessible way to get a cohesive sense of the creative process and particular aesthetic behind each line. Whether you desire to catch a glimpse of Chanel's enchantment with Old Hollywood or become absorbed in Maison Margiela's suspenseful, tango-filled world, designers offered up plenty of cinematic fashion content. Here is a breakdown of the five best fashion films from Spring/Summer 2021 Fashion Month that you should check out.
Chanel Spring/Summer 2021
Chanel’s clothes have always been recognized for their timelessness, elegance, and simplicity–traits that Dutch photography duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin made sure to celebrate in their teaser for the new Spring/Summer 2021 collection. Featuring clips inspired by classic films of the French New Wave (from Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt to Jacques Deray’s La Piscine), Lamsweerde and Matadin pay tribute to French cinema icons of the 1950s, like Anna Karina and Bridget Bardot. Featuring Rianne Van Rompaey, Mica Argañaraz, and Louise de Chevigny, the films were an appropriate prelude to Chanel’s Hollywood-inspired runway show at the Grand Palais.
Vivienne Westwood Spring/Summer 2021
Vivienne Westwood also decided to release a digital short film in order to showcase her new punk-inspired, unisex Spring/Summer 2021 designs. Shot on 8 mm, the two-minute video features up-close clips of models striking poses against vibrant, atmospheric music. The short is directed by Louis Simonon, son of Clash bassist Paul Simonon, and encapsulates the most notable features of Westwood’s new collection, echoing its fierce versatility and rock 'n' roll aesthetic.
Maison Margiela S.W.A.L.K. II
British fashion photographer Nick Knight documents John Galliano’s all-encompassing creative process for Maison Margiela in S.W.A.L.K II, a follow-up from July's original S.W.A.L.K. Created during COVID-19 lockdown, the film utliizes a variety of different creative techniques–Zoom, body cameras, and even drone footage–to properly capture the creation of the house’s latest co-ed collection. These filmmaking methods all work to give a voyueristic feeling to S.W.A.L.K. II, and the audience feels as though they are a fly on the wall, while watching the captivating, cutting-edge design work that Galliano accomplishes with his team. Beyond the documentary aspects of the film, tango music plays soundtrack to a narrative drama about a South American wedding tragedy that is dispersed throughout the 45-minute feature.
Marine Serre Amor Fati
Twenty-eight year old French fashion designer Marine Serre decided to go the fear-inducing route for her Spring/Summer 2021 video presentation, titled Amor Fati. The 11-minute film, directed by Sacha Barbin and Ryan Doubiago, feels like a cut from a science-fiction or horror movie rather than a fashion show built solely for aesthetic pleasure. Opening with a shot of naked woman lying on an examination table, as she gets tattooed by looming, stylish figures, the film's tone matches the apocalyptic, clinical feeling that has characterized 2020 as a whole.
Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2021
Jil Sander's Lucie and Luke Meier opted to present their runway collection sans audience in a film shot by Stephen Kidd. Adapting the label’s minimalism to the present moment, the designers leaned into easy silhouettes that offer comfort. In the collection’s film, models walk in a vast space, moving through the illuminated catwalk and sometimes pacing into the darkness. The simple set matches the label’s pared back approach.
Prada Spring/Summer 2021
Prada's Spring/Summer 2021 show marked the debut of Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons' first collection as co-creative directors. Premiered during Milan Fashion Week, the fashion film captures the collection in a runway-like format with models parading the streamlined looks. The presentation was followed by a conversation between Prada and Simons, answering crowdsourced questions from Prada's following.
Salvatore Ferragmo Spring/Summer 2021
The house of Salvatore Ferragmo tapped Italian indie filmmaker Luca Guadagino, best known for 2018’s Call Me By Your Name, to direct a short Technicolor film that premiered directly before its Milan runway show. Guadagnino also headed this year's documentary about the fashion house's namesake designer, Salvatore Ferragamo: Shoemaker of Dreams, which premiered at this year's Venice Film Festival. For the Spring/Summer 2021 collection, Creative Director Paul Andrew and Guadagnino sought to showcase the house's impeccable tailoring against deserted Milan locations with undertones of Hitchcock-inspired mystery and intrigue. With a focus on gesture, color, and atmosphere, the short film features models Mariacarla Boscono, Maggie Cheng, Jonas Glöer, Samer Rahma, and Anok Yai darting through empty Milan in the house's suiting, leather, and draping.
Marni Spring/Summer 2021
For Marni's fashion month presentation, Creative Director Francesco Risso organized a global live stream. The designer sent looks from the Spring/Summer 2021 collection to friends and family in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York City, London, Milan, Paris, Dakar, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Motivated to break down the barriers of quarantine, he sought to create worldwide connectivity through Marni's new collection.