While the documentary on everyone’s mind as of late should be CBS’s Fashion’s Night Out Special which airs on September 14th, a new documentary on Rag & Bone was released yesterday on the brand’s website as well as on Starbucks’ frappuccino website. Ok so the sponsor tie-in isn’t exactly so appealing BUT the documentary was filmed by R.J. Cutler of The September Issue.
I’m not in love with the For The Love of Fashion title but the 10-minute video served its purpose as it followed designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville prep for their Fall 10 show this past February. They talked about their inspiration behind the collection, the brand’s aesthetic, styling the collection, walk throughs and then a count down before the men’s and women’s shows. Anna sighting ensured!
Behold the film from Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders. Set to a somewhat melancholic concerto piano, Sternberg goes deep with thoughts like, “It’s not a conscious effort to reject the standards of fashion.” Highlights include a lego-head man in a suit, perhaps plagued by society norms and a desk job. The film presents an honest and real vision that really resonates with customers and is part of what has made the brand achieve much success since its CFDA win for emerging menswear 2 years ago.
Burberry was one of the first luxury brands to “get it” in terms of relaying a luxurious lifestyle on their website. Art Of The Trench deserves all the endless praise it has achieved from the beginning, especially with relaying the brand’s heritage message to today’s street-obsessed culture. But now chief creative officer Christopher Bailey is up to something else with true WOW factor, that extends beyond the brand’s 3-D runway show in February and previous video look books.
Burberry’s Fall 10 ad campaign, shot by Mario Testino, is now digital and interactive on burberry.com. The photos below don’t do it justice – it’s something you need to see and “feel” to believe. The way you could move the screen to see different views, models walking, picking up bags or trench coat collars, is really kind of amazing. It’s as if you are going deep into the depths of every image to uncover another layer which would otherwise go unnoticed. The music set to this new feature really helps push the “feeling” element forward.
I can only expect that from this initiative, once Fall product is available, there will also be a link from the interactive campaign to buy product, much like the video look books did in the past.
In related news, Bailey has also launched an initiative that channels his passion for music. Burberry Acoustic features hand-picked emerging British bands which so far include Life in Film, Mitsy Miller and Ramona.
While there is no real visual evidence of a marketing tie-in on Burberry Acoustic, apparently some band members are wearing Burberry pieces mixed in with their own clothes. While that’s all good and fine, the recent Spring 11 menswear show video has also been added to the same area of the site. Placing runway right next to new music videos has me kind of puzzled. I’m all for groundbreaking fashion films, technology and music tie-ins; my only concern would be that too many different types of media might become overwhelming to the customers, depending on placement. For example, will customers be able to shop from the ad campaign, video look book, runway and by category? When it comes to videos, I feel like maybe 1 or 2 media formats are enough, more than that may become a bit excessive.
Emporio Armani’s Spring 11 show was quite the aggressive and somewhat erotic flash of skin and black leather. Bermuda shorts worn over meggings (yes, still) are a more conservative expression in comparison to sleeveless jackets, slick snakeskin patterns and silky Hugh Hefner pants worn with blazers over bare-chested models. In case there was any doubt Emporio Armani’s Alejandro Lady Gaga reference, a clip of the video played during the show’s finale.
Calvin Klein is the next brand to expose a runway presentation to the masses. This Saturday, the company will feature its Spring 2011 show on the LED screen in Milan’s Piazza Duomo. While the runway show will take place earlier in the day, the projection will be aired at 7:30pm; perhaps not to interfere with any World Cup games.
This is not the first time we’ve seen runway broadcasts for the public. Last season in New York, Alexander Wang projected his Fall 10 show on the American Eagle Outfitters billboard in Times Square.
While Wang’s projection generated a lot of buzz and probably confusion from tourists, I think Calvin Klein’s initiative might make a bit more sense since it’s a household name as opposed to Wang, who is still building his empire. While I’m sure only a very small percentage of viewers will actually buy into any designer collection, Calvin Klein has SO MANY licensed products. I’m sure the brand exposure on an LED screen in Piazza Duomo will ultimately be great for products like fragrances or underwear, without the mention of either on the big screen.
LVMH’s Nowness is certainly on the video media trend. Last week Dior Homme launched a video called The White Room to celebrate the opening of the fist UK flagship in Westfield Center, London. Sharif Hamza directed the video and it was styled by Robbie Spencer. The video is staged in a stark white hallway, where attention is drawn to the brand’s long trench coat. Two men slowly stride down the hallway while melancholic music plays. Mysterious and sort of intriguing, it reminds me of a fragrance commercial.
Yesterday the founders of Gen Art, Ian and Stefan Gerard, sent out an e-mail announcing that they’re closing their doors after 16 years. The e-mail mentioned that after “struggling for the past 18 months since the economic crisis, Gen Art has finally succumbed to the recession.” Sad day indeed.
Throughout my years in New York, I always recall looking forward to Gen Art events, mainly the Fresh Faces fashion competitions, shopping nights with young designers and the Gen Art Film Festival. I’ve always loved seeking out fresh talent and Gen Art has been at the forefront of that long before the days of Project Runway and its many spin offs. Gen Art has been attributed to exposing the talent of designers Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, Rodarte, Philip Lim, Duckie Brown, Twinkle by Wenlan, Geren Ford and more. For that, they shall always be remembered.
Looking forward, and at New York’s grand contribution to fresh contemporary fashion, it will be interesting to see what new platforms emerge to cater to new talent.