October 1, 2018

Milan, Anteo Palazzo del Cinema, Saturday 22 September 2018.

I went, in the late morning of a saturday still characterized by summer heat, at the Milan Fashion Film Festival. An international event. Founded and directed by Costanza Cavalli Etro and sponsored by the Italian National Chamber of Fashion and by the Municipality of Milan, with the support of GRAY GOOSE® as main sponsor and Mini as a partner, this edition has an official selection of 200 fashion films. Curator of the fifth event is Gloria Maria Cappelletti, Editor-at-Large of i-D Italia. The atmosphere is electrifying and my expectations are very high. This year the fashion films are divided into various themes: Around the World, Back to Nature, Diversity, Identity, Ladies and Gentlemen, Life Stories, Media Mix, Minimalia, Minimalist and Time Machine. I already feel the ethical sense, the contemporaneity, the great social and gender themes that characterize this year’s selection.

In the AROUND THE WORLD section, exciting and sometimes psychedelic is the Kenzo GIGI GIGI BU UGWU EZE fashion film (‘UNITY IS STRENGHT‘) directed by Crackstevens, where the 2017 s / s collection is presented in the context of various celebrations within the Igbo community of Nigeria. Intense, punctuated by exceptional tribal music, full of masks and colors.

Fun, music and street art are the keywords for F IS FOR … FENDI directed by Wiissa, where the brand, bringing together the past, the present and the future of the iconic FF logo, celebrates the launch of the new capsule #FFreloaded collection in London. “Creative Resistance” is instead the slogan of THE 0212 GENERATION directed by Valeria Romano, a touching documentary that explores a generation of young Venezuelans active in the constant revolution of the world of fashion, art and aesthetics in their country of origin. Through a series of photo shoots set in the city of Caracas, a reality is analyzed in which young creative people manage to break the status quo of the traditional rules of beauty in Venezuela and above all to challenge the political chaos and the humanitarian crisis that the country is going through , showing that they are a creative resistance.

Coach and i-D present A TO Z OF NEW YORK STYLE directed by Agostina Galvez, a fun and ironic fashion film that, through a guide from “Americana” to “Gen Z”, tells the style of the “Big Apple”.

In the TIME MACHINE section, interesting and delightful is the fashion film EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL by the Beautiful People brand and directed by Pablo Chocron. The concept of the brand that transpires also from the short film is the following: “We can not always change the world, but we can choose how we see it. Everything is beautiful “. Adidas presents HOURGLASS / PAST directed by Daniel Arsham & Benny Nicks, the first chapter of the exceptional fashion film that reveals the next phase of the brand’s collaboration with the artist Daniel Arsham. It is a short film that explores his life and his creative work. In part documentary and partly fictional work, “Hourglass” is a film told in three parts: Past, Present and Future. In this autobiographical work, Daniel Arsham recalls a hurricane that he experienced as a child.

In the LADIES AND GENTLEMEN section, fun and adolescent is the GRETA fashion film directed by Van Khokhlov, which tells the story of a boy who falls in love with a girl he sees on the subway in Milan. Unfortunately she will never rise on the same meter of the boy and the protagonist, as well as narrator of the short film, begins to imagine how that girl was and what her life was, to the point where she believes she does not deserve such a beautiful woman, but it’s just his imagination.

Worthy of note is the surreal fashion film POOR CHERRIES directed by Jimmy Marble, which takes a playful approach to the world around us. The resulting film is an unconventional daydream, told through the eyes of two irreverent characters, who love the quarrels of lovers and summer clouds in equal measure. Giorgio Armani presents A UNA GIACCA / A JACKET directed by Marco Armando Piccinini, a short film made for the first edition of Armani / Laboratorio, and is the result of a film training workshop dedicated to young film students. “A jacket / A jacket” tells the head of Giorgio Armani icon between past and present, in an alternation of flashbacks marked by the transition between color and black and white.

In the DIVERSITY section there are fashion films loaded with meaning that tell the difference in all its genre or form. The goal is also to reflect and succeed. MUXES, directed by Ivan Olita, documents the remoteness of the southern state of Oaxaca where, in the indigenous communities around the city of Juchitán, the world is not simply divided into males and females. The Zapotecs have made room for a third category of mixed gender, which they call “muxes” – men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned limbo between the two genders.

“Todos somos uno” is the slogan of UNIDOS COLORES directed by Timothy Wright, a film and a photographic project that explores the diversity of Hispanic culture, with insights, hopes and aspirations for the future of intercultural acceptance and universal progress. Polite presents I AM AN INDIVIDUAL directed by Noir Tribe, a wonderful fashion film that celebrates unique human identities through five personal stories of love, appearance, friendship, power and dreams. Each chapter is a true story, told by the same models, inspired by their life experiences. “I’m not a man … am I a woman? No, I am an individual”.

Marco Rambaldi, a young Bolognese designer, on the occasion of his third collection (a / w 2018-19) presents a delightful fashion film: VOGLIAMO ANCHE LE ROSE. The short, characterized by warm colors, almost muffled and shot in a suggestive location, is directed by Mattia Colombo and starring Valérie Taccarelli, an Italian transsexual, an activist for LGBT rights since the second half of the seventies. The fashion film tells, through the words of the protagonist, the important generational, cultural and sentimental passage between the young revolutionaries of the seventies and the children of today. A civil commitment that is also reflected in the clothes of Rambaldi that become for the stylist weapons for women, which become an active subject in the construction of their world. Valérie tells during the fashion film: “I was not born in a wrong body, I was born in a wrong society. […] I am a feminist trans, a fighter, one who thinks there must be justice “.

In the LIFE STORIES section the first fashion film to be presented is IDENTITY THROUGH FERRÉ, directed by Federico Cianferoni. The short film tells – through period films, memories, testimonies of collaborators and interventions also by some students of the Domus Academy – the figure of Gianfranco Ferré not only as a great fashion designer, but also as a teacher and mentor for the most Young people. One of the greatest Italian designers ever, defined as the fashion architect, is here told and partly unveiled. A figure to rediscover and exploit, especially from and for the Post-Millennials.

“Versace not Versaci”: this is the opening words of DONATELLA VERSACE TRIBUTE directed by Ivan Olita, a hilarious and eventful pop fashion film that represents a real tribute to the iconic figure of Donatella Versace. This dynamic short film full of great show stars has none other than Lady Gaga – Donatella’s best friend and genuine superstar – as a narrator of the opera. Lady Gaga thus highlights some of the many successes of Donatella Versace, known to all, and puts things clear while explaining exactly what it takes to become and to be such a legendary power (blonde).

The absolute novelty of this edition is #FFFMilanoForGreen, a space dedicated to the dissemination of culture and sustainable fashion. The fashion industry is in second place in the ranking of the most polluting in the world, mainly because of the so-called “Fast Fashion”, but not only. In spite of this, fashion is an important force to be taken into account in today’s society.

An interesting conversation took place on Saturday afternoon, with the aim of sharing and raising awareness on the importance of environmental sustainability in the fashion industry today. Moderated by Matteo Ward, co-founder of WRÅD; with Orsola de Castro, international opinion leader and co-founder of Fashion Revolution; Marina Spadafora, coordinator of Fashion Revolution Italia and Hakan Karaosman, researcher at the Milan Polytechnic. Fashion Revolution believes in a fashion industry that respects people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. This project aims to be the first step in becoming aware of what it means to buy a piece of clothing. Founded in 2013, after April 24 of the same year, 1133 people died and many others were wounded when the production complex of Rana Plaza (home of some clothing factories) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed. Orsola de Castro, in this regard, says: “Fashion Revolution is about building a future in which accidents like that never happen again. […] Knowing who makes our clothes requires transparency, and this implies openness, honesty, communication and responsibility. It must not matter where our clothes were made: in Italy, Bangladesh, or another part of the world … but they must have been made in dignity. This is the important “. Thus, Fashion Revolution aims to raise consumer awareness of the continuing social and environmental disasters in global fashion chains and has thus succeeded in becoming a global movement in all respects with the participation of over 1000 countries worldwide. We must collaborate in a common way to make everyone responsible for this problem. Marina Spadafora comments in this sense: “Choosing what we buy can create the world we want: each of us has the power to change things for the best and every moment is good to start doing it”. The final motto, repeated several times during the conversation, is the following: “BUY LESS AND BUY BETTER”.

The day ends with a special screening of the WE MARGIELA docufilm (2017), directed by mint film office: the real event of the entire daily program. The “room president” is literally stormed at 9 on Saturday night. The hall is packed and when the documentary finally begins, a respectful, curious and attentive silence falls almost immediately … almost like a tomb. The feature film tells the case of the Maison Margiela – an enigmatic and often hidden story – through interviews, photographs, articles and period films. For the first time, Jenny Meirens (co-founder of the House who died 3 July 2017 at the age of 73) and the creative team members who discuss and present the creative process for the first time to the public extraordinary thought of Martin Margiela. The genesis of one of the most influential and appreciated fashion houses of our time is revealed through detailed and intimate conversations that see the protagonists and collaborators of the brand of that period reveal past memories. In addition to the interview with Jenny Meirens and other creative team members, there are also those to Lucia Zanni – collection manager of Miss Deanna; to Deanna Ferretti Veroni – founder of the knitwear Miss Deanna – who produced the brand’s knitwear for many years and Alda Farinella – founder of the Jana boutique in Turin – who says: “Martin Margiela has changed the lives of hundreds of people who were anonymous, ugly or embarrassed … and instead with Margiela they felt safe. So it was a unique and extraordinary thing “. Martin Margiela is defined as the faceless designer, the invisible man of fashion, who does not release interviews and who has always refused to be photographed. It never even came out at the end of the fashion show to gather the applauses of the press and the guests. In the documentary there is also a photograph of the entire creative team with Jenny Meirens and you can see an empty chair in the front row, right next to Jenny. Guess whose is it? Obviously of Martin Margiela, invisible in the shot, but paradoxically the first and only truly visible to our eyes. Margiela, among other things – to reconnect with the #FFFMilanoForGreen and the Fashion Revolution – is a concrete example of sustainability, able to recycle also sneakers, old gloves and pants. The film tells the legacy of Margiela and its significance for the world of fashion and creative production through its exceptional innovations, such as anonymity, reuse, deconstruction, the exhibition of cuts and tears, the identification in a plural pronoun (“we”), the concept of replication opposite to that of the copy. Martin Margiela – a true conceptual artist – cuts and reassembles parts of old clothes together, exposes linings and inner parts of the various garments, removes and replaces the sleeves in a new and unusual way. However, it is discovered through the docufilm’s vision and through the interviews that the images and the iconic concepts of Martin Margiela were at the time rather the result of contingencies, coincidences and intuition. Maison Margiela has always favored the creative risk of conformism. In fact, Jenny Meirens says in the feature film: “If you want to please everyone, you will not go anywhere. I believe it is necessary to stand out from others. In the long run, this offers the freedom not to have to respond to a system “.

During the closing night of the Fashion Film Festival, held on Tuesday 25 September at the Teatro dell’Arte de La Triennale in Milan, the winners were decreed, one for each category:

Best Fashion Film: PAUSED BY film series, by Wim Wenders per JIL SANDER

Best Italian Fashion Film: Prada Nylon Farm, by DI-AL per PRADA

Best New Fashion Film: Runaway Baby, by Lola Bessis per CHLOÉ

Best New Italian Fashion Film: Allegory of Water, by Elena Petitti di Roreto for Vogue Italia / Yoox

Best Green Fashion Film: Who made my clothes?, by Katie Goldstein for Fashion Revolution

Best Director: PAUSED BY film series, by Wim Wenders for JIL SANDER

Best New Director: Runaway Baby, by Lola Bessis for CHLOÉ

Best New Designer/Brand: Mowalola Studio with KILON SHELE GAN GAN, by Dafe Oboro

Best Production: PAUSED BY film series, by Wim Wenders for JIL SANDER

Best Photography: PAUSED BY film series, by Wim Wenders for JIL SANDER

Best Editing: Why can’t we get along, by Benjamin Millepied, Aaron Duffy, Bob Partington for rag & bone

Best Music: YO! MY SAINT, by Ana Lily Amirpour for KENZO

Best Styling: Runaway Baby, by Lola Bessis for CHLOÉ

Best Experimental Fashion Film: Why can’t we get along, by Benjamin Millepied, Aaron Duffy, Bob Partington for rag & bone

Best Documentary: MUXES, di Ivan Olita per Nowness

The special prize “Live the Moment Tribute” by Gray Goose was also awarded, which rewards a character linked to the Festival who has distinguished himself for having interpreted the contemporary reality in an innovative way. Virgilio Villoresi is the winner of this edition.

Starting from midnight on Tuesday 25 September and for the entire following week, the FFFMilano public had the chance to vote for their favorite fashion film, thus decreeing the People’s Choice Award winner. The winner of this award is IDENTITY THROUGH FERRÉ, directed by Federico Cianferoni for the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation.

Text curated by: Valentina Olivetti @valeolivetti