9th November, 2019

Milan – at the Anteo Palazzo del Cinema – the iconic intellectual location of the Milanese cinema in the heart of the Brera district. One of the coolest international events created by Constanza Cavalli Etro has now reached its sixth edition, with Giorgio Armani as president of the international jury.

Every year FFFMilano receives more than a thousand fashion films from sixty countries around the world, even if the official selection consists of two hundred fashion films, not only of emerging talents, but also of established names among directors, brands and actors.

I take part in the Conversation + Special Screening “The Gaze of the Future Fashion Film Contest” in partnership with Istituto Marangoni (Educational partner of the FFF Milan) where initially an interesting conversation between Constanza Cavalli Etro, Anna Dello Russo, Andrea Pompilio and Angelo kicks off Ruggeri as moderator about the role and importance of fashion films in today’s society. Far from being a commercial ad, the fashion film tells the story of fashion, but broadening the vision of the world and the contemporary world. It is the new means of communication used by the fashion world to express itself in the digital age. Fashion, like cinema, is expression and communication. It is a tool to express what one is or what one wants to be, as stated by Constanza Cavalli Etro during his speech. Anna Dello Russo is volcanic and passionate when he says that we all want to communicate and that video is the modern language par excellence. Just think of the Instagram Stories, so popular at the moment, not just among the new generations. With Instagram we are all editors and directors of our lives on social media. According to Dello Russo, Constanza Cavalli Etro is a pioneer since he focused his attention on this new video language, so important not only for fashion, but today, creating the Fashion Film Festival. Fashion is a dream and even the film. Both are forms of emotion, as Andrea Pompilio states.

The Gaze of the Future Fashion Film Contest” is an international competition, promoted by the Istituto Marangoni, aimed at young talents from all school locations called to express their vision of using the movie as an expressive tool linked to the world of fashion. Thus the vision of the top ten selected proposals kicks off and the three finalists are then nominated:

  • Bibiana Gonzalez with “Sois Sage, ô Ma Douleur” (Mexico)
  • Mariah Cidral with “Mars 2050” (France)
  • Fabio Princigallo with “In a world of ethnicities” (Italy)

The winner is Fabio Princigallo with “In un mondo di etnie” (this video is an invitation to enter the culture of Morocco, demonstrating the presence of Maghreb traditions also in Milanese life).


In the CLEAN CUT category (a curated selection presenting short films with a clean and severe aesthetic) I found the fashion film DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY (Italy) fascinating, a tribute to the 1947 experimental film by Hans Richter, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp , Alexander Calder and Fernand Léger. A remake of the seven surreal dream sequences filmed at Villa Panza, with CC-TAPIS carpets and model Hebe Witte. Created by Motel 409 and directed by Lorenzo Gironi.

PLATEAU (France / Italy) is the first of a series of short films produced and directed by Victor Bastidas, with the dancer of Voguing, Kevin Table. Bastidas wants to explore art in all its forms as a meditation tool to counteract the negative feelings of the contemporary world. The sequence is composed of moments that happen in the present, in the past and in the future, mixed together to evoke the idea of a sort of journey. Made as if it were a musical video clip, the film combines the filming of the rooftops of the buildings of the Parisian suburbs, with the sculptural and almost mechanical figures of the dancer Kevin Table with Santoni’s Innova sneakers on his feet.

The short film by the Dutch fashion brand Ninamounah HORMONES ARE MY MASTER (The Netherlands) directed by Florian Joahn is a short film that perfectly embodies the tension, the quirks and the humor surrounding the growing sexuality. Set in the classrooms and corridors of a royal school, it captures the embarrassing tension of adolescence, dealing with hormones that become our masters for a certain period of our lives.

In I WANT NOTHING BUT LOOKING AT YOU (Belgium) the director Lisa Carletta has worked on the concept of obsession for the life of others through the use of social media and has imagined what it would be like if we were acting in real life as we usually do on social media .

In the PORTRAITS category (an accurate projection that presents some of the most important personalities in the world of fashion and creativity) worthy of note are the short films HOMETOWN – ALESSANDRO MICHELE (ID / Gucci, France) and HOMETOWN – JACQUEMUS (ID, France), both directed by Tess Lochanski.

Alessandro Michele, Creative Director of Gucci, takes us to his hometown of Rome, to discover how his origins inspired him and continue to inspire him today. In the universe of Michele there is no limit to the impossible and fashion has the power to unite thought with becoming, with being. As a child, Alessandro Michele has always felt distinctly different from others and has always felt the need to defend this diversity, recognizing it as his strong point. What struck me most about this “stream of consciousness” is his final reflection: “I too had moments where I thought that perhaps I could have chosen an easier path and instead I say: choose the most difficult one, that more complex, the one that seems not flattened, the one that nobody tells you. Because the one that no one tells you but that is the one you see, and it’s darker, there are a few more shadows, it’s the road that takes you to wonderful territories and therefore, go on “, says Alessandro Michele at the end of fashion film.

Simon Porte Jacquemus instead takes us through Brame-Jean, the small town where he grew up in the south of France, to learn about his idyllic childhood. What excited me most about Jacquemus is the fact that he wants to see his smiling models on the catwalk (I think he is the only designer in the world to want it). He says this during the video, displacing me: “Just make sure you inform the girls, I want them to look happy. I don’t want them to smile too much, but they smile at least a little. It is important that the opening girl appears happy. We are at Jacquemus and must really smile ». The extraordinary importance of the mother in Simon’s life is also evident from the story. At his death, the designer truly understood who he was, what he meant, and that his true strength came from the South. The same land he had wanted to leave as a child to become a Parisian. It is well known that the South of France is the true source of inspiration for Jacquemus and for its superlative creations.

In the YOUTH category (a projection that celebrates the joy of youth) I was won over by the documentary LOOK WHAT THE DOG DRAGGED IN (Italy) by Bonasia & Narcisi which humorously investigates the role of aesthetics and beauty in the contemporary world, through the eyes and the words of nine young women.

GENERACIÒN PARTICULAR (Cuba) directed by Simone Lorusso tells of Juan, a boy from Havana who loves his work very much. He’s a motorcycle mechanic. Un trabajo particular, a “special” profession: this is how Cubans call jobs in contact with those coming from outside Cuba. “Yo soy millennial, no millonary!” Jokes Juan César Simeno. According to him, “it doesn’t count how much money you have but how many friends you have”.

HOW THE BEASTS GOT HYPED (Philippines) directed by Elvin Jay Macanlalay, Bryan Marticio and Mars Sanchez is a short six-minute documentary that tells of “beasts” (obsessed) by the hype (fashion) and focuses mainly on the daily routine of a group of teen hype-beasts from Manila – initially called Jejemons by the Filipinos – who share a mutual interest in contemporary fashion and street-style. This passion creates a sense of community among his followers.

DIALOGUE – SERIES OF PRIVATE STORIES (Italy) directed by Mara Palena and realized for Document Journal, presents MSGM FW2018 exploring the city of Milan through collective memory and ordinary life. MSGM has been built for almost a decade to focus on young people with explosive energy, rejecting serious traditionalism and forming an exaggerated and continuous manifestation of prints that transform repetition and the brand itself. Each subject of the video is isolated, only with himself, everyone dressed as a head on foot in MSGM and all scattered around the city of Milan. This fashion film is like a tender look at the brand and its wearers, while they are alone, alone and their uniform, in a metropolis like Milan.

Text and photo edited by Valentina Olivetti @valeolivetti