Expect the unexpected as fashion’s leading lady Diane Pernet presents the fourth edition of ASVOFF, her unique travelling fashion film festival.
With her dark shades, tumbling veil and front-row seat, journalist and influential blogger Diane Pernet is one of a kind. Founder and author of A Shaded View On Fashion, Pernet is renowned for her unwavering support of all things forward-thinking and creative, and in 2008 she decided to combine this thirst for the new with a supreme knowledge of film-making and create the fashion industry’s one and only film festival. ASVOFF (A Shaded View On Fashion Film) not only showcases a number of features, documentaries and performances, but also holds a competition inviting both emerging and established film-makers to showcase their work. With a top-notch judging panel (those who have previously cast their critical eye include Mike Figgis, Dita Von Teese and Nan Goldin), many directorial debuts have gone on to enjoy considerable success, heavily promoting the idea of moving image as fashion’s new visual tool of choice. i-D online caught up with the shady lady herself to find out more about the flicks that make her tick.
Tell us about the industry’s reaction to ASVOFF so far? Oct 7th – 9th will be the 4th edition of ASVOFF and before that I co-curated YWITW (You Wear it Well) from 2006 – 2007, so in fact ASVOFF 4 is my 6th fashion film festival, and things have changed a lot since the early days when no one even understood what a fashion film was. Over the past few years I’d say that the industry’s reaction has been great because film is a powerful tool in getting a brand’s message out to a large audience.
What would you like to see from this year’s participants? I am looking for real films that have a reason why things move and aren’t just a photo shoot in motion. I want meaning, emotion, a sense for existing, documentaries, something that builds up over 30 seconds to 5 minutes and something that touches me in some way.
How has the festival helped previous winners? They have gotten agents, producers, contracts and visibility.
Do you think designers could ever rely solely on film to showcase their collections? I would love to see films and installations take the place of most fashion shows. Designers as diverse as Jun Takahashi and Riccardo Tisci have chosen installations over catwalk shows and were extremely successful in doing so. Gareth Pugh is also a strong believer in fashion film. It is an interesting time as everyone wants to get things in motion but not everyone is ready to do a film and not a catwalk show. I think they should take the risk, like Gareth did and many others at different times in their career. A film has no sell out date and it reaches around the planet.
How do you see fashion film developing in the next few years? There are so many aspects of film yet to be explored. Now every agent is telling his or her photographers that they have to make films, some photographers are perfect for a static image but their work does not translate cinematically. There is a lot of growth to be seen in this area and I’m very excited to see where it will go. Photography and Film are not the same things. There has to be a reason for a film. There is a completely different mind set.
Do you think fashion film should have a narrative? I know that Nick Knight is of a completely different mind set on this topic, but for me anything over a few minutes has to have a real story with drama and comedy. A film needs to take you somewhere other than only visuals. Of course, there are exceptions. I screened moving images of Araki for ASVOFF in 2008 and they were eighteen minutes long and kept you enthralled. However generally speaking, I want a story after a few minutes.
Who would you ideally cast in your own film? Rossy de Palma and Tilda Swinton.
ASVOFF takes place on 7,8 and 9th October at Centre Pompidou, Paris. Film stills courtesy of Visionaries by BlackBerry.