Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tues 20th March: The Film Project at Selfridges

Last Wednesday there was a great deal to celebrate at Selfridges and to observe the occasion, Selfridges did what they do best and threw a massive multisensory party. As the new Women's Designer Galleries open on the 2nd floor, Alannah Weston and Linda Hewson asked Emma Reeves to curate a Film Project which highlights seven of the seventeen names. Making use of the empty old hotel discreetly disclosed in the rear of the building, Emma collaborated with set designer Simon Costin to split the space into separate cinema pods. Each curtained-off nucleus, has its own cosy cocoon quality for you to get comfy and enjoy the clip to its full potential, projected on a large screen. For Dries Van Noten you crawl over a floor size mattress and lay down on pillows to view the video of an eye blinking, flickering on the ceiling above. Ann Demeulemeester's designated auditorium is divided up into separate four poster beds whilst the adjoining picture-house has squashy enveloping bean bags to dissolve into. For McQueen's "Vanity" auditorium you sit around a mirrored table that reflects the gold film in reverse for a secondary visual experience. This surface is so high and wide, it could almost be a catwalk ......... or perhaps a dance floor for the party revellers who attended the private view.
For one night only, Selfridges constructed a food hall alongside the cinema space, with a pop-corn counter, Pinkberry ice cream parlour, charcutterie and fromagerie sandwich deli, lobster bar and pink cocktails mixed in fizzy pop bottles. At the same time as being genuinely hyped that fashion film has found itself this major platform, I was equally ecstatic at the opportunity to try lobster for the first time in my life. Needless to say I hung around this particular spot for perhaps an unsociable amount of time but I was however in a good position to see the other guests like moths drawn to this culinary flame............ Matthew Stone, Margot Bowman, Quentin Jones, Debra Borne, Henry Holland ......
............ and Kathryn Ferguson who heads up the fashion film branch of a Bird's Eye View Film Festival. A couple of the directors brought together for last year's strand have shot the shorts for the Selfridges Film Project including Katerina Jebb for Commes Des Garcons and Ruth Hogben for both Gareth Pugh and Rick Owens. As a result of Emma's brief being totally open to the designer / director duos, some took an abstract explorative route as with Rick Owens focusing on capturing his partner Michele Lamy. This "Library" space decked out in stacked hardback books and director chairs is also scented with Lamy's perfume for an extra sensory note. Gareth Pugh's "Playroom" has a giant inflatable rabbit echoing the epic runway sets Simon has created for Gareth in the past. This film is an updated version of one of his earliest works - a self portrait reenactment of Cabaret, shot in his factory squat in Peckham ............. a raw concrete space much like the empty Selfridges Hotel, but of course the latter being in a very different London postcode!
This central location has opened its doors to the public and Emma Reeves is keen for as many people to see the spectacle as possible, especially students interested in the genre. Its great news that we can now officially call "Fashion Film" a genre since the initial experiments like Gareth's from 2005 and the platform that first championed him - SHOWstudio (the home of fashion film). Lets hope that more designers are given opportunities like this to capture seasonal collections in their own pure vision - for example the Comme Des Garcons documentary of a Parisian pianists hands in place of the garments. Lets also hope that larger brands will pick up on this vehicle to sharing their wares so that the specific talents can get their teeth into some commercial work .............. only time will tell and thanks to initiatives like this one at Selfridges, word will spread and film will become as synonymous with fashion as yellow is with their identity............

(Photos above include Simon Costin's set design, the films, Tatty Devine at the party, Bip Ling dj'ing disco on the dancefloor)

the Old Selfridges Hotel
400 Oxford Street (Orchard Street Entrance) London W1A 1AB
15 March - 25 March
Monday - Saturday
12pm - 8pm
12pm - 6pm

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