The Art of Fashion Film

2019 | Layering: Fashion, Art, Cinema

Sunday 10 March – 5:00 PM – Paradise Plaza



A program of shorts followed by a panel discussion at Ornare with Vitoria de Mello Franco, Tom Gunning and Marketa Uhlirova, chaired by Christian Larsen

Fashion film has emerged as a cutting-edge area of creative practice in the early 21st century, compellingly meshing expressive possibilities of fashion with those of the moving image. As today’s luxury brands have grasped its great capacity to communicate a ‘brand story’, fashion film has come to epitomize a brave new world of covert advertising in the eyes of many. In response to that, this program of shorts from the last two decades emphasizes the cultural value and creative power these films have beyond their immediate commercial use. After all, fashion image-makers’ working methods (and budgets) have typically been more akin to those of artists and avant-garde filmmakers than those seen in commercial productions. Focusing on fashion film as a means of investigating the properties of both dress and cinema, the program highlights the enormous potential of this form to enrich and challenge established conventions of fashion and beauty imagery.



UK 2000. Dir. Marcus Tomlinson. Fashion by Hussein Chalayan.


Dynamic Blooms

UK 2011. Dir. Nick Knight & Tell No One, SHOWstudio. With Jac. Styling by Alister Mackie.


The Elegant Universe

UK 2014. Dir. Nick Knight, SHOWstudio. With Alexia Wight. Creative Direction and Styling by Amanda Harlech.


The Dress

UK 2016. Dir. Barnaby Roper. With Gwendoline Christie. Garments by Iris van Herpen.


Headpieces for Peace

USA 2014. Dir. Jessica Mitrani. With Catherine Gontovnik, Justine Harari, Cucu Diamantes, Orly Anan. Fashion by threeASFOUR.


Alexander McQueen Autumn Winter 2013

UK 2013. Dir. John Maybury for Alexander McQueen.



UK 2018. Dir. Vitoria de Mello Franco. With Jojo Rodrigues, Catherine Caiado, Ana Paul Patrocinio.



UK 2010. Dir. Brothers Quay for Comme des Garçons.


Smythson Wonderland

UK 2015. Dir. Quentin Jones for Smythson.


The Sound of COS

Netherlands 2014. Dir. Lernert & Sander for COS. With Foley artists Freddie Webb and Joe Farley.



UK 2018. Dir. Isaac Lock for NOWNESS. With Isaac Lock, Elena Saurel, Daniel Sallstrom, Molly Smith. Styling by Elizabeth Fraser-Bell.



Total running time c. 90 mins



Tom Gunning

Tom Gunning is Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College Classics at University of Chicago. He works on problems of film style and interpretation, film history and film culture, focusing on early cinema and the culture of modernity from which cinema arose (including still photography, magic lantern shows, the World Expositions, and Spiritualism). He has also written extensively on American avant-garde cinema and Hollywood film. Gunning has published three books –  Fantasia of Color in Early Cinema, The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity (winner CINEMA & Cie award) and D. W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film: The Early Years at Biograph – and over a hundred articles, catalogue essays, and book chapters. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in recognition of his major contribution to the fields of film history and theory.


Christian Larsen

Christian Larsen is Associate Curator of Modern Design and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where he is responsible for reorganizing a design collection spanning from 1900 to today. A leading voice in design history and curation, Larsen seeks to elevate the status of this often overlooked field. Prior to this he was curator at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University (2013–15), where his exhibition and catalogue Philodendron: From Pan-Latin Exotic to American Modern (2015) received an Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation Exhibition Award. As a former curator in the Architecture and Design Department at the Museum of Modern Art (2000–2008), he organized several exhibitions, including Ateliers Jean Prouvé (2008), 50 Years of Helvetica (2007), and Digitally Mastered: Recent Acquisitions from the Museum’s Collection (2006). More recently, he played an integral part in the founding of the new Met Breuer in New York where he curated Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical, an alternative retrospective of the visionary Italian architect and designer.


Vitoria de Mello Franco

Vitoria de Mello Franco graduated from a BA in Fashion Communication and Promotion at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Working between contemporary art and fashion, de Mello Franco directed works for Visionaire, Archaeology of Fashion Film and Stella McCartney among others. Last year she was invited to exhibit her series Display is a Rehearsal as a video installation at the London Design Festival. Earlier this year, her short film Divinas was released by NOWNESS and nominated for Best New Director at the Fashion Film Festival Milano.


Marketa Uhlirova

Marketa Uhlirova is an art historian with an interest in the display, representation and mediation of fashion and dress, especially in the moving image. She is a co-founder and director of the Fashion in Film Festival at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Her film programs have been hosted by leading arts venues including Tate Modern, Barbican, Palazzo Grassi, Danish Film Institute, and Museum of the Moving Image, New York. Uhlirova is also the editor of Fashion in Film’s publications, including If Looks Could Kill: Cinema’s Images of Fashion, Crime and Violence (2008) and the award-winning Birds of Paradise: Costume as Cinematic Spectacle (2013), and a regular speaker at cinema and arts venues including the BFI Southbank, ICA, and Museum of the Moving Image, New York. She has contributed writing to Fashion Theory, Art Monthly, Aperture, AnOther, Notebook and others.