Train chugs and a smokey backdrop frame the McQueen models amidst the arches at Kings Cross in Sean Frank's backstage film noir from SS14. Once again London filmmaker Frank, who has worked with McQueen for five seasons, pinpoints the core inspirations of this season. With its Hitchcock vibes and almost menacing soundtrack, it sometimes feels more like the start of a classic train heist thriller than a fashion film, sucking you in.
Here, Dazed speaks to Sean about bringing the collection to life and creating an old-school fashion film that will resonate with older generations.
Dazed Digital: The film seems to draw quite heavily on the film noir genre, it almost feels like an old-school thriller/horror trailer. What inspired that?
Sean Frank: The show itself was incredibly cinematic and not too unlike a film set. It was at the coal drops in kings cross, every 10 minutes before the show started, someone would spray the cobbled floor so that it glistened. The boys then mysteriously emerged from huge plumes of billowing smoke before disappearing again. The show itself reminded me a lot of old black and white horrors like Bela Lugosi's Dracula and Frankenstein with the suspense of Hitchcock films, all elements of which I tried to incorporate into the film.
DD: How do you think this film noir theme ties in with the collection?
Sean Frank: The collection was quite theatrical and wouldn't have looked out of place in film noir pictures. The clothes were all quite monochromatic and with McQueens classic sharp tailoring, with intricate gothic and romantic prints. I always enjoy seeing all the different elements coming together, from the amazing (Gainsbury and Whiting) productions, to (Guido Paulo's) hair creations, (Jess Hallett's) casting, John Goslings music, the lighting and of course the clothes themselves. Each detail is incredibly considered to really create an atmosphere, culminating in the amazing spectacle which is the show.
DD: You've said that the film will resonate more with older generations, why is that?
Sean Frank: I found it quite interesting seeing my dad's reaction to this film in relation to previous ones, he is not from a fashion background so definitely enjoys films with more of a narrative aspect. I think he could relate more to this one because of the more classical filmic language used, such as longer drawn out shots and slow dissolves as opposed to the quick cuts our generation is more in tune with.
What drew you to make this film?
Sean Frank: I've worked with McQueen for five seasons now. I always enjoy getting asked to do their films both for their mens & women's collections. Each season, I love getting to put my own spin on the different collections through film. I had a lot of fun with this latest men's film
This was shot in january, it had a very punk 80s feel to it so i decided to shoot it all on my dads old mini DV cam, which was actually the first camera i ever made a film on.
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