The most spellbinding fashion films of 2016

From captivating choreography to cameos from cult celebrities, we round up the best fashion film had to offer this year

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Spike Jonze’s film for Kenzo featuring Margaret Qualley
Still from Spike Jonze’s film for Kenzo featuring Margaret Qualleyvia youtube.com

It’s been a really good year for fashion film. More and more, the industry is mining the medium’s potential to express its ideas to the world. We’ve seen designers and magazines work with acclaimed directors, photographers and filmmakers; draw inspiration from cult cinema; cast cultural icons and devise new and innovative ways of story telling. Here we bring together some of the best short films that have engaged, entertained and inspired us – from Spike Jonze’s film for Kenzo in which actress Margaret Qualley performs a hypnotic dance solo to AnOther’s candid conversation with legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell and Palace’s hilarious spoof infomercial featuring Jonah Hill. So sit back, scroll down and enjoy these films. 

CALVIN KLEIN AW16 CAMPAIGN FILM FT. FRANK OCEAN

London-based photographer and filmmaker Tyrone Lebon made a series of short films for Calvin Klein’s star-studded AW16 campaign. Stylish and lo-fi, one of these films features reclusive R&B star Frank Ocean who discusses his writing process, while another features eccentric rapper Young Thug who says he feels like “there’s no such thing as gender”.

SPIKE JONZE’S FILM FOR KENZO FT. MARGARET QUALLEY

Kenzo’s creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have some of the closer ties to the film industry than other designers working today – in the last couple of years they’ve commissioned legendary auteurs including Gregg Araki, Sean Baker and Carrie Brownstein. For their new perfume, the design duo enlisted Her director Spike Jonze to create a short film starring The Leftovers stars Margaret Qualley who performs an incredible dance solo choreographed by Ryan Heffington (who has worked with FKA twigs and Sia on her music video “Chandelier”).

ANOTHER’S CONVERSATION WITH NAOMI CAMPBELL

Naomi Campbell is one of modelling’s greatest and most enduring legends. Here, wearing a zipped leather dress by the king of couture Azzedina Alaïa, she tells AnOther about what she does, why she does it and one or two secrets about herself.

GUCCI’S SS16 CAMPAIGN FILM BASED ON A SCENE FROM CHRISTIANE F.

Alessandro Michele’s vision for Gucci is all about youth and his SS16 campaign film for the house reflected that. Shot in Berlin and inspired by a scene in Christiane F. – the cult film portraying the city’s drug scene in the 1970s, the Glen Luchford-shot short captures a gang of young Gucci girls and guys running through a retro shopping mall.

GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY’S FILM THE DAY OF MY DEATH

To coincide with his SS17 show at Pitti Uomo, Russian designer, photographer and filmmaker Gosha Rubchinskiy released a new photo book and short film titled The Day of My Death. Directed by Renata Litvinova, the film follows a group around the abandoned factory and stars Rubchinskiy himself along with his collaborator Lotta Volkova and skateboarding brothers Titouan and Louison Savignoni.

HARMONY KORINE’S FILM FOR SUPREME FT. GUCCI MANE

This year cult director Harmony Korine made this short film for Supreme featuring trap pioneer Gucci Mane. Shot in his mansion in Atlanta, the Gummo director captures the rapper playing piano in a classic Supreme box logo tee and discussing his online shopping habits. “I shop on the internet, I don’t go into the store. You mother fuckers think I go to the store? I hit that button,” he says, taking a Gucci belt out of its box. But it’s not the only time they worked together this year – Korine actually made a cameo in Guwop’s music video “Last Time”.

MARC JACOBS AW16 CAMPAIGN FILM FT. EVERY CULT STAR YOU CAN THINK OF

For his AW16 campaign film, Marc Jacobs enlisted Hype Williams – the legendary film director who’s created music videos for the likes of Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West among many more. Showcasing his Lydia from Beetlejuice-inspired AW16 collection, the film has a cast that reads like an A-Z of underground cultural icons: Courtney Love, Genesis P-Orridge, Kembra Pfalher, Marilyn Manson, Missy Elliott, Sissy Spacek and Susan Sarandon.

KENZO’S FILM ABOUT HARAJUKU QUEENS AND BIKERS

Sun to Sun is another film Kenzo released this year and comprises of a girl-centric version of “Momotarō”, which is a classic Japanese folk tale. Shot in Kamakura, Fujisawa and Tokyo, the film follows Momoko and her crew of Harajuku queens and bikers.

HARLEY WEIR’S WALES BONNER FILM SET IN INDIA

Okay, so we’re a bit biased, but the film Harley Weir for us is beautiful. Capturing Wales Bonner’s SS16 collection, which was inspired by Malik Ambar’s journey from slave in Harar, Ethiopia to the ruler of the Deccan region of India in the early 17th century, was shot on a journey from Delhi to Junagadh. Titled The Love With Which I Wash, the film shows the nuanced masculinity of the designer’s world, through the people – specifically Siddhis and Afro-Indians – and place of India.

PALACE’S SPOOF INFOMERCIAL FT. JONAH HILL

“We just wanted to make something really stupid,” said Palace founder Lev Tanju in an interview with Dazed, speaking on the brand’s advert for its new collaboration with Reebok. And stupid it is – in the best possible way. Something like a spoof infomercial, the film features Hollywood actor Jonah Hill giving an extremely ironic endorsement of Palace and its Reebok trainers. “They’ve got these dope new sneakers that they’ve made in collaboration with some sportswear company called Reebok,” he says, pronouncing said sportswear company’s name wrong. “Take a look. Wow...”

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