Including a deep dive into Mowalola’s slimy VR world, Collina Strada’s chaotic climate change computer game, and Gui Rosa's biker B-movie
Last week Gucci officially launched GucciFest, the luxury brand’s first ever digital film festival, and honestly, it's the fashion content we’ve all desperately been craving during lockdown. For the project, Alessandro Michele teamed up with Kids and My Own Private Idaho director Gus Van Sant to release Ouverture of Something That Never Ended – a seven part series starring the likes of Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Silvia Calderoni, Arlo Parks, Florence Welch, and Jeremy O. Harris.
Alongside Ouverture… the brand also spotlighted a group of rising designers who each released their own short films throughout GucciFest’s week-long run. In typically eclectic Gucci manner, the films spanned a vast number of topics, with sustainability-focused brand Rave Review debuting a surrealist film inspired by the elements, menswear label JordanLuca channelling London’s vibrant youth culture, and former Dazed 100er Stefan Cooke creating an abstract montage, juxtaposing his looks with archived footage.
In case you missed them, we rounded up our five must-watch designer films from GucciFest below, with appearances from Mowalola, Collina Strada, and Priya Ahluwalia all on the line-up.
Mowalola Ogunlesi dove into a VR world for her short Drip City – a 1.5 minute long cartoon made in partnership with animator David Killingsworth. Dripping with psychedelic visuals including hypnotising falling comets and glitching hula-hooping aliens, the film features AI models adorned in chunky purple boots, neon green and orange trousers, bikini-style black bodysuits, and knit leg and arm warmers, many of which are emblazoned with the designer’s logo. The film closes with the acronym SLAT, meaning ‘Slime Love All The Time,’ while a chrome alien appears on the screen. We’re not really sure what all of it means, but somehow, in 2020, it all makes sense.
Collina Strada is officially providing fashion fans the newest game to stream on Twitch, with her GucciFest short Collina Land. Featuring models Aaron Philip, Hanne Gaby Odiele, and Alva Claire (just to name a few), the film presents the sustainable brand’s signature vibrant pieces 3D-scanned into five different virtual video game landscapes – including a world made from colourful drawings and a desert world with flying pieces of sliced bread, obviously.
Hugely vocal on issues surrounding the planet, Taymour centred climate change awareness in the film. “The video game concepts are all based around climate change objectives. In the farm world you stomp out forest fires, in the ice world you freeze melting glaciers, and in the underwater world you pick up ocean plastic,” the designer explained. “I like to keep the conversation going while still having an element of lighthearted fun.” You can actually play the Collina Land video game here, if you want to be a part of the madness.
Inspired by Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, Bianca Saunders’ film, entitled The Pedestrian, features eight models answering questions about their relationships and love lives. Playing off Saunders’ British heritage, the models – dressed in the brand’s pre fall collection made exclusively for the film – say things like: "My cousin said you can’t be everyone's cup of tea unless you’re going to be a mug, innit.” According to Saunders, the film is about seeing how different people respond to the same questions in unique ways. “Not just in what they say, but how they stand, their body language, facial expression…how they wear the clothes,” she explained. “This kind of multiplicity is what drives my work and I love it.”
Designer Priya Ahluwalia paid tribute to the ‘everyday beauty and strength of Black existence’ in her documentary style film, Joy. The film features community members, political activists, and some of the designer’s personal close friends representing different traditions in the film, such as, sports, carnival, hair, and church. Throughout, the cast is seen wearing a series of looks by the designer, which she customised by subtly interweaving each person’s own sentimental items through, including headscarves and beaded necklaces. “The film was really about the cast and how all their individual stories relate to Black liberation.” said the designer. “I wanted to show how nuanced and varied all of the people were, how they represent how amazing Afro-Carribean culture is and how that it is a universal language through rituals and traditions.”
Filmed in the parking garages, gas stations, and hidden industrial spots dotted around East London, CSM grad Gui Rosa’s Til Death Do Us Ride follows a group of models riding around on motorcycles in OTT tulle and patterned looks, accessorised with matching knee-high cowboy boots and stringy crocheted headpieces which challenge stereotypical gender norms. “If you thought you’d seen a B movie, think again lol,” said the designer on Instagram of the grainy, lo-fi – but obvs incredibly hi-octane – footage. We definitely wouldn’t pass up an invite to be in Gui Rosa’s lo-fi motorcycle gang, tbh.
Check out the full Gucci collection in the gallery above.