Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fashion brands team up with top directors for - movies?

Look at the similarities in terms of teaming up: Prada with Wes Anderson, Burberry with Asif Kapadia, Kenzo with Spike Jonze, Moncler with Spike Lee, and now Wes Anderson did an H&M holiday fiesta. Brands - specifically fashion brands - are moving into new territories for their films and that's a fact.
Longer, more twisted narratives, not focused on the product (even if every woman will covet what Sienna Miller did to the trench coat in the Burberry film), using products from older collections such as the Moncler effort (with one jacket which was still unreleased by the time the movie had its arthouse debut), focusing on quirky leading characters (Margaret Qualley in Kenzo - the movie scored top film Grand Prix at the Epica Awards 2016), and mostly narrative-driven visual essays which are a long way from big couturiers simply dressing up characters in movies (Givenchy dressing Audrey Hepburn, or Ralph Lauren dressing Robert Redford in the classic version of "The Great Gatsby" of 1974, or Armani contributing wardrobe to more than two hundred movies).
This time fashion brands mean business, movie business. With full art involvement with the biggest guns something is surely shifting - mind you it is nothing new, the most iconic of Apple commercials (1984) was directed by Riddley Scott and the Chanel masterpiece ""Egoiste" was helmed by Jean-Paul Goude - both arguably some of the biggest names in the industry when the ads were made. But for a long time, the product-centered commercials took the front row (sorry for the pun), and little by little Instagram-stars became a "thing" (Brooklyn Beckham shooting an Instagram campaign).
But now the big names and big productions are back. The H&M effort shows it. H&M has been changing its communication, and smartly so. Tackling issues of recycling (with MIA) or gender issues (with Caitlyn Jenner) hitting a little on the territory previously occupied by Benetton in the 90s and 2000s.
Their latest Wes Anderson effort shows them stepping further into the "no branded product" side, focusing on emotional values and aspiration-driven positioning, Having the beautiful aesthetics of Wes Anderson certainly helps - oh and the Lennon-Yoko Ono "War is over" as a soundtrack is also an asset even if the final line "Come Together" is actually the title for the late Lennon's previous band - The Beatles. Well done!