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August 27, 2014

L’Avenue Shanghai: Rencontre

An After-Hours Romance in the Luxury Destination’s Second Fashion Film

Radiant model Amber Anderson and menswear face Hao Yun Xiang plunge into the bright lights and dark corners of L’Avenue Shanghai in Rencontre, the second short directed by Nathalie Canguilhem. Inspired by the luxury mall’s illuminated exterior and architecture centered around its hemispherical dome, the film is set to a hypnotic score by emerging French artist Liza Manili and maverick producer 1963. “I wanted to create a sense of commotion,” says Canguilhem, who spliced together voyeuristic footage taken from L’Avenue Shanghai’s CCTV cameras, which shows the loved-up protagonists getting lost in the mall’s French-style gardens in looks from Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs and Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. “The shape of the building is naturally cinematic,” says the director of the cinematography, which referenced Chris Marker’s La Jetée and the contrasting hues of Blade Runner. “The nighttime Shanghai light is really vivid. It’s not silver, it’s white, and the reflection travels.”

Watch part one of our L’Avenue Shanghai double bill: Desir.

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Sharif Hamza: Dreams of Levitation

A Soaring Portrait of Daredevil Motocross Riders High Above the Nevada Desert

“As a sport that involves great personal risk, freestyle motocross is a perfect way to create a sense of story and proved a beautiful way to look at menswear,” says NOWNESS contributor Sharif Hamza. The V, Vogue and W photographer's black-and-white portrait of professional motorcycle riders Tim O’Brien and Greg Garrison captures the duo revving across a barren Nevada plain. “I love spectating people who are able to do something with their bodies and minds that I understand but couldn’t be capable of.” With the stuntmen flying overhead, Dreams of Levitation features model Shaun de Wet clad in metallic, biker-inspired gear by up-and-coming New York-based designer Tim Coppens, and a hypnotic voiceover written by Laura Albert and read by De Wet. “The voice she created is that of the rider in his later years, washed up and living a normal life,” adds Hamza of the contribution of Albert, who under the pseudonym JT LeRoy became the provocative voice of the literary counter culture in 1999. “She helped me to think about who the man is beyond his sport. He’s a roadside mechanic, reminiscing on a peak in his life, a time when he was capable of anything.”

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Spotlight

On Collaboration: Amanda Harlech x Jonathan Anderson

The Aristocratic Member of Team Lagerfeld Talks to the Young Designer for the Latest in Our Series with EDITION Hotels

“I think that anybody who is a creative artist, who is making something out of nothing, has got to be allowed to explore and go into the wild, even if that is in the middle of a city,” muses Amanda Harlech, Karl Lagerfeld’s longtime right-hand woman who features in “Distinction,” the third part of On Collaboration, the NOWNESS series created in conjunction with EDITION Hotels. Director Johnnie Shand-Kydd captures Harlech alongside London-based designer Jonathan (J.W.) Anderson in the bucolic environs of her blissful Shropshire meadow. “Collaboration is the meeting of minds to birth something new or different,” says Anderson, the Northern Ireland-native at the helm of his own acclaimed, eponymous menswear and womenswear lines, Topshop capsule collections and his first collection for Versus, unveiled in May with the help of Donatella Versace. Harlech works as Creative Consultant for Lagerfeld—and previously John Galliano—and splits her time between Paris and her farm near the North Wales border. “You can only go forward; you can’t be nostalgic or self conscious, that is so dangerous for creativity,” says Harlech, a renowned supporter of emerging fashion talent. “The Latin root of the word collaboration is ‘to work.’ The interesting thing is actually making the work together. It’s all about finding a balance.”

Each film in the On Collaboration series has been produced in partnership with EDITION Hotels, a new project between Ian Schrager and Marriott Hotels. The London EDITION opens today.

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