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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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Double Bill: Léa Seydoux

Glen Luchford Captures A New York Moment with the Rag & Bone Stars in Today’s Two Films

Glen Luchford's short films for NY fashion house rag & bone are as beautiful and elegant as they are real. Starring actors Palme d'Or winner Léa Seydoux and Michael Pitt, and set to a yearning Sparklehorse soundtrack, Luchford’s signature is a combination of dramatic understatement and modern nostalgia for the craft of shooting on film. “Having the confidence to let the shoot flow is a great feeling, because anything can happen,” explains Luchford, whose only direction for Seydoux and Pitt was to do “whatever came naturally. My aesthetic is planned and controlled reportage—which is obviously a contradiction. On the day, you have to just let go and see what happens. Sparks fly and unexplained ideas pop up.” Luchford started his career at as a fashion photographer on the style magazine The Face, going on to shoot iconic campaigns as well as directing the award-winning feature film, Here to Where. Rather than pose in the rag & bone collection, it seems Seydoux and Pitt were encouraged to live in it.

What are your earliest memories of film and photography?
Glen Luchford:
I saw Snow White in the cinema when I was three years old, and something in the imagery stuck. I only remember a few scenes but they stayed clearly imprinted. Then The Wizard Of Oz at five, which blew me away. The fact that video didn’t exist then, and their unavailability, made them even more exotic and exciting.

What appeals to you about fashion?
Fashion has an ADD quality to it: it can't focus on anything for too long and has to keep shifting its gaze, like an irritable kid. I loved playing musical chairs as a child. Part of me feels like I’m still playing.

How has your filmmaking evolved since Here to Where?
: I’m not as good. Youth gives you something extra.

What are you most proud of?
Walking into The Face magazine's office and saying, “Give me a job, I can do that.”

What inspires you today?
Instagram, Intelligentsia Coffee and the word ‘Yes.’

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Sofía Sanchez Barrenechea: Fuego

The Fashion-World Darling Gets Her Party On in Downtown LA

Argentinian art director and street-style regular Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea takes a classic Datsun for a spin from the Chateau Marmont to Downtown Los Angeles in today’s playful portrait. Fresh from attending the Spring-Summer 2014 shows, the front row face explores the hidden Piñata District, full of Salvadoran and Mexican street vendors, taco trucks and a flower market—all set to a ranchera soundtrack. When not seeking out local designers for her online boutique Under Our Sky, Sanchez Barrenechea art directs for Estée Lauder, Marni and Derek Lam, and is frequently snapped in Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou. SoCal resident and NOWNESS regular Columbine Goldsmith captured the bustling action in LA, having contributed to Self Service, Vanity Fair and Dazed & Confused. “Those guys totally fell in love with her,” says the filmmaker of her subject's assimilation into the locale, who collaborated with Sanchez on the creative direction. “When I said goodbye to her at the end of the shoot, she was in a gold lamé coat getting into a taxi with two enormous piñatas.” Alas, the South American transplant, who prepares to wed her set-designer beau Alexandre de Betak next year in Patagonia, could not find room for her colorful acquisitions. “I wanted to get the piñata shipped to New York,” she says. “But it was a $15 piñata and $300 for shipping.”

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