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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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Up and Out

A Surreal Take on the Age-Old Dilemma of What to Wear

Model Molly Smith finds herself trapped in a never-ending outfit change, wrapped up in various pieces from Miu Miu, Meadham Kirchhoff and Alexander McQueen in today’s kinetic fashion film shot by Joshua Stocker and styled by NOWNESS regular, Agata Belcen. “I wanted to create a film that felt seamless, without the cuts interfering with the experience,” explains Stocker of his first fashion film, set to music by London-based indie pop act, Scanners. “Collaborating with a stylist, we worked out how each piece integrated into the narrative, whether it is a dress that falls to the floor, or a skirt which is pulled up to reveal a new outfit.” The award-winning director is a graduate from London’s Chelsea College of Art & Design and is noted for his visual effects-laden work, including music promos for Skream and Gem Club, alongside a 3D data art film with Google Creative Lab’s Aaron Koblin. 

Additional credits: Makeup by Celia Burton at CLM. Hair by Yoshitaka Miyazaki at Untitled Artists London.

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Haider Ackermann’s Prodigal Return

On the Day of His Paris Fashion Week Show, the Colombia-Born Draper Takes Us Back to His Roots

An inky Andean swell rises behind Medellín, Colombia, as model and muse Saskia de Brauw embarks on a languid walk along the country’s second-largest city in Steps Away, a short film celebrating Haider Ackermann. Director Vincent van de Wijngaard captured the fashion designer’s first return to his birthplace since he left Colombia with his adoptive parents as an infant, for a 10-year retrospective to mark the 25th anniversary of Inexmoda, the country’s fashion and textile showcase. Intensified by a full moon, the evocative show, which took over a year to prepare, spanned 38 looks atop the EPM building in downtown Medellín. “I think he realized that he felt a stronger connection to Colombia than he might have thought,” says Van de Wijngaard, who lent his voiceover to the film alongside de Brauw and Ackermann. The son of a cartographer, the Paris-based designer moved between Algeria, Ethiopia, Chad, the Netherlands, and Belgium, where he briefly attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Since creating his eponymous label in 2001, Ackermann’s combination of asymmetric cuts and sensuous romanticism have made him a cult favorite with the likes of Tilda Swinton and Penélope Cruz. Peppering the film with Ackermann’s warm color palette, Van de Wijngaard included portraits of a child soldier, a series which first drew him to the city’s volatile outskirts six years ago. “It’s a kind of street-photographer approach,” adds the filmmaker, who has shot for GQ Style, Interview and Vogue Hommes International. “We did not plan anything together. In fact, it was all incidental.”

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