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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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Grande Mesure

Berluti’s Animated Ode to Slapstick King Jacques Tati

French filmmaking duo Agnès Doolaeghe and Franck Mallez recreate Paris’ Rue de Sèvres in an homage to the late director and comic actor Jacques Tati. In today’s spirited animation for Berluti, the film presents Paris’ 6th arrondissement and the bohemian south side of the Seine, historically a haunt for artists and intellectuals. “We aimed at having a style that would be as simple and pure as possible,” says Mallez of the playful reinterpretation, told through Tati’s humorous outlook on masculine elegance that mirrors Berluti’s savoir faire: “Silhouettes, Paris and grande mesure.” The Parisian luxury menswear brand is breathing new life into Tati’s universe: To mark the opening of its boutique store, the shop’s awnings bear the work of illustrator Sempé, collaborator on Tati’s original animated films; Berluti is also helping in the restoration of the star’s acting debut, Soigne ton Gauche. “What characterized his work is the attention to detail in each frame, costume and color,” says Mallez. “He had a sense of humor and tenderness. Everything was done with a craftsman’s approach.”

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Spotlight

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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