The French Capital is the Stage as Bloggeuse Jeanne Damas Tours the History of the Heritage Label
Delicate animated sketches channel Paris’ Belle Époque and light up the night sky in this new film from director Mary Clerté, dedicated to the legacy of French trunk-makers and leather goods specialist Moynat. The updated art deco imagery is inspired by the original drawings of the atelier’s one-time art director Henri Rapin, whose iconic red leather and brass-studded luggage put the brand on the map in the early part of the 20th century. The brand has been breaking ground since its inception in 1849, when founder Pauline Moynat—the only female trunk-maker in Paris—joined forces with the skilled craftsmen of the Coulembier family. Creating state-of-the-art designs using waterproofed canvas treated with tropical Gutta Percha sap, the entrepreneuse went on to win awards for her innovative 1873 British Trunk, and acclaim as the inventor of the women’s handbag in 1880, created for the famed turn-of the century actress Gabrielle Rejane. Fast forwarding to contemporary France, filmmaker Clerté casts Paris-based model, muse and fashion blogger Jeanne Damas as the modern answer to the classic Moynat woman as she explores the arts and theatre landmarks in the City of Lights, researching the role of loyal brand devotee Réjane. “The story of the brand is really modern: Pauline Moynat was a business woman who came to Paris and established herself,” muses the director, whose past work includes videos for the band Pony Pony Run Run and labels Hermès and Chloë. Set to the Montreal duo Valleys’ single “Hounds,” from their forthcoming album Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?, Clerté’s latest short creates an intrepid character that is as timeless as she is uniquely Parisian. “I wanted to find a way to make her alive.”
Director Zoe Cassavetes Weaves a Debauched Love Triangle to the Beats of the French DJ Duo
Zoe Cassavetes’ narrative romp for the infectious track “Paris” by Scratch Massive casts Cécile Cassel, Louis-Marie de Castelbajac and Charles Derenne as three young friends who, fueled by red wine, pearls and lust, romantically unravel in an apartment on the Canal St. Martin. Comprised of DJs Sebastien Chenut, who is married to Cassavetes, and Maud Geffray, Scratch Massive are known for their dark, melodic electronic music and film scores for Cassavetes (Broken English, 2007), Henry Alex Rubin (Murderball, 2005) and Yolande Zauberman (Would You Have Sex With An Arab?, 2011). For “Paris”, taken from their latest album Nuit de Rêve, they teamed up with Icelandic singer Daníel Ágúst of GusGus. The narrative short is the latest collaboration between the band and Cassavetes, beginning with her interpretation of their single "Like You Said" in 2007. This time around, Cassavetes wanted to make “a 1970s style movie trailer” and took cues from Looking For Mr. Goodbar and American Gigolo. The film’s most prominent influence, however, is the director’s adopted hometown. “This is not the typical tourist version we see in every movie about the city,” she says. “We shot where I really feel it is my Paris.”
Director Brennan Stasiewicz Captures Fashion’s Enigma At Home and On Display
Documentary filmmaker Brennan Stasiewicz infiltrates the cosseted world of Daphne Guinness in Daphne’s Window. Featuring intimate footage of the icon at her Fifth Avenue apartment, the short follows the eccentric fashion patron and socialite as she prepares for her recent installation in the windows of Barneys New York. The storefront showcased her collection of pieces by designer Lee Alexander McQueen and a selection from the archive of fashion editor Isabella Blow, which Guinness purchased in its entirety last year. The display culminated in a performance art piece in which Guinness dressed for the Met ball in one of the flagship’s windows, modeling a lilac feathered gown designed by McQueen’s Sarah Burton. “She appears to me as someone always in a window,” says Stasiewicz. “Someone you can approach and see, but you remain on the other side.” This year brings a multitude of projects for the heiress: her sculptural armored glove collaboration with jeweler Shaun Leane (pictured in today’s film) will be exhibited by Jay Jopling in a private viewing in London later this month; and in September a retrospective at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology will pay homage to her style. “Daphne is someone to take pleasure in, and in many ways, someone who incites moments of wonder,” says Stasiewicz.