Challenging the norms of traditional advertising techniques and expensive glitzy ramp shows, designers are now taking advantage of the proliferation of web videos to embrace films as an art form. How many of us are aware of the concept of a fashion film? Yes, a fashion film! This concept is well-known abroad and many of the top designers like Gucci, H&M, Kenzo and Nike have come out with stylized and experimental fashion films that aim at forging a deeper connect with the audience.
Such films are sent for fashion film festivals, where prominent brands vie with each other. Indian designers like Anita Dongre, Monica Jaising and Mitesh Lodha have made fashion films that present surreal plotlines with Bollywood A-listers lending their ‘model might’ to them. No wonder this segment caught the eye of young cinematographer Adwaith Shine, who follows many of the top designers and their works on social media platforms. A fascination with the medium of fashion films sprung up in his mind.
A thought started taking shape, “Instead of spending an insane amount of money on advertising shoots and fashion shows, why not create something that will extend the narrative of a designer or brand and remain forever? It was also a concept not very popular in South India, where photoshoots are the norm,” says Adwaith, who is the director of a fashion film Atreyi for Kannur-based designer Unais Mustafa.
Adwaith, who had already collaborated with the designer for his fashion shows in India and abroad, sounded the idea to Unais, who, although had his doubts, believed in Adwaith and his vision. Thus, Atreyi took shape in the beautiful locales of Rajasthan inside the walls of the Mehrangarh Fort where grandeur, royalty, beauty and architecture vie with each other to beckon the visitor. Adwaith could not have chosen a better location for the seven-minute film that has two attractive models dressed in their designer best, acting out a story of love and longing. Adwaith states, “I could only explore about 5 per cent of the fort, since it is so huge. The architecture of the fort is mindblowing, with each area of the fort having different tones.” He says the models were donning bridal wear and the outfits weighed 25-30 kg, with fully hand-worked embroidery.
All the hard work did not go to waste, as Adwaith says, “Unias had participated in a show in Dubai but did not get the expected benefit. But this fashion film has been noticed with many messaging him from India and abroad. Many international brands are taking note of Indian fashion films and acquainting themselves with the designer’s work,” he feels. Adwaith sent the film across to acclaimed director Santosh Sivan, who too heaped praise on the young boy. What has been the cherry on the cake for Adwaith is that his film has been selected for the Chicago Fashion Film where he will be pitted against major brand films. He has one regret though, “I missed the Paris Fashion Film Festival by a few days but there is always a next time,” he ends optimistically.