As the nights grow longer, and Halloween just days away, we thought it might be an ideal time to consider a few of the most disconcerting Fashion Films in recent years, specifically three slightly unsettling creations directed by one of MadridFFF’s very own former jury members, Ruth Hogben. All three were made in collaboration with fashion’s dark child, the unquestionably talented Gareth Pugh.
The first of these was used to promote the designer’s 2011 collaboration with MAC make-up. It’s a beautiful film that explores the power of juxtapositions, specifically lightness and darkness (to date, one of Pugh’s core concepts), but the opening scenes come across a bit sinister, as though it were a coven’s call to worship. The artist Matthew Stone, another of Gareth Pugh’s long-term collaborators, provides the soundtrack.
Next up is the Fashion Film that the duo created in honour of Gareth Pugh’s return to London Fashion Week, which played in the background of his Autumn/Winter 2015 show. The ghostly red lingering images at the start of the film bring to mind apparitions from “The Woman in Black”, but the ensuing scenes, while still somewhat disturbing, are an homage to his homecoming, as a young woman paints herself with the cross of St. George’s (and therefore England’s) flag – a symbol he also used on the models in the show.
Lastly, we have their most recent Fashion Film, from Gareth Pugh’s Spring/Summer 2016 show, which is easily the least disconcerting, but there’s still something disquieting and wildly poetic about the seedy synthesis of the pace, the music (again by Matthew Stone), and the masked protagonists that represent the spirit and the Heart of Soho.