WIKIPEDIA DEFINES HER AS A JOURNALIST, PHOTOGRAPHER, BLOGGER AND TALENT SCOUT. FIND OUT MORE IN THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.
How was your experience when you decided to move from New York to Paris?
The cities are total opposites for instance Paris is very judgmental, while New York, prior to Donald Trump, very curious and gave open arms to foreigners. It is nothing like that in France. I left my business and my country for anyone who has done that they know what it feels like. It was my choice.
You are a former fashion designer and you always support independent artists from cinema and fashion industry. What do you think is missing right now in both industries?
Now everything is ruled by big business and there is not as much support for the arts as there needs to be. Creativity is not valued as it should be in any of the fields.
How do you think ‘’sustainable’’ concept is used nowadays by fashion brands?
I think it is not necessarily used in an honest way. I think that the fact we are considering the concept of sustainability is a good thing. But sustainability could also refer to fashion pollution. I say buy better buy less and wear it till it falls apart. Publicity and advertising create needs that don’t really exist. There is a lot of work to be done. There is no question that our planet is in danger and that our beaches and oceans are full of plastic and that the fashion industry emits more greenhouse gas than all international flights and maritime shipping journeys combined. The biggest sins are water usage, petroleum derived fabrics and packaging, pesticides in cotton fields and toxic chemicals in tanneries. Designers and big brands have to take some responsibility but it is not an easy matter. Big brands are more positioned to make the biggest difference.
How and when did you become interested in producing ASVOFF ( A Shaded View On Fashion Film )?
My first thoughts of creating a platform for fashion film came in 2001, it was too early and there was not enough material out there. In August 2006 I created You Wear it Well which was my first fashion film festival and in 2008 it morphed into ASVOFF. I’ve always loved fashion and film since I was a child so putting the two together completes a circle. I’m very happy to have pioneered this movement which is exploading at the moment.
What is the main mission of ASVOFF?
It is to combine the two loves of my life as expressed above. It is a platform to promote both fashion and film and to have workshops and jury members that both directors and designers can network with. It is to provide opportunities for all.
What makes fashion film different to other short film genres?
Nothing really aside from the fact that if the fashion is bad it cannot be called a fashion film. Everything we do is fashion and the festival is about fashion, beauty and style it is very inclusive. If you look at the prizes you will see that all relate to the same things we judge a feature film by, direction, art direction, sound design, styling, editing.
What is the message you want to send to independent fashion designers through ASVOFF?
Find interesting ways to express your brand’s atmosphere. Tell stories and have fun while you create them.
What is the biggest challenge in making a fashion film festival? What are the key elements to making an effective fashion film?
The biggest challenge is finding sponsors. They should be running after me with a suitcase of money by now. As for key elements for making a good fashion film, take me somewhere I haven’t already been. It’s not about how much money you spend towards the production it is a matter of having something to say. Be authentic don’t just produce what is already a trend.
Can you mention some qualities that a film-maker needs to have to gain ASVOFF?
Like above, find your own voice and a way to express yourself. I personally like story telling I also like humour which there is not enough of in fashion. Find a good team and let them support you. A director does not need to know anything about fashion he only needs to know how to construct a good film and then find a good brand or stylist.
Submissions are open now for two things. If you are a Slovakian designer or director there is a special competition for a short film under 5 minutes deadline March 11th. www.asvoff.com click on Submissions Bratislava. For ASVOFF 11 Deadline is July 31st. We have a theme Hollywood in Paris. But submissions are open call and all will not follow the brief I am sure.
Photos courtesy of the artist