Back for a second year at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, the Miami Fashion Film Festival (MIAFFF) is killing it on the big screen, delivering the kind of inventive styles that one would expect from the people who live here. Instead of just feature-length works, like the documentary Advanced Style which premieres in Miami this weekend, the fest also highlights the beauty of the short film. And getting hit with all kinds of fashion statements in short bursts is the kind of thing that makes for good viewing.
While you might have sadly missed the documentary shorts program last night, there's still a bundle of options available that might satisfy whatever you're looking for. Now, even though we haven't seen all of them, we can certainly say we're looking forward to quite a few. It's only a small taste of what's available, because there's so much to choose from over the weekend, but here's our top picks of what shorts to check out.
Serving as a beautiful companion piece to Vivien Glass' "Wings On Fire" music video, Josh Brandao's short film is surprisingly effective at establishing a mood and sticking with it to the bitter end. It's the kind of fashion film that might make others jealous, splashing in a little taste of Guy Maddin (if a director had to be picked for a comparison point) to the traditional tale of a phoenix transposed to a young man in quite the strange situation. It's got a hell of an aesthetic and an inventive visual style to boot, with pieces by Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, and Armani included. It's one you won't want to miss. The short is featured with others -- including Antonio Contreras and Claudia Escobar's fascinating work inspired by Mexican cinema's golden age and Italian neorealism,Mercado de Lagrimas -- in the Shorts: Program B section of MIAFFF.
Tokyo Lost & Found - Tom Ford/Lanvin
To say Tom Ford's presence in anything makes it instantly appealing isn't much of a stretch. In fact, after his feature directorial debut A Single Man, we've found ourselves fascinated by artist and his clothes. Seemingly inspired by Japanese horror and thrillers, this surreal little work directed by Trevor Undi and featuring clothing from Ford and Lanvin, turns out to be pretty effective in its short length. Simply put, it's about a model who is haunted by her doppelganger, and if looks could kill, anyone who saw the beauty that is JUN would be dead and gone. The short is featured with over 20 others -- including the delightful and tonally opposite Escandalo: Karla Colletto in the Shorts: Fashion Brands section of MIAFFF.
My Sense of Modesty
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Many fashion related shorts tend to focus on the styles more than the people within them, but here's a work that is truly surprising, delivering a lovely little character study in under 20 minutes. Sebastien Bailly's effective shortMy Sense of Modesty revolves around Hafsia, a young woman who wears a hijab. It documents her experiences in her art history class, the way she connects with Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres' Grand Odalisque, her worries about having to remove her hijab for a presentation on said work of art, and the way she interacts with men.
It's clear that Bailly favors visual storytelling over dialogue, occasionally indulging in deft long takes or cutting between the talented Hafsia Herzi's face and the work of art she is studying. But one of the short's most powerful features is the young woman's dissection of the Grand Odalisqueand the way it relates to the modern woman who wears her hijab without shame. It's beautifully simple and down to earth, and it reminds us that everyone's sense of modesty differs, and society's expectations don't make that any less valid. The short is featured with others -- including the Diablo Cody-penned short starring Bailee Madison and Hailee Steinfeld, The Magic Bracelet, in the Shorts: Program A section of MIAFFF.
Shorts Program A and Shorts Program: Fashion Brands will be showing Saturday, September 13, at 3 p.m. and at 5 p.m., respectively, as part of the Miami Fashion Film Festival at Miami Beach Cinematheque. Shorts Program B will show Sunday, September 14, at 5 p.m. Tickets for the screenings cost $12 and are available through miafff.com.