Fashion has always played a large role in the music industry. Think back to David Bowie’s inventive dressing or Madonna’s preference for Jean Paul Gaultier. And how about the Rolling Stones’ glam rock style (think: guy liner and leopard print blouses)? Oh, and there’s Joan Jett, the Beatles, the Ramones, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, Jimi Hendrix, Jane Birkin, Siouxsie Sioux, Gwen Stefani, Run DMC, Jay-Z… I think you get the picture.
Fashion is music’s sidekick, translator, and hype girl. It helps visually communicate who the musician is behind his or her music, yet the tables are now turning. Fashion is finally saying: It’s my turn.
The fashion industry has found a fresh way to break through cluttered, been-there-done-that ad culture.
Enter: Fashion videos.
They’re kind of like music videos, but the focus is on the clothing. These videos demonstrate how the clothes move and interact with the wearer. It helps viewers really envision themselves wearing the garments IRL.
I first noticed a fashion video during the Met Gala’s “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” exhibition.
I thought it was incredibly inventive and fun. The clothing, the choreography, the setting, and the mashup of Depeche Mode, Coolio, Basement Jaxx, and Theory Hazit all created a stark juxtaposition to the celebrities’ intricate garbs and serene and posh environment.
The second time I saw a fashion video was on Instagram. French fashion blogger Jeanne Damas posted a campaign she did for Kate Moss-backed Polish brand RESERVED. The campaign was a series of three small dance-scenes that all told one story.
A photo campaign wouldn’t do these outfits justice. Or at least, I wouldn’t be fawning over a checkered salmon matching set as badly as I am if I hadn’t seen it wiggling to electronic music. Photos can be so stiff and over-edited. There’s no Photoshop here, there are no clothes pins on the back of the skirt (that we can see, at least), this is style in motion- as it was meant to be. And the best way to show off these looks? Cue a dance number.
The song playing, Coeur d’artichaut, is by popular French electro group, Polo & Pan, which helped this video garner even more attention.
This is the third, and arguably most entertaining, fashion video I’ve stumbled across. The Hadid fam (Gigi, Bella, Anwar, and mother Yolanda) got together to show off their holy grail of genetics in some of New York Fashion Week’s newest collections from Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Vaquera, Marc Jacobs, and more. And yes, this clip is an ode to Beetlejuice. (A favorite of mine, by the way.)
In each of these videos, music and dance brings the clothing to life. It helps craft a story-line and a mood, which elicits a catharsis in the viewer. It’s rare to see these people outside of the red carpet and Instagram world. I laughed, I gawked, I bobbed my head, and I wanted to wear everything I saw, even the outlandish prom-inspired dresses.
Even though I’m a die-hard magazine collector, I was more entertained watching this video than flipping through the 200 pages of ads that kick off a September issue. Is this the future?
What do you think? Are these videos the next best thing in fashion advertising? Is this how fashion will build its presence on Youtube and Instagram? Do you expect to see more short videos like these or are these just fun one-off videos? Will videos like this soon be shoppable?! Let me know your thoughts.