While their cooperation with the film EDGE OF LOVE has been much publicised in the blogs, the Oasis retail chain’s latest film project has got them permanently on my „one to watch“ radar. I’m also going to keep an eye on J.crew, who’s own film series may just need a bit of underground street cred to reach the fringes of their audience.
ALTERER is a short film by Jean Francios Carly commissioned by the UK-based womens clothing company. It reminds me of an Alphaville music video in the very best way: it’s moody, the edits look like amateur 35mm camera tricks, and Carly makes great use of a smoke machine. Edgier than what most would expect from Oasis, it makes me want to check out the shop in shop next time I’m at Galeria Kaufhof.
Retail chains adding film to their online portals is a growing trend. The short PRAHA, directed by Tom + Coliena that was showing for a while on the front page of Jcrew.com could be best described as a video postcard purchased from a Howard Johnston lobby. A beautiful woman, a hot guy, another beautiful woman and adorable young boy run around the streets of Prague in their multiple, coordinated outfits. Are they late for a wedding? A funeral? A pop-up sale? Whatever’s going on, there are a lot of beauty shots of silk pumps on cobblestones. Better is their Paris video, with a behind the scenes look their photo shoot for the fall 2007 line.
Oasis and J.crew meet the challenge of the „retail fashion film“ in similar ways: a video of approximately 3 minutes long, no dialogue, and a soundtrack consisting of a song from a requisitely hip indie band playing from begining to end. What differs is how they use these films.
Instead of posting ALTERER on the main Oasis site, the brand chose to launch what they called their „ Autumn/ Winter 08“ film, on their blog. Also, the film is not imbedded in the site like on jcrew.com, but instead plays from YouTube, which allows viewers to easily share it if they wish and add comments. The only thing more cutting edge would have been to stream it from dailymotion or vimeo.
Oasis took it a step further and used one of their high street storefronts as a screening venue. This innovation won them first prize in the Evening Standard’s annual window display contest judged each Fashion Week.
Jcrew could take a page out of Oasis’ marketing book and use film to show a different side of the brand. While searching „jcrew“ on you tube, I came across some great skate videos of a north beach longboard crew in sydney. Slap a double-breasted merino wool cardigan and a pari of argyle socks on those flyers and you’ve got an underground collaboration I’d like to see on tape.