Among all the Greek myths, there’s probably none as un-sexy as the gruesome tale of Theseus, the unlucky sap tasked with slaying the Minotaur and then finding his way out of the Labrynth. It’s a bloody tale filled with tragedy, vengeance, suicide and a lot of quasi-cannibalistic man-eating.
So it comes as a surprise to see the Minotaur yarn show up in a surreal video to promote a luxury lingerie brand.
The elegant UK label Harlow & Fox, which specializes in lingerie for larger-busted women, took a few liberties with the story in the short film that introduces its spring-summer 2015 collection.
The film is set up as a dream-within-a-dream, and shows plus-size models Laura Wells and Erika Elfwencrona waking up in a luxurious suite, dressed only in their undies, to find themselves being watched by a rather formally-attired Minotaur.
In this re-telling of the classic story, though, the Minotaur doesn’t have eating on his mind. Turns out he’s really a romantic at heart; all he wants to do is dance.
But that’s as far as we want to go in plumbing the subtext here. The real stars of the film are designer Leanna Williams‘ alluring nightwear pieces, which channel an old-world glamor that even the ancients would appreciate.
Keep an eye on the H&F website for its SS15 collection, which was inspired not by mythic monsters but by “the delicate elegance of English gardens”.
The video, created by award-winning agency Arm & Eye, is shown above while below we have a few more images from Harlow & Fox‘s current offerings.
That sound you hear today is the applause from runway models, makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers, lighting directors and anyone else around the world who has ever worked on a fashion show … and who just viewed Agent Provocateur‘s newest video called Control Yourself.
In fact, the only ones who won’t be cheering are other fashion designers.
Control Yourself is a riotous 3½-minute fashion industry sendup in which a sadistic designer finally gets his comeuppance when his tortured models tear off his ridiculous outfits just before the curtain rises, and hit the runway in nothing more than this season’s sexy AP lingerie ensembles.
Any model who has ever been badgered and belittled, denied food, had their hair yanked, been stuffed into outfits two sizes too small, and propped up on impossibly high heels before being shoved out onto a catwalk will recognize the suffering endured by AP’s girls.
Control Yourself stars actress Melissa George and models Elettra Wiedermann and Chloe Hayward as three beleaguered models who are “pushed, pulled, trussed up and put down” backstage until they “realize that true control belongs to them,” according AP’s own scenario.
It’s a little unclear how ditching your clothes and walking around in underwear is a way for girls to “take control of their own destinies,” as AP puts it, but no matter. This is the most playful and entertaining film from the big UK brand since Kylie did her thing on that mechanical bull.
Control Yourself is loaded with homoerotic subtext and packed with visual jokes that lampoon fashion industry conventions.
And that shouldn’t be a surprise since it is directed by John Cameron Mitchell, the trailblazing filmmaker and gay activist best known for Shortbus and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
And, like everything else he’s done, this project will raise eyebrows for its handling of sexual stereotypes. Mitchell takes as his starting point the wonderful fashion-centric 1992 George Michael video Too Funky, but that’s where the similarities end, since GM played it hetero in that outing.
In contrast, the egomaniacal designer (played by Simon Paisley Day) in Control Yourself is a mincing narcissist who appears repulsed by the sight of women in their undies, while the three female leads suggestively turn their attentions to each other once the clothes come off.
There’s a certain risk in all this for Agent Provocateur, since there are plenty of humorless designers, stylists and CDs out there who will see themselves being mocked in Control Yourself. And it’s worth remembering that AP, as much as any lingerie brand on the planet, owes a lot of its success to the support and collaboration its received from the broader fashion industry over the past two decades — including many appearances in runway shows for other designers.
In their defence, though, AP can always argue that Control Yourself is purely satire, all in good fun, just a lark for everyone before the madness of Fashion Week returns. Even if we all know it’s true.
Here’s the video:
If they gave out awards for Valentine’s Day marketing, or for selling romance in general, this year’s top prize would unquestionably go to Free People‘s wonderful new film called Roshambo.
The three-minute video is the nouveau boho retailer’s first original film and it is, quite simply, a beautiful story that is beautifully told.
Roshambo stars Christopher Abbott (Girls) as a band member who bumps into an old flame, played by model Sheila Marquez, shortly before he has to catch a flight out of town. With neither one willing to declare their interest in the other, they rely on a game of rock-paper-scissors to determine what happens next.
The film follows the lovers on a magical, whirlwind tour of New York and what turns out to be, seriously, the best one-night-stand ever. Of course, most people would prefer that a new partner actually choose to stay with them, but in this case fate proves to be very kind.
According to Free People, Roshambo is meant to “embody the story that takes place in our latest catalog,” and it does so expertly and subtly. Between outfit changes, random clothes shopping and an inevitable disrobing, you get a generous look at Free People’s colorful layering pieces and its soft intimates collection.
Rashombo has the same kind of authenticity as the great found-love saga Before Sunrise (and its sequels). It’s worth watching again and again, and sharing with someone you love.
The latest video from Agent Provocateur is bound to have a polarizing effect on viewers.
Some will consider the one-joke film, called Valentine’s Night, juvenile and unfunny. But anyone with a taste for crude schoolboy humor — ie., the male half of the population — will think it’s a riot. Pussy jokes are like that. (more…)
This little ditty from director Jason Wu and V Magazine packs a whole lot of high-spirited hijinx into less than two minutes.
Shot at Le Baron nightclub in Paris and styled by Simon Gensowski, the film features supermodels such as Jacquelyn Jablonski and Andrej Pejic and a whole parade of couture lingerie fashions from labels such as Harlette, Cadolle, Chantal Thomass, Fifi Chachnil, Made By Niki and many more. See how many you can spot!
And the soundtrack says it all: the irreplaceable Etta James singing I Just Want To Make Love To You.
Let the fun begin!