“A fashion film that isn’t good has a sell out date,” said former New York designer Diane Pernet, the former designer widely known as the woman behind A Shaded View on Fashion, one of the first fashion blogs on the scene. “That Kate Moss film was made years ago and it’s as relevant now.”
Last week, Pernet’s annual short film festival “A Shaded View on Fashion Film” debuted in the U.S. (it normally runs at the Centre Pompidou in Paris). Among the shorts Pernet compiled this year is 2006’s “The 4 Dreams of Miss X,” the cerebral film by Oscar-nominated director Mike Figgi starring Kate Moss in Agent Provocateur lingerie. “In general, I’m not looking for a fashion shoot in motion, I’m looking for a film. I wanted to show a variety of ways you can approach expressing fashion and your brand.”
It’s why Pernet also selected to screen the 36-minute film Bruce Weber directed for Barneys New York. As part of the brand’s spring 2014 advertising campaign, 17 transgender men and women shared their personal stories about their transition and the people who supported them along the way with Patricia Bosworth, Contributing Editor of Vanity Fair, on camera. “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters” premiered in February to an overwhelmingly positive response and continues to gain traction; the full video is online.
“When Bruce Weber and I spoke at the Guggenheim,” Bosworth recently told DuJour, “a transgender woman in the audience said she had come all the way from the Governor’s office in Albany to see the film—not because her supervisors asked her to, but because she felt that the Barneys campaign was so important. She promised to report the powerful response to the campaign and film back to the Governor’s office in hopes that the transgender community will begin to play a larger role in mainstream politics.”
That the film pushes beyond fashion’s highly exclusive boundaries and joins the conversation of a larger inclusive movement in society—giving a voice to the transgender community—is why it won’t be remembered as just another retailer’s advertising campaign. Bosworth, who has kept in touch with each of the models over email since the filming adds that “the groundbreaking nature of this campaign will enable them and hopefully the rest of the transgender community to progress even further in terms of public acceptance.”
But as the film’s title reminds us, it’s about being part of a family—and also beginning a new one. ”I learned that what the models want most of all is to be accepted and loved,” Bosworth says, “and their dream is to be able to create families.”