An Italian Dream, a quantum leap in the genre of fashion cinema
What is it about fashion films that makes everyone go gaga over them? Sometimes it’s the dramatic narrative that tells the story of an individual person that heralded the beginning of what would become one of the world’s most respected luxury fashion houses, as is the case in Coco avant Chanel.
Sometimes it’s the objectivity behind a documentary that depicts a single designer’s rise from sartorial obscurity, as in Valentino: The Last Emperor.
Sometimes it’s the ridiculousness of voluntarily watching weird-haired models roll around on the pavement as the city around them tumbles to the ground, one brick at a time, in an apocalyptic fictional reality, and the sheer fun of spending two minutes of your life in watching something so useless, so stupid and so regretful while achieving absolutely nothing, as in LOVE Magazine’s Modelgeddon. Different strokes for different folks, as they always say.
And while we never really liked them, having always maintained that fashion films have ushered in a new era of commercially-motivated filmmaking – one that explicitly takes advantage of consumers’ affinity for a specific brand under the guise of art – and a new form of advertising that you have to pay to see, we believe that we have to acknowledge the fact that Tod’s inaugural foray into the world of film, tying fashion, visual storytelling and the performing arts into one neat knot, is an amazing attempt that definitely raises the bar in the new genre of fashion cinema.
In association with Teatro alla Scala, Tod’s has produced a short film called An Italian Dream which features 13 ballet dancers from the Teatro alla Scala ballet corp interpreting the many intricate steps that go into the making of a Tod’s shoe (which by the way takes 100 steps, 35 pieces of leather and a number of ancient saddlery techniques to make).
Still, it is essentially about the brand and how lovingly their craftsmen make their world-famous loafers, but the difference here is in the execution. It was like asking a group of flexible dancers, “Hey, how would you dance the way an artisan would stitch patches of leather together?”
Nobody ever thought of it before Tod’s did and made an artistically mind-blowing film about it. The idea was pure brilliance and we hope brands would follow in Tod’s footsteps. A fashion film doesn’t have to be a boring recollection of a woman’s life that took place two million years ago (more accurately, in the early 19th century), or a mindless hodgepodge of skinny models and lousy computer-generated effects.
It can be fun, artistic and supportive of heritage without being pretentious, preposterous or ostentatious. And then people wouldn’t feel so bad that they’re being made to watch a cinematic advertisement, and being charged for it.