Fashion vs Film: when new ideas are not for everyone

(by Simonetta Buffo)

Do you know Gregg Araki and his Doom Generation? Well, we are discovering how and why Araki and Kenzo speak the same language.


Do you Know Gregg Araki? He is known as the filmaker of the disaffected youth.The Doom Generation is his masterpiece:

The Doom Generation boasted a self-penned script brimming with pop culture references and acidic political satire, while the characters’ (and America’s) cisgendered view was ruthlessly unravelled and challenged in a collision of visual reality and hyperreality.

Cathy Cooper designed the costumes, creating an iconic style: the latest ‘90s teen narcissists.

It was only my second film as a costume designer and a lot of the people that were working on it came from the background of music videos, so I feel like a lot of his references came directly from that.

She said during an interview to Dazeddigital. And The Doom Generation is also the cult film references in Rihanna Videos Bitch Better Have My Money.

Last year Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, fashion designers for Kenzo, chose just Gregg Araki for their new fashion film, Here Now:

“For us, he’s definitely a director of our generation,” they explained. “We’re interested in instilling culture, whether it is sub-culture or pop culture into all of our projects, especially at Kenzo. We reached out to Gregg and we asked him, as fans, would he shoot an original film that would eventually become an ad campaign.

The location of this fashion film is an academic diner and the movie shows the encounter among a very hot couple, a cold couple, a friend and a religious sister. They are young, disillusioned, without creed and without morals. Even the young religious sister, with her strong make up, is an unconvincing inflexible judge.

The film language is really visionaire –  using a Wes Anderson mood: each frame is symmetrical and so it is always balanced, lending a surreal or unreal perception to each image; this sensation is increased by the colours, that are bright and deep; the acting has a estrangement effect, so this film code creates a critical distance between actors and viewers.

About his movies, Gregg Araki said:

The bands I’ve always loved – Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Slowdive – aren’t for everyone and they’ve never achieved huge mainstream success but for the people they speak to, they do so in a very meaningful way. That’s what I aspire to. They’re not Spielberg blockbusters, my movies are specific. And that’s cool.

And probably Carol Lim and Humberto Leon thought that there are a lot of elements in common between Ariki’s idea of Cinema and  their idea of fashion.

In our opinion, they were right!




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