Melbourne, Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program 2015

Fashion Film Series: Wild West by Justin Griffiths – Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program 2015

0 Comments 27 February 2015

Directed by Justin Griffiths, VAMFF Fashion Film Series finalist Wild West captures the synergy between dance, fashion and art in a distinctive contribution to the intersection of these embodied art forms through a studied deceleration of movement, both physically and materially.

Featuring the exotically alluring enigma of the desert landscape, the transcendental narrative is conveyed through the hypnotic force of movement, which is simultaneously abstract, yet storytelling. This otherworldly mysticism is driven by a strong curation of garments provided by the eight featured independent Western Australian designers, of which each unique ensemble is a visual masterpiece in its own right. 

The materiality of these textiles and the way they transform into abstract sculptures when activated by the rhythmic motion hypnotises and enchants the viewer. As the materials sensually spiral the slender frames of the syphlike models, the diaphanous textiles dance as expressively fluid as the divine desert deities themselves, who were both classically trained in ballet.

The ethereal stirring of the garments moving through space and the way in which the materiality is affected and reactive to motion, or that of the dancers body, models the connective tissue of these embodied disciplines.

A stand out feature of the film, the sublime soundtrack of “Heat Rumble” by Mei Sarawati, is the rhythmically drumming electro-heartbeat of the film. In this feature it feels that the musical expression is intrinsic to the film, acting as an abstract sonic material element that reverberates the aesthetic of motion. It communicates an exotic, bohemian narrative that accompanied by the endless desert expanse feels quite foreign, yet still distantly familiar.

The strength of Wild West exists in the way that it does not haphazardly look for a striking aesthetic by thoughtlessly uniting the arts of dance and fashion. Instead, the film rather captures the transient artistry of motion by conveying the complexities of movement, and in that, understands the subtleties of how to translate motion, into emotion.

Wild West is screened as part of the VAMFF 2015 Cultural Program.  For more information on the Fashion Film Series screenings, click here.

Photo Credit: Wild West on Vimeo

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