In a short film for Vs. Magazine, actress/model Clémence Poésy, clad in G-Star jeans and shirt, sits, stalks and sashays around her London hotel room, practicing these lines from a script: "Do I remember you? Of course I do. Do you remember me?"
The film's simple setup, line repetition and Poésy's considerable charm make the experience, well, memorable to say the least. Its playful, mildly angsty exploration of our celebrity-and-fashion-driven culture jibes with Vs.'s previous content efforts. These include films in which Kirsten Dunst posed for selfies with social-media-obsessed fans, and newly-dumped Dave Franco "deconstructed" his car.
"A fashion short film is a tricky format," Jakob F.S., Vs. editor-in-chief and creative director, who helped to develop the film, tells Adweek. "On one hand, we are luckily past the days where we photographers/directors could get away with adding slo-mo effects and a catchy tune to behind-the-scenes footage and call it a 'film.' On the other hand, the two- to three-minute format isn't suited for longer narratives with more than a few lines of dialogue. For me and for Vs., our approach is creating a mini-narrative with a somewhat humorous twist or surprise element, as well as showing a different side to a well-known actress or celebrity."
Vs. sought to subvert Poésy's mystique as an "enigmatic and slightly reserved French actress," F.S. says, giving the audience "a peek into the private life of the actress, where she is seemingly caught off guard—even if we never know if this is real or not. But it could be. And that adds a meta-fictional element to the story and shows us that Clémence possesses a self-aware irony that is rare for an actress like her. And very fun to watch."
Like earlier entries in the Vs. series, the film seems to say something insightful without really saying much at all. This approach allows viewers to overlay the images with their ideas and draw their own unique conclusions. It also provides a creative depth and dimension sorely lacking from most branded content.
"The concept," F.S. says, "was to first make the viewer believe that he or she was watching a scene from a feature film, then contrast this with a very down-to-earth reality, showing an intimate side of someone we normally only see on the big screen, on a red carpet or in a fashion campaign."
The upscale but homey environs of The Milestone Hotel in London provided the ideal mise en scène, helping the filmmakers bypass clichés of the style category and present their subject in a naturalistic scenario that F.S. says is "quite anti-fashion, and feels more like a short film."