Fashion Virus – Credits
Director: Daisy van Belzen
Art Director: Katharina Barthel
DOP: Diep Anh Ho
Producer & Editor: Martin van Teylingen
Music Composer: Dylan Groot
Visagist: Sarah Piening
Daisy van Belzen is a 28 year old who graduated from Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) in 2013 with a BA in Fashion Branding and a minor in Fashion & Visual Culture programme. You can follow her on twitter at @daisyvanbelzen.
Daisy, can you tell us about the background of the video you submitted?
AMFI Visual Culture minor first film assignment was to create a 1 minute fashion video communicating a story. I was chosen as the director as I wished to translate my colourful photography style into moving image.
We were inspired by the idea of fashion taking over in a positive sense. The film portrays the life of a girl who doesn’t dare show her personality and who is anonymous. We wanted to show how her life could change in a weird, funny and light-hearted manner. The challenge we set ourselves was to do this using no spoken word, only moving image.
Fashion Virus is meant to be entertaining while maintaining a sense of style and an artistic stance. We tried to build a bridge between fashion and the classic horror film genre. I like exploring the boundaries of absurdity within the medium of film and I tried to surprise the audience.
How did you find your model?
It was important that the model could act. I did some acting and have always been interested in physical theatre, in the telling of stories without relying on words.
I was keen to explore methods of physical acting without creating something TOO weird! The actress needed to be able to communicate different emotions in a believable way. Eefje van Gorkum, who played the haunted girl in the film, is a professional actress I knew to be into physical acting. I decided quickly she was the one for our film.
Together we went over the storyline, I briefed her on the character’s emotions and physical energy we were looking for and then rehearsed a couple of times with our whole film crew.
How was your video a collaborative project?
Our team was very small, 4 people only: Martin van Teylingen (producer), Diep Anh Ho (director of photography), Katharina Barthel (art-director) and myself (director). I really liked working with them because we really helped each other and everyone came up with ideas. Of course it was difficult sometimes, because people have different views on things. We learned to listen to each other, to estimate what was possible within the time frame and finances and in the process learned to make concessions.
What do you feel is the role of the fashion film?
A filmmaker should be able to ‘guide’ the viewer, to highlight certain elements of the film or even individual frames. Using music, close-ups and lighting, the filmmaker can control what the viewer looks at: clothing, accessories, make-up etc. Furthermore a fashion film does not only communicate fashion and style, but can also evoke emotions.
A good scenario can achieve an impact still images cannot.
What is new and hot in the world, where you live?
I have had some inspirational concept pop-up retail experiences here in Holland. A lot of shops, restaurants and cafes have recently opened aiming to promoting sustainable or ethical causes, not just to make money.
Last week for example, I went to a fashion / dining / workshop in Amsterdam during which cooks prepared a 5 courses meal inspired by 5 Dutch designers. In addition to the fashion focus, these chefs tried to teach us how to cook without using meat, a concern many see vital for the future as meat is costly to the environment. These chefs shared their knowledge, creativity and cooking us and in return we were free to pay what amount we wanted. All is not about capitalistic concerns nowadays; sharing experiences and setting up sustainable practices for the future seem more important than ever. I like that!
How you feel the fashion industry needs to evolve in the future?
I hope that the focus on ethical business and sustainability becomes increasingly important within the fashion industry. We need to pay more attention to bad working conditions such as those suffered in Asia and highlighted by the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh. Everyone should be able to talk about their working conditions and more importantly, get heard by their employers.
Tell us about your ideal fashion project.
Because of my previous studies (Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Utrecht University) my ideal fashion project would be one which combines fashion with performance. I would like to collaborate with people that are interested in absurdism, a form of surrealism, and physical theatre.
Working with choreographers, I would love for example, to turn a fashion show into a theatrical experience; something that would last longer than the usual 15 minute runway. I would also like to work with experienced art directors and other professionals to make colourful and stylish short films.
How do you imagine your future?
Ideally I would like to be my own boss, combining my current work as a model, actor cum host with creating in collaboration with other creative, branding concepts (including commercials and short films) for the fashion industry.