Fashion films have really solidified their place in the media sphere as a way for designers to not only present their clothing, but also present the concept of their brand—the feelings and visuals they want you to think of when you hear their names. They've also become a way for designers to create a crew of collaborators—a squad of talented people, each adding in their specialty.
The zenith of all this is the new Wales Bonner film, Practice. Shot by Harley Weir (who has collaborated with Bonner on films before), the 11-minute short follows Leroy Mokgatle, a 17-year-old ballet dancer from South Africa, as he practices his technique through his hometown, explaining the importance of dance to him as he goes. As Weir cuts together shots of Mokgatle and the world around him, the music of Devonté Hynes (better known as Blood Orange) pounds overtop. The result is hypnotic.
“Film feels like a rich medium through which to expand my world, opening up new possibilities for collaboration, research and communication,” designer Grace Wales Bonner said of the project. “Harley's eye and Dev's intuition really brought this to life.”
The film is given texture thanks to Kodak, which provided 16mm stock film. As one might expect, the feeling added is that of found footage—something familiar, like from a not-too-distant past. Fashion, by nature, isn’t timeless. But it seems Bonner and Weir have found a way for their film to be. Watch for yourself, above.