Last Fall, Zac Posen skipped the runway, instead presenting his collection via a series of portraits and short films. For Spring, he followed suit, only this time, he shot his films himself—on three iPhones. “I think there’s something about the raw, naive quality of using an iPhone,” said Posen, who layered multiple takes via a trio of apps to achieve a patinated, filtered effect. “It’s kind of like when people used to make mixtapes.” It’s worth noting that capturing fashion on iPhones is somewhat of a trend these days, with Nick Knight being a longtime champion of the approach, and Norma Kamali even snapping her Resort 2018 lookbook on her phone.
The videos play into Posen’s Spring 2018 inspiration—specifically, 18th century gardens reimagined by the chic set of 1950s L.A., or, as Posen described it, “the romanticism of Europe from an American perspective, through this new look of Instagram colorations and MTV filters.”
The dreamlike clips star Kate Upton and Barbara Fialho, the former chosen for her Marilyn Monroe va-va-voom appeal, and the latter for her ability to evoke Jackie O. “They’re two pillars of the iconic American saga,” Posen said.
So why favor film over the runway? “The films convey emotion, and that’s very difficult to convey on a runway now,” Posen said during an appointment at his showroom. “And a gown tromping down a runway is not cute—it’s not the purpose of a gown, and it’s not how a gown is worn.” Indeed, Posen’s shorts allow the numerous gowns in his collection—which are sometimes theatrically sculptural, sometimes soft like a cotton candy cloud—to come to life, and the models exude a sense of joy as they glide, twirl, and play with their skirts in front of the camera. What’s more is that the Instagram-friendly films allow the fantasy of Posen’s designs to reach a broader audience, rather than just the editors in the front row. “We wanted this to be an optimistic collection,” Posen related. “It’s important right now—with everything going on in the world—to provide optimism for the customer at a designer price range, and also optimism for the consumer that’s [not buying designer clothing]. Part of our job as creators is to help people dream.”
To see the full Zac Posen Spring 2018 collection, click here.