Fashion Insiders

Claire Wilcox

Fashion Insiders is a series of short portrait films of standout characters in the world of fashion, produced for Hantang Culture in Shanghai. The films are shown at international airports, on in-flight screens on selected airlines and across key digital platforms, amassing over 27 million views per video to date.

In the series the viewer meet representatives from all corners of the world of fashion: from CEOs of brands and the presidents of luxury committees, to creative directors and photographers.

Each film has a cinematic look & feel and aims to impart to the viewer the influences, aspirations and insights of our fashion protagonist.
The Brief
With an archive spanning five centuries, the V&A’s Fashion collection is the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of dress.

Key items in the collection - on display at the museum in South Kensington and in storage at the Clothworkers’ Centre in Olympia - include rare 17th century gowns, 18th century ‘mantua’ dresses, 1930’s eveningwear, 1960’s daywear and postwar haute couture.

Besides its permanent displays the V&A has hosted blockbuster fashion exhibitions including Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, the latter being curated by the subject of our film, Claire Wilcox, Professor in Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion and Senior Curator of Fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox
Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox
Our Approach
Our director and DoP had both filmed previously at the V&A’s Clothworkers’ Centre in Olympia and so we knew this would be an excellent location, with the possibility to shoot three different looking set-ups there, including Claire examining archived clothing.

We also wanted to find the most time-efficient way to see Claire in a number of relevant locations within the museum at South Kensington. The Mary Quant exhibition offered an excellent opportunity with its colourful pieces and brightly light glass display cabinets. We knew from our research that Claire had come to the V&A as a child and been inspired by her visit to the National Art Library within its walls. With it’s a stunning double-height space and floor to ceiling leather-bound tomes, we could see why. In Claire’s words it was ‘a world where she realised she could belong.’

We had in mind two other spaces that would help set the scene at the V&A - one amongst classical marble statues and the other in the jewellery collection, where glass displays reflected and refracted golden and bejeweled necklaces, rings and earrings.

We felt that if we were efficient with our filming time we could film in the three public areas before visitors arrived and we had reached the confinements of the library, off-limits to the public on the day of our shoot. This is the challenge we face regularly in museum spaces. We need to be clear by the time the public enter at 10.00 am, but if you factor in that it takes 2 hours to set up our cameras and then 30 minutes to wrap the kit and be clear of any visitors, a 0600 call time buys you just 90 minutes of filming in public spaces. The key to success is a good recce, a tight shot list and efficiency on the day.
The Results
We were really pleased with the premium look & feel of the imagery captured over the course of the day, shot with a combination of the Arri Mini and the Sony F7S.

We also felt that these pictures were a fine match for Claire's heartfelt voiceover and that the variation in imagery - from Claire looking at a beautiful Alexander McQueen dress and brightly coloured kid leather gloves to scenes in the wood-panelled library and reflective exhibition space - brought intrigue and production values to the project.

There’s a tendency to promote the role of one’s own video agency in the creation of films of this nature. In truth, a filming day like this one is a massively collaborative exercise and involved huge input not only from our in-house and out-of-house crew, but from the V&A’s Press department, staff at the Clothworkers’ Centre, the subject of the film, of course, and our onsite clients from Hantang, who abounded with infectious enthusiasm.
Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox
Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox
Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox
Fashion Insiders Claire Wilcox
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