Why emerging designers should use fashion films

'The film portrays the magical-mythical side of Estonia as well as the inspiration behind the designers' collections.' Photo by Jana Solom, used with permission.

‘The film portrays the magical-mythical side of Estonia as well as the inspiration behind the designers’ collections.’ Photo by Jana Solom, used with permission.

London’s International Fashion Showcase started this week, so we asked Helen Sirp, winner of the showcase’s Emerging Talent Award 2013, to tell us about her fashion film ‘After Beyond’ and why emerging designers should use the medium more often.


Can you explain the thinking behind your film?

‘After Beyond’ was created for the Estonian installation at last year’s International Fashion Showcase. We had called our installation ‘The Estonian Ministry of Creative Affairs’, a fictitious institution displaying the work of four Estonian ‘ambassadors’. The idea was for the guests to step into a spectacular fantasy world as they walk through a yarn curtain onto which the film was projected.

The film portrays the magical-mythical side of Estonia as well as the inspiration and ‘handicrafted’ nature behind the designers’ collections. The soundscape for the film was created by drawing ‘sound-patterns’ onto the physical film stills — a literal translation of pictures into sounds, which gave the narrative another layer.

I see my film as linking the experiences of space, sound, fashion and photography into an overall design, thus tying together the four designers’ different stories.

Is fashion film a good way for emerging designers to make themselves known?

I think it is possibly one of the best formats around, because it’s so easy to get it seen online. Fashion film has become quite popular and it is exciting to see it become interactive through the fantastic work of Nick Knight and Showstudio. Emerging designers should definitely use it more to make their ideas stand out and become visible online.

What other advice would you give to emerging fashion designers, especially to those from Estonia?

The main advice would be to stay true to yourself and follow your dreams. When you believe in what you do and are passionate (as well as persistent) about it, then sooner or later it will produce results. However, it is just as important to make yourself known and try as much as possible to take advantage of online media, competitions, events and pitches, and make contacts who could help you get noticed and move forward.

How has business been since you won the Emerging Talent Award in 2013?

Winning the award brought a lot of useful attention. I made many great contacts and still get offers for cool projects based on the success of the showcase. It also gave me the opportunity to work for an amazing London creative agency, My Beautiful City, which means I’m still designing concepts and spaces for fashion events, shows and presentations, but on a much larger scale than before. The concept of the ‘Ministry’ might re-appear in future and then definitely in an even more experiential and multidisciplinary format than before.


Take part in the online or offline programme of the International Fashion Showcase 2014.

Read more: How to build a fashion business from scratch