As part of an international promotion for the ChinaCool initiative, Tmall commissioned a video that we can’t stop watching on repeat. SHP+ met with the director Julien Ayrault to take a deeper dive into it.
“Don’t tell us what fashion should be”.
Starting the short one-minute film with the phrase “Don’t tell us what fashion should be”, makes the film feel like a manifesto. This concise copy supports a rhythmic edit, in which the young generation of daring “fashion warriors” announces the new rules of the game. Shot on the Great Wall, the video plays with varios other iconically Chinese symbols, in a way that is anything but banal. Just like the Chinese fashion designers who were showcased at Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks this year through the ChinaCool program, the protagonists of the video are making a statement about new Chinese fashion.
“The approach of the film was to show that fashion has entered a new era in China. Expressing the shift from “Made in China” to “Created in China”, we are showing the rest of the world that we are cool people, and it’s now our turn to set up the trend” is how Julien Ayrault describes the concept. He shares that he didn’t want to make a glamorous catwalk on the Great Wall, like what Karl Lagerfeld did for the Fendi show. That could have seemed too obvious and simple. Instead, he wanted to bring on a bit of a warrior feel.
“There is something patriotic in the film, something about pride. The stride on the Great Wall, asking the rest of the world to ‘take a look at us, guys. Now it’s us, who are creating very cool stuff’”. Each wearing very iconic Chinese elements in their looks, the fashion warriors don’t stay within boundaries: once they come to the end of it, a new section of the Wall stretches forward paving the way for the redefined Chinese style to conquer the audience overseas.
Julien shares that on top of directing, he shot the whole thing and did the lighting as well. Learning filmmaking and cinematography on his own was Julien’s path to understand cinematography, and these skills along with training on how to set up lighting came in very handy to make everything look exactly as he envisioned. Still, the one-day shoot in a location like the Great Wall turned out to be the an incredibly challenging project for Julien and the whole team. Forty degree heat doesn’t make climbing any easier, and that’s exactly what the big crew did all day long to keep up with the tight schedule. Although they shot early in the morning, and on a very remote section of the Wall, they also could not block the space from the tourists entirely.
The Great Wall, of course, was not a random choice. The weight of the heritage that comes with it was very important for the film. “We wanted to play with those codes: use very old heritage symbols, but bring them to the fashion level of 2019”. We consider the mission completed: deprived of the pompous feel, a quality inevitably slipping into the commercials for international promotion, the ChinaCool video catches the balance between national pride and coolness just right.
Client 客户：天猫 Tmall
Agency 代理: FF Shanghai
Chief Creative Officers 首席创意官: Fred & Farid
Agency Supervisors 代理主管: Feng Huang, Chelsea Lin
Executive Creative Director 执行创意总监: Feng Huang
Creative Director 创意总监: Adrien Goris
Copywriter 文案 : Di Ye
Art Directors 美术指导: Vivian Lin, Xi Chen
Brand Strategist 品牌策略师: Karen Ge
Agency Producers 代理生产商: Charles Renard, Tilda He
Production 制作公司：Eagle Media
Director / DOP 导演/摄影：Julien Ayrault
Producer 监制：Adam Lim
Producer 制片： 王欣
Executive Producer 执行制片：施鑫 / 熊猫
Producer Assistant 监制助理：大豆 / 郑爽
Deputy Director：副导演 Yan
Photography Assistant 摄助：Sam大头
Plane photography 平面摄影 ：赵仁
Post producer 后期制片：Jill
CG：朱晓清 / YY
Music 音乐：Irfane / GUM
Colorist 调色：Ben / 梦芷调色