Fashion journalist Diane Pernet projects an unapproachable and mysterious persona. Perhaps it’s the lace mantilla. Surrounded in a shroud of black layers, she floats through the fashion and art worlds, charming acquaintances, collaborators and friends with her calm enthusiasm. But beneath her many veils, she is surprisingly forthcoming.
Pernet’s diverse and amplifying interests led her to launch her A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival in 2008. A competition and showcase of short fashion, style and beauty films, ASVOFF begins in Paris during Fashion Week and then travels to museums and cultural institutions throughout the world. This year, Jean Paul Gaultier serves as jury president.
We spoke with Pernet about the festival, fashion and her personal style.
How did A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival begin?
I’ve never been one to map out my distant future or calculate how things might pan out. At each crossroads, I’ve simply followed my instincts. Although it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, I can honestly say that I think it has been the best approach for me. Over the years, I’ve been a fashion designer, a costume designer, an editor, a stylist, a journalist and a filmmaker. Although they are all very different roles, they do all revolve around fashion so there has been that constant throughout my professional career. It is the creative process that is the most different, I think.
In 2006, Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto asked me to make a road movie for the launch of his menswear line and we did it via the Gumball Rally, a 3,000-mile race from London’s Trafalgar Square to Monte Carlo. The result, Adventure of Pleasure, became the basis for You Wear it Well, a short-lived, curated fashion film festival that screened at Cinespace on Hollywood Boulevard.
The spirit of fashion film is important too because it’s typically one where the consumer expects brands to push the boundaries a bit more and to not necessarily be quite so precious about things. A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival has always been for anyone who enjoys films or wears clothes. Fashion film won’t be for everyone but it is intended for everyone. It’s not just an insider medium. Great fashion film should touch people like any art form or cinematic form. We’ve still got a long road ahead of us to experiment, which is hugely exciting.