Six years ago, very few people knew about or made fashion films. That’s changing fast. The number of fashion film festivals is growing every year and festivals like the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival which is the biggest worldwide, is attracting major attention from Hollywood. In 2018 it may be a new category at the Academy awards.

fashion, fashion films, best films of 2017, Lajolla Fashion Film Festival, Red Carpet Looks

So, what are fashion films? Some see fashion films as advertising, particularly the one’s from the big fashion houses like Chanel, Prada and Etro, but I would argue that even when they are, these films are bringing us into relationships with clothing in entirely new ways. They take us into worlds of beauty, adventure, revenge, inspiration and dreams and let’s face it, that’s why we wear clothes. We dress to explore who we are, dare to be different or connect with people by fitting in. We dream of beautiful clothes the way we dream of careers and success (partially to buy the clothes?). Take films like The Magic Kingdom which won best picture, where the story of Sergio Rossi shoes is told through three modern princesses cavorting around the factory. We are entertained, charmed and transported into what it means to love shoes rather than just being told we should buy them.

The best of course, is when films manage to do both, transport us on a journey, inspire us with breathtaking visuals and connect us with great stories. The following are the best in all three categories from the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival. They represent the heart and sweat of directors from Italy, China, South America, Germany, France and Denmark who are largely creating this new medium out of love and out of their own pockets. The films deal with issues we are all familiar with, our nostalgia for the past, the power and beauty of nature and the human form, our fears of the future, and women coming into their own.