Beginning in 2009, John Galliano commissioned directors Jonas Åkerlund, David Lynch, and Olivier Dahan to create short films starring French actress Marion Cotillard and the house’s legendary Lady Dior handbag. For the fourth and final installment, which debuted in December on ladydior.com, Galliano tapped John Cameron Mitchell, the director of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and this year’s Oscar buzz–worthy Rabbit Hole. The eight-minute film features Cotillard as a sequin-clad burlesque performer who captures the imagination of both Sir Ian McKellen and The History Boys’ Russell Tovey. “I envisioned Marion’s character as a hybrid of Louise Brooks, Mary Poppins, and Jesus,” says Mitchell, adding that he found the experience of making the film surprisingly rewarding. “It was the opposite of everything I’ve ever heard about working on a commercial—it was a completely fulfilling artistic experience and an absolute pleasure.”
It took all of 15 minutes for Cole and Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy to come up with the concept for their first short film. “We’re into the same crazy stuff,” explains Cole, a fashion photographer who has made music videos for Kylie Minogue and Charlotte Gainsbourg. “Like the secret history of NASA.” Shot partly at SpaceX, PayPal cofounder Elon Musk’s spacecraft manufacturing facility in L.A., the nine-minute thriller, which premiered on nowness.com last March, features model Guinevere van Seenus running for her life in Rodarte’s shredded postapocalyptic dresses to music by the noise band No Age. What exactly is she escaping? An interspersed clip (provided by SpaceX) of a rather violent rocket launch offers a clue. “Technology can be scary,” notes Cole.
At his past six men’s wear presentations, Yves Saint Laurent Creative Director Stefano Pilati has shown short films created by director Samuel Benchetrit and photographers Bruce Weber and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, among others. The inspiration for Pilati’s latest came to him last spring while getting an eagle feather tattooed on his neck. He commissioned Marcopoulos, a photographer and filmmaker, to capture the man who did it, celebrity tattoo artist Mark Mahoney. “He wanted to get away from shooting clothes and models,” says Marcopoulos, who met Pilati years earlier when he used music from the director’s documentary about street drummer Larry Wright for his women’s fall 2007 runway show. The resulting eight-minute film follows Mahoney, a Boston-born artist with Fifties gangster style, from his house in suburban California to his Hollywood shop, where he prepares to give Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones a tattoo of a 12th-century king. “That was lucky,” Marcopolous says. “I had no idea he was going to be there that day.”