In WWD yesterday, there was an interesting look at how the fashion industry has embraced branded entertainment in recent years. While fashion in film is nothing new, lately there’s been a sharp rise in both indie labels and mainstream fashion houses producing their own shorts to serve as marketing vehicles.

Some of the more well-known, highly publicized examples of this include:

Kate Moss in a slinky, ethereal black-and-white Agent Provocateur series called “The Four Dreams of Miss X” Prada’s animated short called “Trembled Blossoms” that debuted at NY Fashion week, and features wood nymphs and bugs that metamorphose into sandals and handbags Erin Fetherston’s short films that star silver screen actors Kirsten Dunst and Zooey Deschanel, shot by photographer Ellen von Unwerth

Why are fashion designers picking up the camera to showcase their clothing in motion pictures? Surely it has something to do with their inherent creativity, and their desire to express this creativity through multiple channels; in many ways the runway can be a pretty uninspiring canvas for showing off one’s designs. Then again, the motive might be less artistic and more monetary. Short videos are quite the powerful marketing tool nowadays, to say the least — and cheap, too. While a runway show lives for 30 mins at the most, and may be viewed a couple thousand times online, a short video can be created for mere pennies (of course, costs can run into the hundreds of thousands), uploaded to YouTube, gather millions of views around the globe, and live on forever.

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