3 Feb 2022
High-fashion and traditional North African designs transform into couture evening wear in the debut collection from designed Bophonysse. In Coral Clear, this collection is celebrated and demonstrated artistically and in a way that demonstrates the deeper story behind the garments.
The film is a short piece which highlights Bophonysse’s 2021 couture collection in intricate detail – featuring models donning the extravagant evening dresses in both neutral and energetic poses. The film shows the items in profile as well as up close, giving viewers an opportunity to see the complete work, as well as the fine, minute details included by the designer. Over the piece is a spoken word poem from poet Evon Adjei, whose words characterise the aims of the designer.
Coral Clear is beautifully shot – both as a demonstration of the products that it is designed to advertise, and as a film in its own right. There is a story in the very design of the dresses themselves which the film highlights, and the poem from Evon Adjei is meaningful and soulful – easily dismissing fears that the film exists purely for commercial purposes. There is a clear and welcome consideration from the director to bring the story behind the clothes to the screen.
There is a building momentum throughout the film – with the models initially moving in minimal and gentle ways which allows for more focused shooting, but appears to lack a confidence in the clothing’s ability to sustain motion. This develops as the film does, with the pace of the movements becoming faster in conjunction with the increasing speed and content of the poem, which gains a confidence in its own story. The collection is shown then in full, fluid motion to show that the dresses can be functional as well as fashionable, and can be worn as confidently and completely as the designer intends.
There is a striking lighting spectrum to the film that firmly places the clothes on the centre stage. The vibrant colours of the outfits stand out against the bleached background, and the white lighting seems to flow over the textures as the camera pulls in close to examine them intimately. The soundtrack is also an interesting addition. The combo synthwave/piano soundscape does not immediately appear to mix with the designs we see. However, as the pace picks up, it contributes to a progressive and forward-thinking theme for the collection.
There are inherent limits to a film so short that deny a fuller story or deeper themes being explored, and of course the primary purpose is to demonstrate a collection that ultimately will always be more impressive in person. But as an artistic endeavour, there is merit in Coral Clear – and that is clear to see.