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Gwen & Gwen Heavy Fashion

average rating is 2 out of 5


Isaac Parkinson


Posted on:

Mar 18, 2022

Film Reviews
Gwen & Gwen Heavy Fashion
Directed by:
Vladislav Dubkov
Written by:
Vladislav Dubkov

Gwen & Gwen Heavy Fashion presents a blend of fast-paced advertisement aesthetics with over-sexualised superhero imagery to create something frenetic and bold. Without any defined narrative, it’s best described as a flash game meets catwalk fashion show for recognisable comic book characters.


The animation itself is very impressive. Each artefact is well designed and crisp, with fluid motion making their interactions effective and engaging. I would be very interested to see these talents invested in a different context which is less reliant on such an intense pace. One moment I particularly enjoyed was the switching images of shoes from ballet flats to high heels to sneakers, the tapping feet along with the music morphing between the three styles. The animated interactivity of the changing image reflects the fluid nature of fashion industry dictating constant shift in tastes.


However, the music feels very caustic, and indicative of a lack of dynamics. The cacophony of imagery is accompanied by further assaulting audio, building on one another to create something abrasive to the senses. Had there been more balance between audio and video, both would have been more accessible, and in fact i found more satisfaction in watching with the sound off as it frequently distracted from its visual elements. Its constant repetition and unrelenting velocity made a 2 and a half minute video feel much longer.


With regard to the editing, the quick cut changes and frequent text on screen reflect a growing dependence on TikTok-style fast paced infographic content to maintain attention. Each image is quickly replaced with another without settling. While this presents a potentially interesting comment on image saturation in new media, it felt too much like a sprint to feel in any way connected.


Its clash of styles is also interesting, where at times the video has the structure of an advert for a flash game. The explosion of pop culture and frenetic imagery lends itself to so many different media that it's hard to grasp a solid sense of what context in which this is intended to be viewed.


My own personal aversion to the deluge of superhero images, and particularly those which are shamelessly fetishistic, leads me to already have a bias against a piece like this which depends so heavily on that objectification. However, extending that treatment of bodies beyond the realm of traditionally sexualised female characters to more chaste icons such as 'lady death' lends an absurdism to the entire tradition of hyper-sexual bodies which I appreciated.


While the intense oversaturation of superhero iconography and fetishised bodies could play as a satirical indictment of franchise culture, the grating experience of watching this was too alienating to engage with those ideas.

About the Film Critic
Isaac Parkinson
Isaac Parkinson
Short Film, Animation
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