The Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival is a Mercedes-Benz sponsored event that brings creatives, authorities, and enthusiasts together through: film, fashion and “Artistic and related technical industries to celebrate their craft twice a year”(Bokeh, 2016)
I was there for the inaugural Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival that had me fangirling for globally acclaimed Norwegian Rain designer and celebrated menswear streetstyle aficionado T-Michael, so I decided to attend it once again – just to figure out whether my initial impression remained steadfast.
Despite the fact that there isn’t clear protocol for media accreditation; once you organize your tickets, it is smooth sailing. I decided to get the full festival experience and attend the day events. One enters to displays of the Cape Town Fashion Council – NPO Young Designers Project. Inaurguably the best feature of the festival was the upstairs centerpiece – a conveyor Belt Fashion ramp with designs by Hendrik Vermeulen, Jagadi Couture, David Tlale Page, Stefania Morland, KLuK CGDT, Aretha Bauwens, and Legacy Collection .
I got to see some really promising designs from the Cape Town Fashion Council Graduate Fashion Show – and some offerings that had me cringing because “Wow” …how uninspired and unoriginal.
Foxbox provided me with a great manicure.
Attendees stuck to the stereotype of arriving in African time, but once there, chose to bask in the ambiance of slapdash marketing and warm vibes for networking. The catering arrested our attention with the organizers ensuring we watched the films and listened to the speakers thanks to the edible average nibbles and Oude Meester booze delivered sporadically throughout the night.
Wondering who I wore?
Well: hair by Aretha Bauwens, A Constellation Bracelet with 14kt gold clasp by Laloo Jewelry, Peacock Chandelier Earrings with 14kt gold hooks by Laloo Jewelry, a jumpsuit by Gabriela Charlotte Designs, and a cobalt Sequins Kimono by Ruff Tung.
Loved every singly piece I wore with utter confidence.
Shout-out to MAC Cosmetics who touched up my apparently nearly flawless makeup 😉
I parked myself strategically by the bar, and the bar tenders kept me in cocktails for most of the night – placating what would have been feelings of boredom, and what would have been an invariably scathing event review.
I was rather taken with the 24 Slides Inspirational Talks introductory presentation by Dr Mark Vella, as well as Patrick Craig’s presentation. It resonated with some of the research I have done regarding the evolution of communication thanks to globalization, and what it means for the future of human interactions. Hunger Magazine‘s Jordan Rossi gave great insight into how the magazine grew into its spectacular reputation – in part, due to the inclusion of film in their editorial spreads.
All the other talks and speeches were not quite memorable, but the films that screened in the Directors Lounge were. The free popcorn (with Aromat because “duh!” we’re South African like that) made watching the films more enjoyable – bringing you closer to the cinema experience.
Bokeh attendees were privy to the world premier of IN THE DEEP by Amber Moelter & Luis Barreto Carrillo, from the USA & Colombia. Antonio Contreras Aviance was back again, and we got to also see his film “Ay Jose”, and that of Zigi, called “A story about her”.
My recommendations are “Folie a Deux” which had a deeply troubling dramatic plot, but echoed Alexander McQueen and Pringle’s archetypal winter fashion campaigns. “Hood” tried entirely too hard, but had thee most loud and beautifully intricate jewelry; “Irreversible” had a memorably brief time plot, and a multipurpose cape cut to the whimsy of minimalist fantastical taste. Of all the films, “Jo!” spoke to the truth of people and their realistic experience with clothing – its plot rooted in how we use clothing to hide, reveal, help us understand the world us, and more. “G Spot” was thee BEST film to come from the Bokeh International Fashion Film Festival. #NuffSaid
Caffeluxe warmed the cockles of everyone’s cold hearts and bodies with their capsule African, Ugandan, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ethiopian Blend coffees; and owmygosh guys – it all sounds pretentious and expensive but just go have their hot chocolate – no sugar, but so sweet and warm and tasty.
Wanna know and see some of the people who walked the red carpet and slayed streetstyle?
Well blonde bombshell Bailey Schneider was the MC for the day, and Amanda Tini captivated us all night. Renowned blogger and Cape Town socialite Clouds Drummond was present, as was Cape Town Fashion Council’s CEO Bryan Ramkilawan, Ted Baker’s Womanswear Creative Director Catherine Scorey, Renaissance Men, Anelisa Mangcu, Chad Saaiman and Katlego Maboe, Leigh-Anne Williams, Maps Maponyane, Style Africa Managing Director Roshan Isaacs etc.
The overall review: The festival seems to get better with each year, fine-tuning its issues gradually without losing momentum in building event interest across the country, and world. The fashion films are some of the highest film quality you’ll ever watch – highlighting how local full feature filmmakers can provide us with amazing production value within the budgets they get. I recommend attending this event purely from my personal bias; I love an excuse to immerse myself in the viscous nature of fashion and film convergence.
Don’t you love fashion and film?