As if having John Waters as tonight’s presenter for The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards isn’t enough, NOWNESS went ahead + enlisted filmmaker + frequent NOWNESS contributor Clara Cullen to create ‘Shakedown The Swarovski Awards’. This is the first film ever to be commissioned exclusively by CFDA + what a start!
Taking a page from French literary classic ’Les Fables de La Fontaine’, Cullen cast six dancers in handcrafted animal masks to take part in a playful dance-off, wearing designs by the nominees including the streetwear cult of Shayne Oliver’s Hood by Air to Wes Gordon. As to how Cullen arrived at each animal’s moves, she tells NOWNESS, “Each routine corresponds to the identity that I had in mind for the designers + the personality of the animal.” By collaborating with set + costume designer Andy Byers of Isabella Rossellini’s ‘Green Porno’ series, Cullen achieved a film with a retro feel + contemporary wit. ’I wanted to contrast high fashion with a dorky, somewhat naïve idea,’ Cullen says.