With his debut short, the kinky fashion film “Ephemeral Nature”, Spanish born photographer and stylist Jesús López hit a home run, winning Best Film at Diane Pernet’s A Shaded View Of Fashion Film in Barcelona last month. Set to the music of “Forever More” by Shaun J. Wright (lead vocalist for Hercules & Love Affair), and featuring hand-made acrylic jewellery by DISPLEXIA, the short film explores just how transitory pleasure, like fashion, can be. Wonderland talks to him about fetishism, Soho drag bars and breaking the rules.
How did “Ephemeral Nature” come about?
The film started with a project for my creative media unit. They gave us a bunch of words to choose from, and I chose “performance”. Once I had the word, I started to think about Luis Venegas, the founder of Candy magazine, which is the first transvestite magazine in the world. I really liked the fact that it was stylish and yet fun, and it encourages people to become the person they’ve always wanted to be. I think that’s what fashion should be about –giving you freedom and the opportunity to be a better person.
Tell us more about the story.
The story is about a couple who live in a big house, are quite wealthy and who like to have fun with fashion in the bedroom. The wife becomes this kind of dominatrix, and he becomes a glamorous drag queen.
One thing I particularly liked about the film was the sense of different textures – bubble wrap popping, shiny plastic. Was that an aspect of the fetishism that you wanted to bring out?
I wanted the viewer to see what people think of when they are touching fashion. Many women buy a dress because of the way it feels. When they touch the jewellery they remember pleasant memories – which you see in the film, like crushing bubble wrap, a smoke, an orgasm on top of a washing machine. Then I contrasted these pleasures with burning plastic, because even plastic (like the jewellery) can be ephemeral. I read a very interesting book by Valery Steele called “Fetish”, where I read that high heels are the symbol of a phallic woman who wants to have the power that the penis has given men throughout history. That doesn’t make sense anymore because women are as powerful as men, if not more so in many cases. When the couple both dress in high heels, they become equal – they are genderless, and so they become free through fashion.
How did you go about casting for the film?
I went to a few bars in Soho, and watched some live drag queen shows. I particularly liked one in Molly Moggs in Soho. That was where I met Jeff Kristian [who stars in the film]. Jeff is a professional actor and drag queen. He has a show twice a week at Molly Moggs, has done lots of theatre, and a short film that went to a film festival, where he played a cross-dressed Snow White on coke. It sounds very cool. And then I found Linda Landers. I stated that I wanted to cast people who were between 40 and 50 years old, just to challenge the fashion films that we’ve seen before, which star 20 year old pretty models. I wanted to do something different. And she is such an artist.
I am writing a script, and when I met Rossy de Palma after the awards ceremony, I told her she would be the perfect actress for this role – who knows? As a personal project that would be a big achievement for me.
Words: Sophia Satchell Baeza