CHOCHENG takes us on a French New Wave cinematic journey through femininity, etiquette and beauty in Western Culture.
Want to achieve that gamine French look but just don’t have that certain je ne sais quoi? Same. No worries, CHOCHENG is here to help with a fashion film. Inspired by French New Wave cinema and style icons/idols Jean Shrimpton and Anna Karina, you can be chic too. Take pointers from the video on how to master the foundations of style and pile on your personality after.
Be sure to make note of Gemma Barron and Whitebox’s original soundtrack, mid-century modern style illustrations by Velwyn Vossy, abstract landscape created by set designer Fred Allsop, the 60s filtered lens style by Luke Palmer and the Beat poetry style throughout for all round culture points to match your new je ne sais quoi look.
We met CHOCHENG, director Corinne Delanney and producer Oliver Barron to talk about the inspiration behind the film.
Why did you choose your theme? What about the French New Wave style inspires you?
CHOCHENG: I have always loved the 1960’s. I love British music, French cinema, Beat poetry, Op art and all that is positive about the 1960’s. Last Christmas, when I had just finished a collection based on Marguerite Duras’s book ‘L’AMANT’, I decided to make a film in the style of the French New Wave Cinema to capture everything I love about the 1960s. I love French New Wave cinema because they are always chic and cheerful. I particularly love the movies of Jacques Demy. They don’t always have a happy ending, but they always have a happy approach to life. That’s what inspires me: The art of living happily ever after. I believe we can all live happily ever after as long as we stop worrying about the happy ending. Life is about perseverance in style. Know who you are, exploit your strengths and camouflage your flaws. A zebra takes its stripes wherever it goes. I apply the same exact philosophy to fashion design.
What was your favourite part about shooting?
Corinne Delaney: My favourite part about shooting is the friendships you form on set and the opportunity you get to collaborate with all of these talented artists in different genres who have their own unique skill sets and sensibilities so they all contribute something very unique to the project. Kevin Kline said that filmmaking is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle l think this is a very accurate description of the process. Filmmaking is the only art form that has brought me the same feeling as dancing on stage- it is a pure adrenalin rush. l absolutely love it!
Oliver Barron: My favourite element of the shoot was allowing our ideas to expand on the spot. The idea to film the ‘Audition’ scene was originally intended to be broken into different shots, but once we had rehearsed the choreography and the camera movements we felt we could shoot the entire scene in one take, which added a lot to that scene I think.
You say it is defining beauty from the realms of a woman’s interior, what do you think is a woman’s most beautiful characteristic?
Corinne Delaney: There is a delicate flower in lreland that grows in between two rock faces at the top of a mountain. The weather conditions are extremely harsh, it is miraculous that this flower even grows at all. l think about this flower a lot in relation to woman and the hardships they endure. A woman’s power lies in her feminine nature which appears to be fragile on the surface but in fact is inherently strong at the root, similar to the flower that grows off the mountain. l think this contradiction is a woman’s most beautiful characteristic.
Which Western norm/ideal do you think needs to be eradicated surrounding femininity, social etiquette and beauty?
Oliver Barron: For me it’s accepting yourself no matter what anyone else tells you. It’s about not following the crowd, not changing yourself for anyone else. When writing the script we felt this was summed up by a South African proverb, which ended up in the script: ‘A zebra takes its stripes wherever it goes.’ This also seemed to match with the aesthetic of the film.
Which style icons today do you think will be as influential as Jean Shrimpton and Anna Karina?
Corinne Delaney: l would like today’s style icon to be an intelligent woman, informed, an activist, who is comfortable in her own skin. This girl has the heart of a poet and is articulate in her speech and her beauty shines from a place within. She uses her fashion style to capture your attention and engage with you in a conversation that has a deeper agenda about a subject matter close to her heart.
CHOCENG: Amal Clooney.
Director: Corinne Delaney.
Producer: Oliver Barron, CHOCHENG.