BIRTH: powerful fashion x dance film by Donald Crunk and Odilia Egyiawan
I don't like fashion films. I find them vapid and always lacking something- either there’s too much fashion resulting in the story becoming lost- Karl Lagerfeld, I’m looking at you with your sad, sad attempts at fashion cinema. Or it is too conceptual where you wonder: where’s the fashion at?
So when a fashion film comes across my screen that really pulls me in, I have to talk about it. BIRTH is a visually striking and powerful narrative conceived by Odilia Egyiawan- dancer and choreographer who's worked with the likes of Beyonce and Major Lazer. The film is directed by Donald Crunk- a London based former journalist whose 2016 short LEASH debuted at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Inspired by Odilia’s creative direction, Crunk’s writing was the catalyst for Birth’s storyline. Continuing his exploration of dark narratives and strong female protagonists, BIRTH is set in a Dystopian future where a young outcast spreads her wings and escapes from a territorial group of women.
The non-verbal storytelling and symbolism are perfectly depicted through movement and fashion. The territorial coven armored in structured dark-suits and braided masks dance across the screen with aggression. Symbolising the structured conventions of an unsavory society, who claw at the outcast trying to mold her into what is socially acceptable. Juxtaposing the territorial coven is the outcast. Connoting transparency, truth, innocence, and peace in a white leotard and sheer chiffon. A balance of movement and fashion with each shot as visually striking as the last. Each scene is purposeful, unlike most fashion films where there seems like there is no purpose. The story is threaded through each shot. A journey of naivete, navigating through structures of power struggles, following unsavory convention, and at last coming out wiser with your faith in peace still intact.