Normally when high-end fashion brands produce content my reaction to it tends to be simple to categorise: yawn or scorn. The former for the plot-free moving-brochure ware. The latter for the pretentious, vacuous, sub-perfume ad dross that so many fashion houses confuse with artful filmic sophistication. So it's not merely relief, but unbridled joy with which I greet some content from a fashion brand that's clever, gripping and has a sense of purpose beyond bags and shoes.
Miu Miu has commissioned a series of stand-alone short films, all directed by women who 'critically celebrate femininity in the 21st century'. All of the films are sumptuously produced and stimulating to watch, but the latest, Somebody by Miranda July, is a corker. Surreal, satirical and downright funny, it tracks the use of a new communication app through a series of interconnected vignettes. The app, (Somebody) allows users to deliver awkward or sensitive verbal messages via a third party. Through the creative device of the app, the film expertly lampoons our society's growing tendency to outsource human interaction, however tender, to the realm of technology and strangers. The seemingly spoof app has been created for real – a nice stunt to drive PR. But, oddly, the PR for the campaign concentrates on the headline 'Miranda July creates app for Miu Miu', rather than 'Miranda July creates very good film for Miu Miu'. Perhaps positioning the app as a serious social tool is all part of one glorious, scathingly critical performance art project. But surely that would be way too clever for a fashion brand wouldn't it? Miu Miu?