Fashion Saved The Music Video

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When the pioneers at MTV traded in music videos for reality television, the fate of the professional music video seemed ambiguous at best.

Thankfully with the advent of Youtube in 2005 (and the slew of similar flash-based video sites that cropped up afterwards) there was a new platform for hundreds of people looking to showcase their filmmaking chops. With video editing software now prepackaged with new computers, the increase in affordable digital cameras and a game change in the way music is bought, sold and marketed directly by those who create it, we have witnessed the resurrection of the music video. However, it is not just the next wannabe Strokes that are responsible for keeping this format alive. The fashion industry, a business built on the concept of reinvention, has made having a pre-collection preview video a staple marketing tool.

The local newsstands are still chok-a-block with the latest glossy fashion magazines, but connecting with the new social media addicted texting generation who don’t have the attention span for printed material, let alone the connections to attend Mercedes fashion week, requires a more efficient medium. The low budgets, short production time and viral delivery of polished eye candy makes the music video an obvious choice. Even the veterans can be found aboard this fast moving train.

While the 78-year-old German designer Karl Lagerfeld is no stranger to music, he can be seen manning the wheels of steel in his latest video collaboration with Barnaby Roper, "The New Mix."

Platinum blonde models wearing slim flashy blazers and his signature fingerless gloves are sliced and diced in a high-tech collage of slow motion hair flips and synth crackles.

British bad boy Gareth Pugh’s videos combine the contrast of Maplethorpe’s black & white photographs with Trent Reznor’s sensibility set to a dark and gritty proto industrial soundtracks.

Lanvin’s Spring/Sumer ad campaign features the urban pop barrage of rising Bronx native Maxine Ashley in a stopmotion animation frenzy of a hard copy “last supper” glamorama photo shoot come to life.

Always on the look out for what is next, the fashion houses’ (new and old) new virtual battering ram is pushing the edges innovative styling, editing, and music that is partly responsible for keeping the music video alive.