Above the Skin: a look at exploring links between fashion and identity

What does fashion mean to you? Above the Skin is the space where clothes rest, and the space where our inner selves interact with the wider world. In this film, Thom, Mik, Harielle, Jade and Silas share their experiences with fashion and self-expression during lockdown. Rife catches up with Zara Bloom, who produced the film.

Tell us about the film.

Above the Skin looks at the strong connection some young adults have between their identity and fashion. We wanted to look at whether some young adults had a story behind their fashion which may have been overlooked. Lockdown has certainly been a difficult time to express your identity having been confined to your homes, however we discovered from some contributors this time has further allowed them to explore their identity. We hope this film embraces peoples individualities.

What was it like making the film during lockdown? How did the team work together?

Teams and Zoom were definitely our powerlines during this project! It was such a positive project which gave us motivation and structure within an unstructured time period. Also, it was motivating when discussing with mentors what we would create would be a time capsule of a historic time we were in, which drove us to create the best film we could considering the circumstances. Everyone in the team was so enthusiastic about our group idea which helped us work so well together! During the production of the film there was constant pinging on groupchats which was our main source of communication.

Watching the film now, how do you feel?

I feel really happy with what we have achieved as a group considering the limitations we had. I never thought you could make such a good quality film from your bedroom. This is such an inspiring feeling that you can create anywhere at any time, showing there are no restrictions to creativity. 

What would you like people to take away from watching the film?

I’d like people to be motivated to ask and discuss their links to identity and fashion so we can discover and understand each other more and more. I believe showing the intention to understand shows respect for one another. Also, to bring awareness and embrace the variety of identities there are.

Would you recommend the BFI Film Academy to other people?

DEFINITELY! It was such a great experience to meet and collaborate with such talented individuals. Being in an environment where everyone shares a similar interests and passions just inspires and motivates you more. Also, you’re able to appreciate and explore each other’s styles and tastes within film which is also eye opening. 

Contributors:

Thom Walker (@snailcoma)

Harielle Atana-Lindor  (@atanalindor)

Jade Johnson (@jadeyilinart @yilinskates)

Silas Grocott Cain (@silas.gc @pusssy_boy_zine)

Mik Siddiqui (@mikultra)

Crew:

Director – Isabel Minnion

Producer / creative producer – Zara Bloom

Director of Photography / Camera operator / Creative producer – Amber Hynam

Editor – Izzy Chedzey

Sound design / Editor / Composer – Gaiazzurra Moreno-Meldru

Secondary Camera Operator – Beck Harding-Hill

Production Mentor – Elias Williams

This documentary was made by young people on the BFI Film Academy programme and delivered by Watershed.

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Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

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