Fashion films often take the form of fawning moving portraits in which beautiful models languish on balmy beaches or in well-appointed mansions, but this year's best stand out for being much more than that. Below, a countdown of the trippiest, most thought-provoking videos we saw in 2012.
5. Prada's Real Fantasies Spring 2012
It should have been clear early on that there was something in the water when this video, which juxtaposes new images against visuals from the '50s and '60s — the decades that inspired Prada's Spring 2012 collection — debuted in April.
There are only two subjects in this video: an orchid and Candice Swanepoel. A quick pace is set by unrelenting jump cuts between the flower and Swanepoel's lovely face. The soundtrack of a drum mimicking the human heartbeat makes the video even more haunting.
If David Sims's almost luridly neon Fall 2012 campaign for Alexander McQueen wasn't colorful enough, his video certainly is. It primarily features a loop of model Suvi Koponen taking the oversize visors from the collection off of her face, accented by dancing geometric neon shapes and clouds of pixelated pigment that explode all over the screen.
Attempts to explain what's happening in this video are probably best left to the people who created it. From the official description: "Set within a dystopian society of machines and jagged geometries, genetically perfected clones roam digital colonies. Each scene depicts an antiquated landscape within a galaxy of characters engrossed in oblique and possibly deviant power dynamics."
Jack McCollough's sister Kate worked as the creative director for this film, which was created with the virtual world Second Life. Everything in it — from the models who levitate while doing a peculiar dance, to the purple dolphin that swims through sand — is CGI.