It’s always a great sense of accomplishment when hard work pays off and is recognised, so I was delighted to be informed by the Bokeh Fashion Film Festival that TWO of my fashion films have been selected as part of their 2015 Official Selection! ‘Caress‘ is the second fashion film that I made, that I co-directed with Roice Nel (DoP) for Cirque Magazine. ‘Immersion‘ is my third fashion film, made in collaboration with Alma van den Berg of Spilt Milk Clothing, initially for the opening of her Spilt Milk SS14/15 Fashion Show at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town, subsequently expanded to the full fashion film. Both were challenging and rewarding experiences in their own ways!


Shoes in hand she climbs the stairs, exhilarated, her finger trailing along the polished wooden hand rail, the memory of the caress lingering in her mind.

That caress. That first touch. Longing for more…

Dreamily she enters the bedroom, the open doors, the warm evening breeze filtering through. Tossing her shoes aside she leans on the balcony, remembering the feeling of the first touch on her skin.

The invitation to the ball was beautifully gilded in silver. The event of the year, she needed to look her radiant best. The belle of the ball. A famous actress turned producer she was used to the attention and knew that the tabloids would be there, like skeletal vultures willing potential prey to fall, to die, for the feast. She chose to give them something to feed on.

The choice of who to approach to make her dress was simple. Only the best. Only authentic haute couture. Her favourite designers knew her well, always making time for her, despite their hectic schedule preparing for Milan Fashion Week. The creative process was her favourite part. The colours, textures, shapes, fabrics, adornments, all melting together into the perfect presentation, the perfect unattainable woman.

The feeling of that caress on her skin. The first touch. The excitement of the unfamiliar, wondering what it would lead to. So many disappointments. This time it would be different.

Her driver picked her up in time to be fashionably late. In time to make the perfect arrival, to be the centre of attention. Late enough to irritate the sticklers for time but on time enough to be socially acceptable. She knew it all so well.

As her car glided into the red carpet drop off zone the tabloid vultures rushed in, their flashes blinding her temporarily, again. She stepped from her car, her dress tumbling out after her. Her walk down the red carpet was flawless, her languid gait fast enough to make the photographers run after her but not too fast to miss the pictures.

The doors opened in front of her, the doorman unable to resist an almost imperceptible smile. She understood it so well. “You’re beautiful, completely out of my league,” his thoughts almost audible. A woman on the landing gave her the once over, her jealousy blatantly clear.

That caress. That first touch. Longing for more…

Walking through the crowded dance floor, people parting in natural submission, a young actor caught her arm. She spun around, defiantly looking into his eyes, and went with it. He was a good dancer. Confident, if not a little arrogant. She liked that.

The world disappeared around them, the perfect moment. The synchronised movement of their bodies, lightly touching, the energy between them perceptible. She held his confident gaze, pondering the brashness of youth. His hand, until now appropriately placed, slid down. In a flash she spun away, breaking contact, and left. Not tonight. Not like that. Not with him.

That caress. That first touch. The deep longing for more. If only they understood, it’s not about anything else other than the way it makes you feel.

And she felt beautiful.

Caress is a short fashion film co-directed by Deryck vS, starring Tarina Patel wearing Hendrik Vermeulen Couture.