The Enigma of Fashion
Running Time: 68min
Category: Fashion in Film Festival
Introduced by Festival Curator Marketa Uhlirova
This program features work by early film pioneers, artists, and commercial as well as avant-garde filmmakers including Segundo de Chomón, Sonia Delaunay, Hans Richter, Lewis Klahr, Christine Noll Brinckmann, Jacques Baratier and Martin Creed. With an absence of, or disregard for, conventional storytelling, these films animate clothes, shop mannequins and magazine illustrations, allowing them to assume lives of their own and assert a powerful sense of their reality as material things.
Here, clothing and artificial bodies are shown in the very physical processes of their creation or destruction, as well as rituals such as spinning, flying, folding and unfolding. They are removed, at least to a degree, from fashion’s social and cultural contexts that normally give them their purpose and meaning. With their functions thus suspended, they appear instead as dreamlike, playful and elusive, becoming potent carriers of fascination, desire, emotion and sensual pleasure.
France 1907. Dir. Segundo de Chomón & Ferdinand Zecca for Pathé Frères.
“Keller-Dorian: Film Gaufré” (Sonia Delaunay)
France 1925. Dir. unknown for Sonia Delaunay. With Sonia Delaunay.
“Ghosts Before Breakfast”
Germany, 1927. Dir. Hans Richter. With Werner Graeff, Paul Hindemith, Darius Milhaud, Hans Richter.
France 1964. Dir. Jacques Baratier. French with English subtitles.
UK 2016. Dir. Martin Creed. With Martin Creed.
“Warner Corset Advertisement”
USA 1910s. Dir. Unknown for The Warner Brothers Company.
UK 1960. Dir. Unknown for British Pathe. With Maureen Pearson.
“There Is a Garden in My Head”
Netherlands 1987. Dir. Karin Wiertz & Jacques Verbeek.
UK 2013. Dir. Mat Maitland for Kenzo.
USA 1994. Dir. Lewis Klahr.
“Dress Rehearsal & Karola 2”
USA 1981. Dir. Christine Noll Brinckmann. With Karola Gramann.
Marketa Uhlirova is an art historian. She is a co-founder and director of the Fashion in Film Festival, and a Senior Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Her film programmes have been hosted by leading arts venues including Tate Modern, Barbican, Palazzo Grassi, Danish Film Institute and Museum of the Moving Image, New York. Marketa is also the editor of Fashion in Film’s publications, including If Looks Could Kill: Cinema’s Images of Fashion, Crime and Violence (2008) and the award-winning Birds of Paradise: Costume as Cinematic Spectacle (2013), and a regular speaker at cinema and arts venues including the BFI Southbank, ICA, and Museum of the Moving Image, New York.