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I don't live-blog from the tents.

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Entries in SF Fashion Film Festival (6)

Sunday
Apr082012

San Francisco Fashion Film Festival - Day 2!

Please come out and join the fun at the Roxie Theater for the final day of the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival! Today's lineup will be AMAZING!

We start out with The City of Lost Children from 1995, a film by Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier. Presented in partnership with the de Young Museum and their current exhibition Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

Then, we will screen local director (and former San Francisco First Lady)'s film Miss Representation, which we are all excited to see on the big screen.

After this, we will watch Julie Benasra's wonderful documentary God Save My Shoes, and we'll follow-up the screening with a conversation between the director and festival co-founder, Kim Mitchell Stokes.

Finally, we will end the night with Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.

Who's excited???

Friday
Mar092012

Get Your Tickets Now!!!

 

That's right...we're live! (And now that we are live I promise to be a better blogger.) The San Francisco Fashion Film Festival is off to a running start and our tickets are now available for purchase over on Eventbrite! Individual showings are on sale for $10 and $15 each, while full festival passes are going for just $75 each!

We are also very happy to announce our lineup of films which we think includes something for everyone:

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

1:00 PM - Ziegfeld Girl - $15 (Costumes by Adrian)

3:30 PM - How I Get Dressed/The Way I Dress - $10

4:15 PM - Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills - $15

6:30 PM – Fashion Shorts - $10

7:15 PM – Barbarella - $15 (Costumes by Jacques Fonteray & Paco Rabanne)

 

9:45 PM - The Matrix - $15 (Costumes by Kym Barrett)

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

2:00 PM - City of Lost Children - $15 (Costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier)

4:45 PM - Miss Representation - $15

6:45 PM – Fashion Shorts - $10

7:30 PM - God Save My Shoes - $15

9:00 PM - Marie Antoinette - $15 (Costumes by Milena Canonero)

Please visit the "Films" section of our website to read more about these titles, why we chose them, and how we grouped them.

Also...we're offering two events to lead-up to the festival!

On Sunday, March 25th we are partnering with the Disposable Film Festival in their latest class of "Disposable Film 101". This class will have a fashion focus, and we'll talk about ways to make engaging and fun fashion shorts.

On Friday, April 6th, yours truly will be introducing a rare French film from Jacques Becker entitled Falbalas at the de Young Museum as part of its Friday Nights at the de Young. The de Young's highly anticipated exhibition Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk opens on March 23rd, and the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival is pleased to be partnering with the museum to support this exhibition.

Falbalas was made in 1945 in Paris just after the end of World War II. It tells the fictional story of a couturier, and shows the most realistic view of a Parisian couture house of the era on film. When Jean Paul Gaultier saw this film as a young man, it was what prompted him to become a designer...

For more details and information, please visit the "Schedule" page of our website...in fact, just visit our website - it will tell you absoltuely everything you want to know! http://fashfilmfest.org

Looking forward to seeing everyone in April - please say introduce yourself and say hello!

SF Fashion Film Festival poster by Alice Lam.

Thursday
Jan192012

Influences: Last Year at Marienbad

 Two posters for Last Year at Marienbad, 1961

As we approach the final list of films for the FashFilmFest, I’ve been screening and re-screening a number of different films to hopefully narrow some selections. One film I’ve always had in mind is Alain Resnais’ 1961 film, Last Year at Marienbad. It’s under consideration, but I’m hesitant. Certain films you love without question; this is a film I’m always forced to question. What is happening here? Do I understand anything that’s happening? What is this place? Why am I so uncomfortable? Do I even like it? When it comes to Last Year at Marienbad, at any given time the answer could be either yes or no. Even when considering writing about this film (which I have many times in the past) I've also hesitated. Is there anything new to say that hasn't already been said? Perhaps not, but I can still state the facts of this film as a significant influencer of style, film, and fashion.

Delphine Seyrig in Chanel in Last Year at Marienbad

One of the more obscure French New Wave films of the early 1960s, Last Year at Marienbad has none of the color or humor of a Godard film, nor the youthful angst of a Truffaut, but it’s a film that designers and cinemaphiles come back to again and again for its style and unconventional narrative. It’s lengthy hallway shots, endless interiors, strange landscapes, and languorous story line have influenced everyone from Stanly Kubrick (especially in The Shining) to David Lynch (especially in Inland Empire). Peter Greenaway cites Marienbad as the film that had the most important influence on his body of work. In the fashion world, everyone from Marc Jacobs to Diane von Furstenberg have expressed their love of film, and as recently as Spring 2011, Karl Lagerfeld used the film as the theme for his collection for Chanel.

For his Spring 2011 show, Karl Lagerfeld re-created the black & white gardens of Last Year at Marienbad in the Grand Palais, Paris.

Stella Tennant in Chanel, Spring 2011. Inspired by Last Year at Marienbad. (Image from Style.com)

Of course this is fitting because it was Mademoiselle Chanel who dressed Delphine Seyrig in the character of the woman, apart from two feathered gowns by production designer Bernard Evein. The clothing is impeccable. Alternating between light and dark, the dresses are either ephemeral or funereal. Resnais looked to the style of Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst’s 1929 film Pandora’s Box for the woman, and even sought a special “silent film” film stock from Kodak in order to enchance the look of 1920s silent cinema. The look of the 1920s mixes well with the contemporary 1960s (both heydays of Chanel), or the 1960s looks are suited to the 1920s – either way, the seamless transition between eras creates some of the disorientation.

The famous mirror shot from Last Year at Marienbad.

Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box.

When re-watching this film, I gave myself over to the uneasiness that begins almost immediately. The whining organ music, empty hallways, sonorous voice-overs that fade in and out – the effect is like being drawn into someone nightmare from moment one, and in moment two you’re already looking for a way to wake up. The setting is elaborate and labyrinthine and the people posed here and there make them seem like bas relief figures on the side of a temple. People are silent or intensely focused, gossiping or watching. There seems to be a love triangle, but no one's actually very loving. There has always been a lot of discussion about a "rape" scene, and possibly a murder, but it's still difficult to tell what's really happening between the three main characters. Everyone else is socializing but no one’s really interacting. Drinks are imbibed, games are played, but it all has a menacing quality to it. There seems to be a lot of money around, but no one is happy and everyone is bored. Indeed, Last Year at Marienbad has been called one of the “most boring films ever made”, even as others hail it as a masterpiece for those very same reasons.

Seyrig in the white feather gown by Bernard Evein.

Carmen Kass in a blush-colored feathered dress from Chanel, Spring 2011. (Image from Style.com)

Beyond the time-warp-surrealist narrative and down-the-rabbit-hole-and-into-Hotel-California feel, this is a beautiful film to simply look at. Every frame is considered and composed, almost like paintings in their stillness and precision. A recent editorial spread by Outumuro in Spanish Marie Claire magazine capitalized on the look of Last Year at Marienbad in a gorgeous homage to the film. It's no stretch to see how the famous "broken shoe" scene translates to our modern love of footwear...

 

The famous "broken shoe" scene from Last Year at Marienbad, and...

...recreated in Spanish Marie Claire by Outumuro.

Outumuro images from Spanish Marie Claire from The Terrier and Lobster

I think it is this visual appeal that keeps drawing designers, photographers, art directors, and yes, film directors, back to Last Year at Marienbad. Strange and misunderstood, it’s confusing mix of narratives keep generations of people conjuring their own opinions, while its eternal Gothic style provides its own frisson that’s difficult to ignore…no matter how much you may want to.

So will it be showing at the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival? I'm still unsure. As much as it's influential and intriguing, my vote is still undecided.

Monday
Jan022012

Last Day to Support the SF Fashion Film Festival!

Marlene Dietrich in The Devil is a Woman, Paramount Pictures, 1935

If you were thinking of supporting the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival with a Kickstarter donation, now is the time to do it!!! There's about 40 hours left on our Kickstarter, which ends on January 4th!

Here's the link to the Kickstarter: San Francisco Fashion Film Festival

We have reached our initial goal of $6000, but we would like to make a little bit more so we can expand our festival and bring in some truly fabulous events, panels, lectures, and surprises!

ALSO, be sure to follow the Film Festival here:

Twitter: @fashfilmfest

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FashFilmFest

Tumblr: http://fashfilmfest.tumblr.com/

We're really working hard to find some amazing images and anecdotes for the Tumblr, appropriately entitled P.O.V., so please be sure to follow us!

Norma Shearer in a fitting with designer Adrian and an assistant, 1930s.

Monday
Dec122011

San Francisco Fashion Film Festival

Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl, MGM 1941

"I remember Ziegfeld Girl...Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Jimmy Stewart... You know for me, a young guy of 13, to see this sort of beauty. I think from that moment I decide: I want to create clothes for ladies." -Valentino Garavani in Valentino: The Last Emperor

As some of you may already know, I'm working with Kim of J'Adore Couture and Adelle of FashionistaLab to put together the first annual San Francisco Fashion Film Festival! We have been working on this for weeks, sorting out the venue, film permissions, and other logistics. We have lots of ideas of talks and panels, not to mention the possible special guest!

We don't have a final list of titles yet, but we will be screening films from the indie sector, documentaries, and yes, feature films too. We have a short list of what we'd like to show, but I'm sure there will be a lot of discussion before we come to any final selections. What I can tell you is that the titles may be surprising and unexpected. We want this festival to dig deeper and explore all different aspects of design on film, not just the usual Audrey Hepburn films, for lack of a better example. Not that there's anything wrong with those (we love Audrey!), but we just want to offer something different and more exciting than what's been done before.

What are the films that fashion designers watch over and over again? What films are referenced on the runway and why? How have filmmakers celebrated fashion in their work? What films tell the stories of the creative powerhouses that define our trends, our style, our culture? These are the questions we want to explore at the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival.

Are you a filmmaker? Do you have a film that would be a good fit for our festival? Please visit our site to make a submission!

How can you help? Please visit our Kickstarter page and make a donation, however big or small. We have a number of fabulous rewards on offer, but the main reward will be getting the festival to happen! We can't do that without your fundraising support.

Follow us on Twitter: @fashfilmfest, and on Facebook: http://facebook.com/FashFilmFest, and visit our website to see our blog and read all about us! http://www.fashfilmfest.org.

Image from Doctor Macro.

Thursday
Dec012011

Oh Hi Matchbook Mag!

I'm THRILLED to announce to everyone that I have a feature story in this month's Matchbook Magazine which went live this mornng! My piece entitled "Frocks on Film" talks about my favorite party dresses from the movies. By some sort of wonderful poeticism, the cover feature is on Janie Bryant - the incredible costume designer behind Mad Men. There are also beautiful articles on the unsinkable Molly Brown, Dick Avedon, and the Assoulines, as well as truly inspired gift wrap ideas, gift suggestions, and festive tidbits throughout. Every page is a beauty, and I'm so tickled pink to be a part of it! Wow!

Visit Matchbook Magazine online!

Special thanks to the wonderful Katie Armour for letting me ply her with Blue Bottle coffee & toast and letting me convince her that this story contribution would work! Huge gratitude.

Of course, this whole article leads to a big announcement about the upcoming San Francisco Fashion Film Festival which I'm working on with Adelle from FashionistaLab and Kim from J'Adore Couture. More details are coming on Monday, but in the meantime, you can check us out at fashfilmfest.org!