Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Searching for...Halston or Lanvin

There's a frisson of glamour in the air in a gloomy and wintry London this week. Following hot on the heels of speculation about who may or may be designing the future Duchess of Albany's wedding dress comes the launch of H&M's collaboration with Lanvin plus also the European premiere of the film Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston.

With Lanvin perhaps the party-dress label du jour, it came as no surprise to see a queue of eager fashion fans outside H&M's Oxford Circus flagship in readiness to get their hands on a piece of Parisienne chic from such a fabled house. In researching in and around the uses of fashion film it is curious to note how H&M have picked up on creating a short film to promote their tie-up with Lanvin - viewable here:

Taking the Paris-chic theme to its extreme, the film is created in the image of Guy Bourdin, best known for his fashion spreads for French Vogue and advertising campaigns for shoe company Charles Jourdan. This can be read in one of two ways, either as an homage to the innovative work of Bourdin (who was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the V&A a few years ago), or perhaps as a pastiche, featuring Bourdin's evocative and mysterious women, dressed-to-the-nines, pursuing strange encounters in hotel rooms, with the odd French Maid-type slinking by with a pot of coffee. I'll leave it for you to decide...but for an original look at Bourdin's own experiments with film it's highly recommended to take a look at SHOWstudio's project which puts together several fragments that illuminate Bourdin's working processes as a highly accomplished fashion photographer.

In the same week we have the release of a feature film on another 1970s fashion stalwart (do we detect a trend in the air, happily coinciding with the 70s-esque S/S 11 trend for maxi-dresses, big hair and espadrilles?) that of Halston, the famed New York designer who dressed the best of the Studio 54 crowd and partied hard alongside them. Following on from other recent documentaries focusing on the fashion industry, such as the September Issue and Lagerfeld Confidential, it will be interesting to see how this new film adds to the developing genre of fashion documentaries and the fashion film genre as a whole, as well as seeing what kind of insight this film gives into the evocative world of a decadent period of the 1970s New York fashion scene.




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