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Monday, April 18, 2011

Fashion Film @ Style at Set

This Easter Weekend brings us chocolate binges and religious flagellation - but it also brings us the second ABSOLUT Style at Set, a weekend of fashion, fun, frolics and most importantly (for me anyway), FILM!

As a precursor to the stalls, workshops and talks, Friday is all about the fashion films. If you're in the area on Good Friday, I highly recommend you pop in and engage the stylish part of your brain. Plus, the pubs will be all be closed on Good Friday. And it's free. Now you have no excuse. Did I mention that it was free?

Mercifully, there's no Devil Wears Prada or Sex and the City in the line-up. Instead, the one film and three documentaries shown seem to follow a fairly loose theme: that of the thoughts and processes behind the finished products of fashion fantasy: magazines, photography, designer clothing and subculture. Altogether, it's a carefully chosen edit with something for everyone. Here's the running order.

4PM: Funny Face

It wouldn't be a fashion film fest without a bit of Audrey, and this is the perfect Hepburn movie to kick it off. Hepburn films are always stylish, but this has the added advantage of being set in the fashion industry, albeit one that involves a lot more singing and dancing when discussing spring trends than usual. It's an unconvincing love match between Hepburn and the by-then very creaky Fred Astaire (he also starred in the original musical version... in 1927) but that doesn't really matter when it's set in New York and Paris, has an amazing opening sequence with photos by Richard Avedon and the combined costuming efforts of Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy.

6pm: Annie Liebovitz: Life Through a Lens

If you don't know much about Annie Liebovitz, then this is a good place to start. This documentary was filmed by Liebovitz' younger sister, so there won't be any unpleasant revalations or smudges on her character or breaking down in floods of cathartic tears. This isn't about personality, it's about photography - so if you're a fan of Liebovitz' notoriously meticulous work and want to know more, or just want some inspiration of your own, watch this.

7.30 PM: Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton

This is the one film in the schedule that I don't know much about, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you a blurb instead. This documentary follows Marc Jacobs as he finishes a RTW collection for Louis Vuitton. In it, we see the mundanities of his everyday life, which contrast with the creative highs. There's also a wee bit of conflict - where does the line between creativity and being beholden to the chairman of the board lie?

9PM: Paris is Burning

Seminal drag documentary, Paris is Burning, was filmed in the recesses of Harlem dance halls before the area was gentrified. This isn't so much a fashion film as it is an ode to the transformative power of clothing (along with make up, some slick dance moves and the right 'tude). Equal parts funny, sad and fascinating, this is the one to watch.