Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Women Fashion Power at Design Museum, London

The Women Fashion Power exhibition at London's Design Museum isn't strictly about film. In fact, it's not really about film at all. What it does concern though is perhaps the very quintessence of this blog: the power that what we wear has over the identity that we construct towards the outside world.

As a fashion lover and, well, a woman, this exhibition practically screamed out my name and I ran there as fast as my heels would carry me. Anything that takes preconceived notions and gender stereotypes and turns them on their head is an immediate hit with me. And Women Fashion Power does just that.

Fashion, of course, is seen as a frivolous pursuit; a shallow hobby to occupy shallow minds. Yet Women Fashion Power takes this notion and throws it back in the world's face. 

The first sight you're hit with upon entering the exhibition is 'The Corridor of Power', a portrait wall of history's most influential women from Hillary Clinton to Queen Elizabeth I, Boudicca to Joan of Arc, exploring the clothing choices of each. Yes, powerful, intelligent, successful women and women who enjoy fashion are not mutually exclusive beings. Shocking.

Delving deeper, the exhibition looks back on women's fashion throughout time, intertwining sartorial evolution with the development of historic events. The suffragette movement saw freedom from the corset, a physical change representing a deeply societal one. The female-empowering '60s brought us the now iconic mini skirt, allowing women more freedom from convention than ever before. Peppered with historic pieces and relics from women's struggle, this is a particularly poignant part of the exhibition.

The third section - 'The Arena of Power' - showcases iconic outfits donated by 26 influential women from all walks of life. These women are CEOs, Dames, politicians and lawyers. These women are models, artists, princesses and entrepreneurs. These women are successful in their own right. They use their personality to define fashion, but fashion does not define their personality. And that, readers, that is the way it should always be.

Check it out for yourself here.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The perfectionist inside of me (the one that alphabetises my DVD collection and colour coordinates the apps on my iPhone) is a huge fan of everything that Wes Anderson touches. The idiosyncrasies in his colour palettes and trademark fonts, his wonderfully symmetric shot compositions, his quirky use of anamorphic format, you can spot a Wes Anderson film a mile off. However, visual vocabulary does not an auteur make, oh no; the whimsical enchantment and madcap characters are all equally part of the distinct, the singular, the recognisable. His latest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel, isn't released until Spring but I stumbled across this trailer and stumbled back into love. As a side note, it looks like he's mixing it up with his aspect ratios and using 1.33, which to me makes it look a bit like a Wes Anderson film meets Instagram (yes I know Instagram isn't actually 1.33). In other words though: excellent.