Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Image VIA

As part of this year's Melbourne Spring Fashion Week (MSFW), the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is screening a series of fashion films. As stated in their press release, this season's films will 'focus on British fashion makers and icons and their influence on the international stage.'

The following films are showing:

In celebration of American Vogue’s 120th anniversary, IN VOGUE: THE EDITOR'S EYE, a HBO production, explores how images, styles and trends are cultivated through the eye of the fashion editor. Featuring interviews with makers of some of the best remembered photos, you hear from Babs Simpson who shot Marilyn Monroe, reminiscing how Marilyn’s iced water was actually iced vodka, and we hear from Vera Wang who was a fashion editor atVogue for 10 years, beginning her career as an assistant to the formidable Polly Mellen during the 1970s. It is interesting to note as Tonne Goodman, Fashion Director reminds us “Don’t forget a lot of the editors at Vogue are British” bringing an English sensibility and curatorial eye to the pages.

And many an English icon has been in front of the Vogue lens. For example, it was Polly Mellon who did the first US Vogue shoot in 1967 of British icon Twiggy. It all began when Twiggy, aka Lesley Hornby, was photographed by photographer Barry Lategan for a hairdresser in Mayfair, London, who was experimenting with a new type of hair cut. With the images hung in the window of his salon, it was the Daily Express fashion writer that declared Twiggy ‘The Face of ‘66’. From there, a style was set; mini-skirts, short hair, large eyes, and interviews on Parkinson. Philip Priestley’s documentary TWIGGY: THE FACE OF '66 looks at the phenomenon of Twiggy, Carnaby Street and the English fashion scene of the post WWII era.

Looking more closely at Carnaby Street and the hotbed of creativity it fostered, is BRITISH STYLE GENIUS: BREAKING THE RULES - FASHION REBEL LOOK. Vivienne Westwood emerged around the same time as Twiggy – looking to create a difference within the fashion vernacular and at the same time looking to espouse a political standpoint. Her partner at the time, Malcolm McLaren, teamed with her to push the envelope of what was possible in fashion. She paved the way for expression of individualism and a new era of catwalk shows evolved. This film looks at her journey, and also how this has influenced other designers and their dialogue with the boundaries of fashion.

Rounding out the season is the 2011 documentary PAUL SMITH, GENTLEMAN DESIGNER by Stéphane Carrel. Like Westwood, Smith was not formally trained in clothing design, however, he has made a name for himself as a tailor of fine menswear with a difference. A flourish that allows a man to include whimsy and personality in his business attire; floral lining in a suit, stripes meeting each other at the cuff at 45 degrees, the showcase of socks, shoes and raised trouser hems.

All four films will screen at ACMI from Saturday 31 August through to Saturday 7 September to coincide with Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. 

For more information, session times and tickets, visit
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