Tuesday, 27 January 2009

dior on film

Christian Dior's enduring designs are showcased in Dior on Film

"Zest is the secret of all beauty. There is no beauty that is attractive without zest." - Christian Dior

This March screening as part of the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) brings you a very special film season highlighting fashion icon Christian Dior and the House of Dior. Elegant, layered and inspiring, Dior on Film celebrates the work and enduring influence of a fashion genius.

ACMI Film Programmer James Nolen has enthusiastically pulled together a program saluting on one of the Western world's most significant designers. He says that Dior epitomised the style of a bygone era and is credited with canonising it through fashion. "Christian Dior created a new market for couture after the Second World War. He brought back glamour to a fashion starved world. His designs revolutionised fashion and it is these designs which form the basis for the revival of Dior in the hands of John Galliano. After 60 years, Dior is one of the longest running couture houses," said James.

"And what better time to reflect on his work through these cinematic pieces than during Melbourne's own celebration of fashion, the L'Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival," he said. 

The program opens Thursday with the Australian Premiere of the latest documentary about the man himself by Phillipe Lanfranchi, Christian Dior: The Man Behind the Myth (2005). Between 1947 and 1957 while fabric was rationed in the wake of World War II, Paris was re-established as the capital of fashion by an unconventionally humble and soft spoken visionary. This film explores the texture of a legendary designer's life revealing an artist of great contradictions and simple yet diverse inspirations.

Paying homage to the mavericks that burst onto the scene in the last century, Breaking the Rules: Fashion Rebel Look (2008) will also have its Australian Premiere in this season and is a fascinating look at the unique and influential style of British fashion. This film charts the career of John Galliano, who gained the confidence to pursue his own aesthetic in a time when the queen of punk, Vivienne Westwood, had freshly paved the way.  Galliano's success led him to becoming the natural successor to Christian Dior. Go backstage with Galliano as he looks to London for inspiration: "It's unique. It's on the street. It's in the attitude". An interesting moment at the end of the film reveals why enfant terrible Alexander McQueen employs shock tactics in his spectacular catwalk shows. With their revolutionary techniques, these fashion rebels were at the forefront of design innovation and are still causing a stir today.

Widely regarded as one of his best works, Le Silence est d'Or (Silence Is Golden) (1946) marked Frenchman René Clair's long-awaited return to Paris. Set in the 1920s, just after Dior's favourite era of fashion (La Belle Epoque), the film is a quaint and beguiling fable of a Paris that never existed except, perhaps, in romantic dreams. In a largely comic performance, iconic French actor Maurice Chevalier brings a touch of sadness and humanity to his role of Emile Clément, a middle-aged filmmaker caught in a love triangle. Exquisite costumes designed by Dior are illuminated by the incandescent Parisian street lights in this nostalgic tale of a wistful movie director who yearns to 'gather the roses of life'.

Margy Kinmoth's The Secret World of Haute Couture (2006) will close the program with an edge. This documentary spotlights an anachronistic, fairytale world and its decadent decline. Take a sneak peak in the closets of an elite coterie of women. Many couture clients started their love affair with fashion with Dior and the label remains a wardrobe staple. Who are these women and how can they spend so much money on one dress? Baroness Hélène de Ludinghausen, who was for 31 years the directrice of Yves Saint Laurent, spills the beans about the subject no one ever mentions - how much these frocks actually cost.

Find out all about the world of Christian Dior and everything in the fashion world that has followed suit this March at ACMI.

Dior on Film: Thursday 12 March - Friday 20 March 2009.

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
[email] claire.butler@acmi.net.au  
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