Fashion at the Glasgow Film Festival

Go behind-the-scenes of the catwalk, visit the world's most fashionable prison, and get up close and personal with supermodels, as The Skinny takes a look at the fashion highlights of the upcoming Glasgow Film Festival

Preview by Nadine Walker and Alexandra Fiddes | 01 Feb 2013

Glasgow Film Festival, the fastest-growing and third-biggest film event in the country, is back for its 9th year with a programme of screenings and events that is bursting at the seams! We cast our eye over the fashion strand of GFF and investigate its celebration of countercultures, style icons and trendsetters, as well as looking at the live-events that showcase emerging talent.

When it comes to fashion; sewing machines, mood boards and maximum-security prisons, wardens and gangs don’t ordinarily go hand-in-hand... but in the largest jail of its kind in the Philippines (New Bilibid in Muntinlupa City), Fashion designer Puey Quinones is promoting creativity and a love of design. As part of the GFF, Glasgow’s CCA will show The World’s Most Fashionable Prison (16 Feb) which takes a unique look at fashion design in one of the most obscure places.

The renowned Pilipino fashion designer (and son of a retired policeman), Quinones holds weekly workshops for around 30 inmates, teaching participants to sew, work with fabrics and turn their concept into a finished product. The ultimate aim is to stage a fashion show from start to finish which will be judged by professionals of the Philippine fashion industry. The film directed by CK Mak, portrays the trials and tribulations of living in a grim and depressing setting, where fashion provides a touching juxtaposition to such a harsh reality, and is sure to be a great addition to the Fashion in Film strand of the festival.

Additionally, as part of The World’s Most Fashionable Prison event, Eco Chic, an Impact Arts employability initiative, will set up a Pop-Up Shop following the film screening and will also showcase a range of up-cycling workshops. The shop, based in Glasgow’s Merchant city area, helps provide exciting ways to produce and re-create fashion.

About Face: Supermodels Then and Now (18 Feb) examines the lives of some of the fashion world's most famous models, highlighting the complicated relationship between appearance and the beauty industry. During the film, when asked if she has had plastic surgery, 81-year-old supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice, who is still working in the business 65 years after the first camera flash captured her beautiful face, replies, "If you had the ceiling falling down in your living room, would you not go and have a repair?" And when a beautiful face is your living, is it imperative to have plastic surgery to maintain that? 

By talking with the original supermodels including Carmen DellOrefice, Paulina Porizkova, Isabella Rossellini, Bethann Hardison and Jerry Hall, this honest HBO documentary explores the roles they played in "defining and redefining beauty." Whilst also recalling the sometimes harrowing truth of the industry and of their supermodel stardom - the racism, the drugs, the misogyny. As well as the role they play in the industry now, whilst supposedly being 'past their prime.'

In short, the documentary offers a great opportunity to get an insight into the minds and feelings of some of the most influential players within the fashion industry. It's certainly sure to be interestingly dark and fabulously colourful!

Another Skinny fashion section festival highlight is sure to be SHOWStudio: Fashion In The Digital Age (22 Feb), where the head of Fashion Film at SHOWStudio, Marie Schuller joins GFF to talk about the changing face of fashion and its continuing relationship with film in this digital age.

Established in November of 2000 by photographer Nick Knight, the SHOWStudio website has consistently pushed the boundaries of online fashion communication. Working in conjunction with the latest technology, SHOWStudio broadcasts live catwalk shows and fashion shoots, giving never before seen access to the exclusive world of high fashion as it happens, allowing the public to not only see the creative process, but to "respond and contribute creatively, communicating and evaluating the results." SHOWStudio has worked with some of the most acclaimed names of contemporary fashion, such as Kate Moss, Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen and Comme des Garcons, as well as supporting new design talent such as Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon and Mary Katrantzou.

Since its beginning, SHOWstudio has worked with the world’s most in-demand writers and filmakers to create exceptional online content, exploring every aspect of fashion through moving image, illustration and photography and is now recognised as the foremost authority in the medium of fashion film. Using archive films from the SHOWStudio back catalogue, Marie Schuller's presentation will explore how film and ever-improving and changing technology is reshaping the fashion industry and the way we look at it.

Another one of the more interactive offerings from GFF this time is a Red Bull Catwalk Studio event. Red Bull Catwalk Studio is a unique project and launch pad where up-and-coming designers are partnered with 'soon to be musical sensations,' so both can push the boundaries of their creativity by producing a new soundtrack and film. On 23 Feb, Red Bull Catwalk Studio presents designer Alex Mattsson on the back of his recent sucess at the London Collections: Men AW13 in January.

Mattsson, the Swedish - Colombian menswear designer who is now based in the UK capital, will make the journey up-north to Glasgow's The Glue Factory to showcase his AW13 work alongside the film documenting his recent collaboration with New York rapper Zebra Katz. Expect to see garments with futuristic inspirations, oversized silhouettes, multi-layered looks and eye-popping digital prints. After the collection has been shown, Mattsson will take part in a Q&A session with the audience.

Thank you Glasgow Film Festival for a very promising (and fashion packed) programme indeed!

Glasgow Film Festival - CineSkinny microsite
The Skinny - Fashion section


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