2016 | Wearing Time, Miami

28 – 31 January 2016

Bal Harbour Shops, Miami

Wearing Time: Returns, Recalls, Renewals

The four-day festival program, co-curated by Tom Gunning and Marketa Uhlirova, explores how film and fashion together evoke and reflect on the past, and its connections with the present, and future.

The diverse historical and contemporary films include commercial cinema features, documentaries, artists’ films, newsreel items, and fashion films. The festival asks what concrete manifestations of time fashion and clothing enable: What kind of chronologies and histories? Origins and memories? Echoes and shadows? Projections, visions, or premonitions?

Few things indicate the past as immediately as styles of dress. Period films are often referred to as “costume dramas” for this reason. As well as designating the past, clothing also marks the periods and stages of individual lives. Narratives of aging and rejuvenation depend on convincing changes in fashions, hair, and make-up. The opening of an old closet arouses nostalgia and feelings of loss for the body that inhabited the now-empty clothes. There is something uncanny about rediscovering an old familiar dress and indeed, it can awaken ghosts and revenants that return to haunt the living.

Clothes can also signal different times of day and rituals that accompany these. As a major source of visual spectacle, Hollywood films in the studio era often announced the number of costume changes a leading lady would go through. Not only can dress become a vehicle with which to travel through time, is can also measure time; it allows us to wear time, even as time wears us out.

From the earliest trick films to the dance numbers of contemporary Bollywood films, cinema can magically make clothing transform, appear, and disappear – but also, importantly, re-appear. Fashion in film has always been an important sign-posting device, deployed in multiple ways: to guide the viewer through time; to confuse, deceive, and disorient; or even to dress the wounds of time.



Tom Gunning is Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College Classics at University of Chicago. He has written extensively on problems of early and silent film, American avant-garde cinema and Hollywood film.

Marketa Uhlirova is Director of Fashion in Film, a research and exhibitions project based at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.

Kate Sinclair is Research and Production Assistant at Fashion in Film and a freelance stylist with past clients including Vanity Fair and The Sunday Times Style.

Anupama Kapse is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Queens College, CUNY. Her
specializations include silent cinema, comparative historiography, theories of
film, melodrama, spectatorship and star studies.



Fashion Project

Bal Harbour Shops

9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, FL




For press and any other information about the festival please contact Kate Sinclair -  k.sinclair@csm.arts.ac.uk



The festival is presented in collaboration with Miami International Film Festival, Lowe Art Museum, and Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives. The screening room is designed by Tui Pranich and Tui Lifestyle.

Organised by Kate Sinclair at Fashion in Film, and Cathy Leff and Alessandra Grignaschi at Fashion Project, the festival is generously sponsored by Bal Harbour Shops and Whitman Family Development. With grateful thanks to all individuals and organizations that made this program possible: Agnès Bertola at Gaumont Pathé archives; Zoran Sinobad at the Library of Congress; Cheryl Stephenson at Bal Harbour Shops; Judith Clark, James Hennessy, Samantha Traeger, Luisa Jimenez, Alejandra Zamparelli, and Andrea Gollin at Fashion Project; Tui Pranich and Kathleen Taylor of Tui Lifestyle; Rene Ramos at Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives; Jill Deupi and Susanne Haase at Lowe Art Museum; Jaie Laplante and Sarah Roffman at Miami International Film Festival; Michael Plunkett and Margaret Zwilling at Metro Pictures; Annette W at Studio Michelle Handelman; Tiffany Greenwood at Swank Motion Pictures; Ondřej Beck at Krátký Film Praha; Ben Crossley-Marra at Janus Films; Nathan Faustyn at Strand Releasing; Dave Franklin at Rialto Pictures; John Klacsmann at Anthology Film Archives; Lynn Wu at Public Television Service; Maria Bergenman at SVT; John McKnight at BFI; and Charlie Smith at Charlie Smith Design.



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Themes and Events

Costume Changes

Sunday 31 January 17:30

Total running time c.97 mins

This program pairs Cindy Sherman’s kooky short film Doll Clothes with Maysles brothers’ bewitching documentary Grey Gardens, both made / released in 1975.

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Resurrecting and Re-editing the Cinema Diva

Sunday 31 January 16:00

Total running time c. 55min

Introduced by Tom Gunning.

Featuring Joseph Cornell’s avant-garde classic Rose Hobart and Michelle Handelman’s Irma Vep, the Last Breath, a contemporary re-imagining of Louis Feuillade’s silent film serial Les Vampires.

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My Fancy High Heels

Sunday 31 January 14:30

c. 55 mins

My Fancy High Heels is an experimental documentary that traces fashion to its materials, and through the production chain, revealing the troubling process that haunts the latest trends.

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Lola Montes

Saturday 30 January 20:15

c. 116 mins

The final film by director Max Ophüls presents the life of the scandalous nineteenth-century courtesan Lola Montes as it might have been presented by a circus manager like P.T. Barnum.

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Fashion Time – Film Time: A Conversation with Tom Gunning & Marketa Uhlirova

Saturday 30 January 18:45

c. 60 mins

Festival co-curators Tom Gunning and Marketa Uhlirova in conversation.

Join the festival co-curators, film historian Tom Gunning and fashion historian Marketa Uhlirova in a discussion of how dress helps articulate filmic time.

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Tony Takitani

Saturday 30 January 13:30

c. 105 mins

Introduced by Kate Sinclair.

Eiko’s obsession with designer clothes and accessories is so powerful that it ends up consuming her and even threatens to outlive her.

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Om Shanti Om

Friday 29th January 19:30

c.162 mins

Introduced by Anupama Kapse.

A story of revenge and reincarnation, in which Om and Shanti must find each other by decoding clues left behind by their onscreen doubles.

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Thursday 28 January 20:45

c. 129 mins

Although a critical and box office flop when released, through the years Hitchcock’s complex erotic thriller about the death of love and its possible return has gained an enthralled audience.

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Fashion Is History

Thursday 28 January 19:00

Talk & shorts c. 75 mins

An introduction to the festival by Kate Sinclair is followed by a program of shorts which together offer a set of contrasting perspectives through which to explore fashion’s relation to the past.

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