Fashion Is History

2016 | Wearing Time, Miami

Thursday 28th January 19:00

Talk & shorts c. 75 mins

An introduction to the festival by Kate Sinclair is followed by a program of shorts by contemporary artists, animators, and image-makers along with historical trick and fashion films. 

Together the films in this program offer contrasting perspectives through which to explore fashion’s relation to the past. The early films exemplify the “fashion across the ages” format, common in silent cinema around 1910, itself derived from the popular theatrical form of the historical pageant. A perfect excuse to reanimate picturesque costumes, these tourist-like excursions into fashion’s bygone days present history as a highly compressed succession of the most emblematic styles and typically end with a triumphant – though sometimes humorous – apotheosis in modernday dress. Such a logic of validating the present through the past runs through Marcel L’Herbier’s promotional film Dreamed Fashion (La mode rêvée), a fantasy that imagines contemporary haute couture as a descendant, and update, of glorious eighteenth-century dress. If the idea of progression underlines much of the early films, it is then elegantly dismantled in Lernert & Sander’s Last Season, a commentary on fashion’s merciless quest for newness delivered in the duo’s characteristically pithy and deadpan style. Bárta’s Vanished World of Gloves is a playful excavation of a twentieth-century history of the world, of cinema, and of gloves that ends in a throbbing, post-apocalyptic world. And Jessica Mitrani’s Traveling Lady combines animation with live action to conjure the daring spirit of journalist Nelly Bly, who voyaged around the world with little more than her clothes and a pot of anti-aging cream.

Screenings and talks are complimentary and take place at Fashion Project, Bal Harbour Shops, Level 3.

For questions contact or 786.245.2200.