Venice Film Festival 2017: When fashion designers turn to film

12/set/2017 07:51:57 charlotteone Contatta l'autore

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Venice Film Festival 2017: When fashion designers turn to film

The fashion industry has often proven fertile ground for dramatic and comedic movies, from "Funny Face" and "Blow-Up" to "Zoolander" and "The Devil Wears Prada."

But while the worlds of film and fashion feel like natural bedfellows, crossing between them can be a high-stakes gamble.

This year's Venice Film Festival sees the latest attempt to do just that, with fashion designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy showing their directorial debut, "Woodshock." The film marks a first major creative shift for the sisters behind the high-fashion label Rodarte.

A trippy psychological noir, "Woodshock" looks very much the way their fashion design feels.

"Our jobs as (fashion) designers is to make people believe in an idea that they might not know already," said Laura while speaking over the phone from Venice. "For Rodarte, we've always cared about the juxtaposition of darkness and beauty. Hopefully an audience will get that from our film too."Some fashion designers' creations are so bound up with particular films, they feel almost like homages. It is virtually impossible, for instance, to imagine how Tom Ford would design clothes if he'd never been privy to the slick sex appeal of "American Gigolo."

And, in many ways, Ford is the Mulleavy sisters' most obvious forebear. He has set a bold precedent. The former Gucci and YSL designer's debut was based on Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel, "A Single Man."

In his follow-up movie, "Nocturnal Animals," Ford crystalized a new aesthetic -- high-gloss intensity set against a violent and unsettling storyline.

"Woodshock" is a cerebral proposition, starring "Game of Thrones" actor Pilou Asbæk and longtime Rodarte collaborator Kristen Dunst.

In fashion, as in film, Laura and Kate are a complicated -- and often acquired -- taste. But, if bought into, they leave a lasting impression.

"The film artistically represents what we wanted to make," says Laura. "For first-time film directors, that's a really big honor and achievement. It really represents us. That belief in our vision is something that I really carried forward (from my time) working as a CEO and creative director."

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