Fashion and Film: Not Just Distant Cousins

Carne y Arena, Virtual reality exhibit @ Fondazione Prada, from June 7th

If there is a glamorous and enchanting place where the cinema struts as if on the runway, it is at legendary Cannes Film Festival. There, the most glorified fashion designers not only dress the stars to walk the legendary Red Carpet but also promote real, personal projects in cinematic collaboration, synergising with the Seventh Art. In this regard, the Prada Foundation presented one of the most stimulating contributions this year. At the 70th edition of the cinmatic Kermesse, the cultural body organized by Miuccia Prada, the foundation presented “Carne y Arena“, a virtual reality installation conceived by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, produced and supported by Legendary Entertainment and the Prada Foundation. Based on actual events, the project confuses and reinforces the subtle line between subject and audience, allowing visitors to walk in a vast space and intensely experience a fragment of the journey of a group of refuges. “Carne y Arena” uses the latest and most innovative never-before used virtual reality technology to create a large multi-narrative space that includes real characters. The visual, experimental installation, an individual experience lasting six and a half minutes is a collaboration between Alejandro G. Iñárritu and the three-time Oscar winning Emmanuel Lubezki, produced by Mary Parent and MxLAB. This project can also be experienced in Milan at the Prada Foundation, where from the beginning of June until January 15, 2018, the first virtual reality project ever included in an official selection of a film festival will be presented in its full version. We also we a strong blending of fashion and cinema surrounding the conversation about women’s issues: That’s precisely what the Kering Group has always done in Cannes. The multi-million Euro luxury conglomerate that owns brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta just to name a few, hosts Women in Motion, a program of initiatives, events and conferences that celebrate the relationship between women and film. During an exclusive gala on the Croisette, actress Isabelle Huppert was awarded the Women in Motion Award and director Maysaloun Hamoud was recognised with the Young Talents Award. Rounding out the examples are fashion houses that not only choose famous actresses as their brand ambassadors but also exercise their support for the talented filmmakers. That’s the case with Chanel. The maison on Rue Cambon, which even during Coco’s time supported art and artists, today chooses Alessandra Mastronardi as its Italian brand ambassador. It also has established a strong relationship with Kristen Stewart, linked to the brand since 2013, who not only stars in the current advertising campaign for the famous “Gabrielle” bag, but was also the star of Olivier Assayas’s’ “Personal Shopper” movie that won him the Golden Palm for Best Director at Cannes in 2016. In addition to providing financial support for the film distributed by Academy Two, the maison lent some wardrobe pieces and allowed the director to shoot scenes at Rue Cambon, which according to Assayas gave more credibility to the character Maureen, an American personal shopper who is also a medium and loves esotericism just as Gabrielle Chanel once did. The director himself also confesses not to be a stranger to world of fashion. “I’m the son of a costume designer,” says Assayas, and “I’ve always been interested in fashion, a means of expression which I perceive to contain truth and depth. Gabrielle Chanel was the first to understand how modern, stylish and serious women could be, and played an important role in the epoch turning point in society regarding the key role that women assume in this revolution.”

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