I’m very happy to share the cover of my latest book, The Fashion of Film: How Cinema Inspired Fashion! Yes, that is indeed Jane Fonda reclining in characteristic cinematic style. Spanning over 100 years, 45 films and seven genres, The Fashion of Film looks at the close relationship between the history of cinema and the history of style, from the silver screen to the catwalk. I got to write about some of my favourite movie moments from Josephine Baker to Carmen Miranda, from early Westerns to German Expressionism and from Wong Kar Wai to John Waters.
Crime: Dressed to Kill investigates the darker side of human nature that has provided us with style-obsessed archetypes, from the noir detective to the femme fatale. The Musical: Spectacular Fashion looks at the lavish excess of this mid-century favourite and how it continues to inspire designers, while Historical Epic: Dressed to Excess shows that the distant past still has the power to inspire the future, especially when mediated through the glamour of the film lens. Horror: Supernatural Chic centres on the aesthetics of the paranormal, and how blood and monsters can provide unlikely inspiration for dress. Romantic Drama: Seductive Style concentrates on the role of love and heartbreak in adorning the body, while Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Bionic Bodies explores how our obsession with the future, or alternative realities, can shape the styles of the present. Finally Art House & Independent: Style with Substance focuses on films that are made outside the mainstream, shaped by an auteur, whose particular vision can provide rich pickings for the world of style.
The Fashion of Film is out on September 8th and is available to pre-order right now!
And in very fitting news (as I conducted a lot of my book research at the British Film Institute library), on August 6th you can find me hosting a discussion at the BFI about Punk visual style and culture with writer Paul Gorman, and Jordan Mooney who worked as a sales assistant at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shops at 430 King’s Road in the 1970s. The event is part of DJ/filmmaker Don Letts’ forthcoming Punk On Film season, and will be held after a screening of Julien Temple’s 2000 Sex Pistols documentary The Filth & The Fury. For more details, see Paul Gorman’s blog – and buy your tickets here!
Jordan Mooney in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee
IN OTHER NEWS…
I’ve had a busy few weeks which has included filming in Toronto and speaking in Moscow, as well as cracking on with my Radio 4 documentary. On top of that, you may have seen me on the latest series of BBC 2’s Great British Sewing Bee speaking about West African batik prints, and ski wear. If you’re quick, you can still catch them on BBC iPlayer here & here.
BBC 2’s Great British Sewing Bee
I also featured in Lucy Worsley’s latest documentary on BBC 4, chatting about French and English fashions of the 18th century. You can catch it on BBC iPlayer here.
BBC 4’s Lucy Worsley: Mozart’s London Odyssey
I took a brief filming trip to Toronto to feature in Cineflix Productions’ new show Style Factory that will air in Canada this autumn…
Filming for Style Factory in Toronto; interviewing Kerry Taylor for BBC Radio 4
… and following that I popped to Moscow to speak about Shakespeare’s influence on contemporary fashion for the Midsummer Nights Festival, part of Shakespeare Lives: the British Council’s global celebration of Shakespeare’s life and work to mark the 400th anniversary of his death.
Midsummer Nights Festival at the Muzeon Art Park, Moscow. Pictures by Darya Nikitina
Continuing the theme of men in tights, I was very excited to be asked to speak at Selfridges ‘Shakespeare ReFASHIONed’ launch. Following the 5×15 format, five speakers were given 15 minutes to talk about their area of expertise. And when the experts included Simon Callow, Zandra Rhodes, perfumer Roja Dove and poet James Massiah then it’s pretty good company to keep.
5×15 Talks for Selfridges’ Shakespeare reFASHIONed launch
I also talked to The Guardian about the rise and rise of vintage clothing, and I spoke to The Telegraph for the 70th birthday of the modern bikini – read more here and here.
The Guardian on the rise of vintage clothing
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The Fashion of Film is OUT ON SEPTEMBER 8th! More news on related events coming up shortly. Until next time! x