Ooh la la and the art of dressing up

Gideon Koppel

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


Drawing on the relatively meagre serious literature on fashion,
including Ulrich Lehmann's 'Tigersprung: Fashion in Modernity' and
Townsend's 'Rapture: Art's Seduction by Fashion Since 1970' (output 1)
this film deliberately uses a multi-media format where the currency of
the text is the very imagery that constitutes fashion. Fashion designers
and their investors are notoriously protective of their brands,
allowing them to control all mediation and criticism of their work. Koppel exceptionally gained a unique access to fashion designer Julien
Macdonald and the LVMH fashion house 'Givenchy' to explore the inner workings of couture fashion.

This documentary uses a character driven narrative as a deliberately
experimental attempt to expose the psychopathology of fashion and the
culture of celebrity rather than illustrating it. The language of the
film is largely visual and the voice is singular - there are no external
commentators. This an intentional construct to allow the psychopathology
to be discovered by the audience, rather than formed explanation and
argument as found in a written text. This approach was very much influenced
by the Direct Cinema of Pennebaker and Wiseman. The material was
sculpted in the editing process to generate a narrative with a Faustian
quality. The aesthetic of the film was developed to evoke fashion's
visual eclecticism, creating a textual bricolage from three different
formats - super 16mm film, super 8mm film and digital video.

BBC Wales never broadcast the film for reasons that were never
explained, though their communications implied that they were expecting
a film which celebrated the world of celebrity and fashion rather than
one which asked questions about it. The film was premiered at Sheffield
International Documentary Film Festival 2004.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSheffield International Documentary Film Festival
PublisherBritish Broadcasting Corporation
Media of outputFilm
Size57 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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