The Enigma of Fashion

2019 | Layering: Fashion, Art, Cinema

Saturday 9 March – 4:30 PM – Nite Owl Theater




Introduced by festival curator Marketa Uhlirova

The Enigma of Fashion features works by early film pioneers, artist and commercial as well as avant-garde filmmakers including Segundo de Chomón, Sonia Delaunay, Hans Richter, Lewis Klahr, Christine Noll Brinckmann, Jacques Baratier and Martin Creed. With an absence of – or disregard for – conventional storytelling, these films animate clothes, shop mannequins and magazine illustrations, allowing them to assume lives of their own and assert a powerful sense of their reality as material things. Here, clothing and artificial bodies are shown in the very physical processes of their creation or destruction, as well as rituals such as spinning, flying, folding and unfolding. They are removed, at least to a degree, from fashion’s social and cultural contexts that normally give them their purpose and meaning. With their functions suspended, they appear instead as dreamlike, playful and elusive, becoming potent carriers of fascination, desire, emotion and sensual pleasure.


Transformation (Métempsycose)

France 1907. Dir. Segundo de Chomón & Ferdinand Zecca for Pathé Frères.

Keller-Dorian: Film Gaufré (Sonia Delaunay)

France 1927. Dir. Unknown for Sonia Delaunay. With Sonia Delaunay.

Ghosts before Breakfast

Germany, 1927. Dir. Hans Richter. With Werner Graeff, Darius Milhaud, Willi Pferdekamp, Hans Richter.

The Future Eves 

France 1964. Dir. Jacques Baratier. English subtitles.


UK 2016. Dir. Martin Creed. With Martin Creed.

Warner Corset Advertisement

USA 1910s. Dir. Unknown for The Warner Brothers Company.

Tough Stockings

UK 1960. Dir. Unknown for British Pathé. With Maureen Pearson.

There Is a Garden in My Head

Netherlands 1987. Dir. Karin Wiertz & Jacques Verbeek.

Electric Jungle

UK 2013. Dir. Mat Maitland for Kenzo.


USA 1994. Dir. Lewis Klahr.

Dress Rehearsal & Karola 2

USA 1981. Dir. Christine Noll Brinckmann. With Karola Gramann.

Total Running Time: c. 68 min


For a Programme Note click here