I swear I’m not Prada-crazy. But it just so happens that they do a lot of things that I am interested in, and they do so in ways that are interesting/novel enough that I feel like mentioning it here. Last year, they started this series of short movies called Women’s Tales. The series was introduced as chronicling the love affair between women and the label, but it pretty quickly turned into something more. In the first episode directed by Zoe Cassavetes (daughter of John, sister of Nick, etc) the action takes place in a powder room: a place that essentially forbidden to non-performers, where women change from their daily (i.e. dirty, private, unmentionable) selves to their nightly (i.e. clean, public, dazzling) selves. When it put it like this, it’s a bit literal. Sure.
The following episode, directed by Argentine newcomer Lucrecia Martel took place on a boat: the ladies, faceless, fought. Crawling out of cramped spaces, spraying one another for bugs, drinking gooey poisonous stuff… Disappearing from view when they take their clothes off. Then it was Giada Colagrande’s turn to show Au Revoir Simone as a witchy triumfeminate whose obsession for appeal turns one of them into an actual object of lust. Fast forward to the latest installment, directed by Ava DuVernay, featuring Gabrielle Union and Alfre Woodard. This one gives a brand new dimension to the series, as Gabrielle Union fights back: she refuses to leave her couch and her red robe. It takes Emayatzy Corinealdi (Duvernay’s current muse) to physically yank her out of her house, put some clothes on and have some fun.
It’s a pretty ordinary story. One we can all relate to. Most importantly, it’s a very advanced social commentary about self-identification that goes a lot further than portraying the ordinary: the clothing, the outer shell that we comform ourselves to, has little or no bearing on way we self-identify. Because it can be shedded in the blink of an eye, and modified at will to reflect what it is we are committing to in the moment. There is no one-size-fits-all remedy for our social misshaps, rather it’s the very process of self-transforming that might be the key. Not what we changed from, or what we changed into. Contained in this five minute promotional clip is an oustanding statement on shared practices and emergence that would never in a million years be allowed to put on TV. Good thing the internet is there to share these things.- Gnou