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As we stumble through another week of lockdown (in the UK at least) and restricted social lives everywhere, we wanted to share the books and films that keep the Selvedge team’s spirits up. Yesterday we offered our reading list and today we offer our watching list. We hope you enjoy these too and find something new and diverting. Let us know of any films or TV shows you think other textile lovers would enjoy via the comments.
Valentino, the Last Emperor (Pamela, Brand Collaborations). A 2008 documentary film about the life of Valentino Garavani. It was produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. The film is an exploration of the singular world of one of Italy's most famous men, Valentino Garavani.
True Cost (Laura, Features Editor). This 2015 documentary firmly knocks on the head any ideas one might have about the glamour of the fashion industry; fast fashion is a dirty business. A compelling and eye-opening watch, it's essential viewing for anyone who wants to understand more about the threads that bind fashion, big business and poverty. You'll never shop in the same way again.
The Dressmaker (Hester, Customer Service). Even if you're not into fabulous dresses, it's got Liam Hemsworth in it...so something for everyone. Kate Winslet is a fabulous dressmaker in this 2015 Australian revenge comedy-drama written and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by Rosalie Ham.
Belle (Ronja, Special Projects). Belle is a 2013 British period drama film directed by Amma Asante based loosely on real life events which took place in London's Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath.
BFI textile films collection (Polly, Founder). The BFI has a charming collection of short films (between 5-30 mins) mostly from the first half of the 20th century about the golden age of British textile manufacture. I love them for their period charm and the often quite low-tech processes that were used until relatively recently. Similar films can be viewed at www.britishpathe.com.
Moonrise Kingdom (Polly, Founder). There must be a Wes Anderson film on our list for the styling and the extraordinary quirky vision. I have long been fascinated by America; I love the way objects define personality and tell the story.
Phantom Thread (Kate, Blog Editor). A multi Oscar-winning gothic romance with Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread is set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London. Renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the centre of British fashion, running The House of Woodcock. Alma (Vicky Krieps) finds an unexpected way to keep Reynolds’ ego in check.
Yellow is Forbidden (Catherine, Events). Recognition from Paris’s Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture is considered the apex of the fashion industry, and Chinese designer Guo Pei is determined to reach it. This documentary follows Pei’s journey to acceptance. We featured Pei’s 2008 collection, An Amazing Journey in a Childhood Dream in Issue 91: Luxe.
Game of Thrones (Minna, Orders). If you haven’t watched it yet, there’s no better time to start an addictive series with 73 episodes and incredible costumes by Michele Clapton. The challenge may be to have escaped knowing the plot and ending already, as it’s such a giant of popular culture.
Image credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO.
The Vicar of Dibley, Series Two, Love and Marriage (Kate, Blog Editor). The 1990s Dawn French-led comedy is currently available on Netflix. This episode in particular is a joy of silliness and eccentric dressing. Watch for the planning of Alice’s wedding dress and a blouse made from upcycled curtains complete with sleeve pulleys.