“Miuccia Prada seems to have retained adolescence. Her collections say: I’m strong and wise but I can joke and appreciate youth.” We talk to Alice Rohrwacher, the director of Miu Miu’s ninth Women’s Tales short.
“The dress is fished from the ocean, fresh as a newborn baby.”
Why won’t you let your sweater go? It’s falling apart, but it’s part of you! It has witnessed your failures, guided your conquests and comforted you through cyber-bullying. You love it like a friend; even if it’s from GAP. Hold onto clothes you’ve truly loved and give away those that were flings. Some clothes are lost, at parties and Laundromats, but only because they chose to be. Socks are the most likely to flee. Don’t take it personally, you just weren’t right for them. But, where did they go?
In a private club on the last eve of New York Fashion Week, Miu Miu premiered “De Djess.” Number Nine in their Women’s Tales series, the film’s screening party was indulgent and spooky; like a fairy tale by Alice Rohrwacher.
Alice is the latest director called to create a Women’s Tales short. Her sister, Alba Rohrwacher, plays a lead role in it. “We fight all the time, but that makes it easier to communicate. We can say anything.” Anything, including a fake language which Alice invented for the script. “I don’t understand many other languages. I travel a lot and I often find myself in situations where I don’t speak the language around me. It was easy for this reason to invent a new language. I wanted to represent the point of view of the dress, confused by her surroundings.”
The Miu Miu dress is the protagonist—I mean, princess—of this tale. “I wanted to simply recall a little love story. A dress comes into the world, falls in love with a beautiful woman who doesn’t want her, wants to go into a wardrobe where everyone refuses her, then finally finds true love.” It’s good to know that someone else realises the people who often have the most beautiful clothes don’t deserve or appreciate them! Celebrity culture and Italian drama queens are main themes in this film. Alice mixes satirical humour with her delicate, feminine touch. I don’t mean ‘feminine’ as in, ‘girly.’ I mean, Alice explores the deep subtleties within women that most filmmakers neglect. “I don’t feel obligated to address feminine issues as a female director. I feel responsible to do so as a human being.”
The princess dress and the rest of Miu Miu’s Spring 2015 collection serve as key roles in the film. They’re alive because they live with us. Fashion has a profound affect on us, especially women. Dressing allows us to express and empower ourselves but we shouldn’t forget that it has just the power to hold us back. “Fashion and femininity need a balance. The screw shouldn’t be too tight or too loose.” Alice loves that Prada and Miu Miu have a strong image that allow both sophistication and naivety. “Miuccia Prada seems to have retained adolescence. Her collections say: I’m strong and wise but I can joke and appreciate youth.”
Despite the aid of free champagne, Alice admits that screenings still make her nervous. When she was starting out, certain career steps seemed too daunting to handle. “When I was pregnant with my daughter, I thought, it’s impossible. Something so big can’t come out of such a small hole. The math doesn’t make sense. At that moment you panic and you want to go back in time, to keep it from happening. In this industry, I’ve entered rooms thinking, “what have I done?” and wanted to turn around. But, I’m a daughter. And I have a daughter. And the things we’re doing, someone has done before. And it’s important to remember that.”
As most fairy tales, “De Djess” has a happy ending. The paparazzi, waiting anxiously in a hotel lobby for the drama queen in her dress, fail to photograph the true love who ends up wearing it.
“There are some things you can’t capture.”
You can’t capture everything on film, but this one comes close.
Words: Tea Hacic-Vlahovic.