This is the latest fashion film from Rodarte, The Curve of Forgotten Things, starring Elle Fanning and featuring their Spring/Summer 2011 collection. I just watched it and it sort of overwhelmed me; like hearing a song that reflects your own personal experiences only with better phrasing than you could ever come up with, I finished this film feeling like it was made just for me.
I wasn't as impressed by this collection as I had been by their previous showings. It felt too toned down, lacking those fantasy elements that had so captured me these last few years in their work. This film, though, both helped me understand the collection itself and also gave additional context for their work as a whole.
Since I was a kid I've been fascinated by themes of isolation and discovery, and a lifetime of mulling these things over made this film feel like it took my place in my own head.
It also tied the collection into past collections for me. Autumn 2010, inspired by factory workers in Juarez waking up early and getting dressed in the dark before walking alone to work. Spring 2010, with its menacing, post-apocalyptic feel. Spring 2009, where dresses were stripped down to the skeletons, held together with chains exposing leather ribcages. Fall 2008, with its Japanese horror inspirations. These are lonely collections: the loneliness of waking up and walking alone in the dark, being left alive in a ruined world, reduced to bones pinned and snapped together, blood and helplessness and being ripped open.
I didn't feel any of that with this collection, not until I saw it in the context of this film laid out bare: finding things in the dirt that you can't share with anybody, empty houses you wander through alone, sunshine and no spaces in time, just lapses between movements before you disappear into gold light.
Here I finally saw what nagged at me about the blue and white looks: they're like bits of broken china, piled up or put back together. Broken chunks of wood from an abandoned house. Stiched together bits of upholstery, the remains of old couches, curtains, the comforts of an ordinary life. Golds and browns of a California landscape, so empty that all you can is become a part of it.
screencaps by me
I'd love to hear everyone else's thoughts on this!