Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk
My talk seeks to examine Miu Miu’s project ‘Women’s Tales’ (2012-ongoing), a series of fashion films that designer Miuccia Prada commissioned from international female directors, among them Lucrecia Martel, Ava Du Vernay, Agnès Varda and Alice Rohrwacher. By situating this endeavour in relation to authorship, female agency, creativity and consumerism, it will be argued that these fashion films attempt to go beyond predictable consumer narratives, and to skilfully convey and expose ideological contradictions typical of postfeminism. The short films of ‘Women’s Tales’ present a ‘postfeminist sensibility’ (Gill, 2007), celebrating feminine bonds and showing women who rely upon one another. They proclaim that women can gain empowerment through individualism and consumerism and that luxury fashion can become a tool to achieve power and pleasure. Although these fashion films occasionally contain some critical potential with their ambivalence and ironic contradiction typical of postfeminist media texts, they also fail to challenge existing paradigm associated with the rhetoric of fashion. Here, I question the postfeminist ethos that ‘Women’s Tales’ espouse, claiming that through their in-between status (in-between advertisement and art, film and new media, experimental and avant-garde practices) they destabilise representational conventions without really disrupting the fashion business’ foundation.