Friday, 29 July 2011

The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant

Last week I went to see the Rainer Werner Fassbinder film 'The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant', as part of the TEST presents... series of fashion film shown in different locations around London.

A colleague raved about it before I went to see it, claiming it was one of his favourite films, I was then a bit dubious..... but it was one of the more interesting things I've seen in a while.

As part of the Test presents series a designer of fashion professional chooses the film and does a little intro and Q & A afterwards, and this month was the turn of illustrator/ designer/ film maker Julie Verhoven, who's work I have always liked. The film was an obvious choice for her and there were a number of aesthetic traits that have clearly influenced or underlined her signature style.

The story surrounds an intensely emotional  fashion designer, Petra Von Kant, bitter and reclusive after a recent divorce, and on meeting a young woman named Karin, she throws herself into an all-consuming affair, which ultimately doesn't end well.

The whole film takes place in her flat/ studio, dressed in luxurious, rich textures and colors, only outdone by the amazing costumes that Petra stalks around in. From a fashion point of view, this film is pure inspiration, with a lasting effect of daydreaming over the subtle undertones and intense relationships played out in the narrative.

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