Language
Culture

Norwegian fashion documentary at film festival

 Date:14/05/2006 - 27/05/2006
 Type:Culture, Film
 Location:England, London

Norwegian director Elsa Kvamme's documentary 'A Lady with a Hat' which follows the eighty-seven-year-old hat maker to the Queen of Norway, will be screened during the Fashion in Film Festival in London.

The documentary follows the Jewish milliner May Aubert who grew up in Kristiania (Oslo) with an English father and a German mother. Before World War II she was an apprentice hat maker in Berlin and delivered hats to UFA film studio’s brightest stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Elisabeth Bergner. Later, she became a refugee, war hero and currency smuggler. Eighty-seven years old, she still goes to work every day and is the Norwegian Queen Sonja’s regular hat maker. The film was nominated for the Norwegian national Film Prize Amanda for Best Documentary in 1999.

Director Elsa Kvamme was born in New York in 1954, but grew up in Oslo. She began as an acting student at the Odin Theatre in Denmark, and then established one of Norway's first free groups, Saltkompaagniet, which played all over Europe for six years. She has studied Asian theatre and written over 20 plays, translated Jacques Brel to Norwegian and released three CDs with her own songs. After attending film school at New York University she wrote the screenplay for the feature film 'Maya Stoneface' and directed the documentaries Students at War' (Tysklandsstudenter) and 'A Lady with a Hat' (En dame med hatt). Her first feature film, 'Fia!', was released in 2003.

'A Lady with a Hat' shows as part of the programme 'Wardrobe Emergencies: Fashion and the WWII Conflict' focusing on European and American newsreels and documentary films made in the seven-year period of the Second World War (1939-1945), the first part of this programme looks at the rhetorical shift that occurred in fashion during this time of widespread hostile conflict. Face to face with war, fashion responded by entering into a dialogue with politics. Suspending its autonomy, it rearticulated not only its own logic and purpose but also those of society and the world around.  (Programmed  in collaboration with Imperial War Museum, London)

“Between Stigma and Enigma” is the first edition of a new Fashion in Film Festival held in three London venues: Ciné lumière (French Institute), the Horse Hospital, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). The diverse programme brings together international film and video work from across the 20th and 21st centuries. Films by distinguished filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Louis Buñuel, Věra Chytilová  and William Klein will be screened alongside documentary, instructional and propaganda films, newsreels, artist videos and fashion image-makers’ shorts.

Fashion in Film Festival takes place at Ciné lumière (French Institute), the Horse Hospital and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) between 14-27 May, 2006.

Wardrobe Emergencies: Fashion and the WWII Conflict
Saturday 20 May, 8pm
The Horse Hospital
Tickets: £7, Concessions: £5
Box office: 0207 833 3644

Programme includes the following:

  • Mode pour abris. Pathe Gaumont Archives, France, 1939, DVD
  • Mode pour chapeaux – Guerre d’Hitler. Pathe Gaumont archives, France, 1939
  • Tin Hats for All. Pathe News. GB 1941, DVD.
  • Germ Masks for the Crowds. Pathe News. GB 1941, DVD.
  • Clothes and the Man. RAF/Analysis Films. GB 1941. 35mm/DVD
  • Stockings. Pathe News. GB 1941
  • Safety Styles. US News Review. USA 1942. DVD
  • Fashion show of recycled garments. Deutsche Wochenschau. Germany 1944, 35mm/DVD
  • Rationing in Britain. Ministry of Information. GB 1944
  • Day-to-Day Frock. Pathe News. GB 1943
  • Evening and Day Frock. Pathe News. GB 1943
  • Fashion show of recycled garments. Deutsche Wochenschau. Germany 1944, 35mm/DVD
  • A Lady with a Hat (En Dame med hatt), dir. Elsa Kvamme. Norway 1999.



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The documentary follows the milliner May Aubert grew up in Kristiania (Oslo) with an English father and a German motherPhoto: NFI