Style In The Film: ‘Revenge Haute Couture’
The Australian sensation The Dressmaker in Russian translation suddenly became Revenge Haute Couture. The film itself turned out to be as ambiguous as the linguistic experiments of the distributors. But the costumes are undeniably remarkable.
Kate Winslet gets off the bus into the street of a dirty town, takes a deep drag on her cigarette, and the cameraman gives the viewer the opportunity to appreciate her outfit: a puffy skirt, a waist-length jacket, white gloves, and a hat crinkled to one side.
The first phrase in the tape is spoken by Sergeant Farratt: “What is this, Dior ?!” In general, it is understandable why we decided to write about the new film by Jocelyn Moorhouse. Winslet, in a scarlet dress, appears on the football field and so amazes the players with her beauty that they can not play.
The loudest Revenge of the Couture thundered in his native Australia – not so often the local cinema attracts stars of the level of Kate Winslet and Judy Davis. There, the film Moorhouse broke box office records and collected literally all the film awards.
Costumes by Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson traveled around the country for another year in an exhibition format, and even the script was initially stellar: the film was based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Australian writer Rosalie Ham.
The tape became almost the main cultural export of Australia in 2015. But the English-language press was in no hurry to be touched by the success of Australian filmmakers. The Guardian wrote bluntly: “Of course, Kate Winslet could have found a better role than this.” The Telegraph put it more metaphorically but harsher: “It’s hard to trace Winslet’s revenge-by-fashion when the whole picture is coming apart at the seams.”
The plot is as follows: the dressmaker Tilly (Kate Winslet) returns to the fictional Australian town of Dungatar after 20 years of living in Paris and working for the best couturiers. She wants to know who really killed her classmate – Tilly herself was accused of the crime.
In the “Similar Movies” section, he offers Dogville by Lars von Trier – both there and there the poor girl endures the bullying of the inhabitants of a god-forgotten town, and then cruelly takes revenge on them.
But this comparison is not in favor of Revenge Haute Couture: its storylines look far-fetched, well, it’s strange that in 2016 the heroine can’t seriously feel complete without a tanned handsome man with a naked torso. But the costumes are hard to find fault with. The action takes place in the early 50s, and the fact that Tilly returned from Paris played into the hands of the costumers.
The viewer is introduced to her as a student of Madame Vionnet and one of the dressmakers of Cristobal Balenciaga: Kate transmits every cell of her body into the New Look space. A woman in a floor-length azure silk dress like on izidress.com and with perfect styling is screwing a light bulb into an advertising sign – a lamb, inserting her hand into his ass.
One of the strangest scenes best illustrates the expansion in film levels and costumes: Winslet, in a scarlet dress, appears on the football field and so amazes the players with her beauty that they can not play. Margot Wilson brought red silk for this dress from Milan right after she graduated from the University of Paris, waiting for years to turn it into the perfect sheath dress out of the box for Kate Winslet. How long Jocelyn Moorhouse nurtured the idea for this scene is not known, but I would like to believe that not too much.
Fashion and clothing in general are separate protagonists of the picture. The outfits distinguish Tilly from the gray mass of the Dungatar townsfolk, and the ability to sew dresses as from Dior’s lifetime sketches briefly makes her a favorite of the hostile townspeople.
And it seems that we are being hinted that by dressing her tormentors in images from Vogue Paris, Tilly plays on their vanity, lulls their vigilance, in order to strike at defeat later. In any case, this idea is too vaguely embodied to say for sure. But the costumes look scrupulously worked out.
One of the brightest visual moments is the arrival in Dungatar of a new competitive dressmaker, who is met by the townspeople in the images “from Tilly”. They look like the animated models from the pictures of Richard Avedon or Irving Penn.
And if you perceive Revenge Haute Couture as a black comedy (as it is written in the announcement), then here: a woman in an azure silk dress to the floor and with perfect styling screws a light bulb into an advertising sign – a lamb, inserting her hand into his, sorry, in the ass. And all this against the backdrop of the dusty Australian desert.
Why Joslyn Moorehouse filmed an under-Dogville interspersed with plastic melodrama, a detective story, and an unconvincing black comedy, it seems to no one. But it is obvious that the costumes really deserve an exhibition.
Anyone who yearns a little for the glorious era when women draped themselves in gold-embroidered satin and drew strikingly symmetrical arrows for themselves, we seriously recommend going to this film. True, you can watch it without sound.