Film: 4637

Fashion | 1970 | Sound | Colour


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The Fashion Industry in London 1970's

Opens on funky music and a sucession of quick cuts between London scenes: pigeons, Buckingham Palace mounted guards, St Paul's Cathederal, a crowd in the rain, and a red bus. Set in a work room. Many items of dressmaking equipment can be seen on benches eg sewing machines, irons, looms etc. Women are working at various desks all around. The narrator, an afro-caribbean woman, steps forward. She tells us that this is the largest fashion school in the world and it is the end of term. The students, she informs us, will need to combine skill and inspiration in a competitive industry. Close-up of a woman making lace, another using a loom, and a further two using screen-printing equipment. Cut to men using larger scale printing equipment.

Narrator - Britain is a world-leader for fashion and clothing export. Woman chalking a pattern onto floral material. Woman at a table, sewing. Behind her, a man adjusts a lace collar on a tailor's dummy. The material previously seen being screen dyed is now on a dummy and is being turned into some kind of jacket. Narrator- it is an art college and therefore welcomes freedom of creative expression. However, the finished garments must also be wearable. See a student making a hat out of gold mesh. Narrator - students from other disciplines also get a chance to be involved in fashion. We see a female student wearing a green and yellow sack-type thing and taking advice from an expert teacher. We are then shown the preliminary sketches of the green and unpleasant garment. Green thing offered for discussion for the rest of the class - all female and seated around a desk. Sketches and designs can be seen on the walls behind them. A woman adjusts the hem of a dress. A model tries on a white, ruffled outfit on in front of a mirror, she is assisted by a second woman. Previously dyed material is now a jacket to be tested on "living bodies". Other designers help their models into outfits. Partially dressed tailor's dummies can be seen in the background. Close-up on a designer making a crucial final adjustment.

Narrator - could mean success or oblivion for designs. Cut back to narrator. A group of women are seated to her right, there are empty benches behind her and a catwalk on her left. Narrator - each designer only has a few seconds to sell their fashions to the buyers and prospective employers. Narrator signs off. Fashion show begins. Two models go down the catwalk. They are wearing white boob-tubes, white peddle pushers, long overshirts, and highwayman hats for some reason. Much of the frame is in darkness. The narrator (now in the audience) looks pensive. Close-up on models. A man in the crowd smiles (close-up). Models posing. Photographer. Another model enters, shot from below. She is wearing a Japanese-inspired frock with bits of straw hanging out of the waistband (reason? unknown.). Same model posing - shot from behind. Another model in a puffy white sheet thing with an elasticated waist ( and they call this fashion?). Model in pink frock. Photographer. Model in pink sachays around a bit. Audience members take notes. Two further models in bad lacey affairs pose around. Audience seen from below. They smile and applaud.

Face on shots of many more models wearing various aesthetic travesties. Model shot from above - audience in frame. Close-up of her ruffled pink skirt. Several more models in different outfits shown. Narrator beginning to look queasy. Gold hat and printed jacket from earlier shown on catwalk models. Quick cuts between audience faces and the models dancing in a circle. Narrator manages to force out a smile. Other members of audience smile and clap. Focus on audience as model's legs are seen retreating. The End.

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